I have always marveled at efficiency and effectiveness, but not at the cost of relationships. Quite the contrary, I believe that being efficient and effective in the everyday allows more freedom for building relationships, more time for love, and energy for the stuff that really matters in life. I am a firm believer in the whole "less is more" theory.
I said I am a believer, but am I a doer? I mean, do my words speak louder than my actions? This is something that I am wrestling with right now. I find myself reflecting on the times when our family has felt the most connected with God and with each other. Like the year when we decided, as a family, to take a hiatus from all extra-curricular activities. Boy, did that simplify life! We had time to care for each other and be cared for. No rushing in and out the door, gulping down dinner, exchanging pleasantries (or not- so- pleasantries). The pace was slower, the meals were mellow, the communication deeper, and the hearts more connected. Sweet times, treasured times!
Switching gears a bit here, but keeping with the whole theme of simplicity:
I am a visual / kinesthetic learner. My eyes are drawn to simple lines and understated statements. I love well utilized spaces and places. I am amazed every time I wander through IKEA, page through home design magazines, or pursue internet sites and see brilliantly designed micro-spaces.
In fact, when we were expecting our youngest monkey, my husband and I decided to think outside of the box and create a nursery in one of the two closets in our room. We wanted the baby to be near us and we did not feel like shuffling the other kids' rooms around, thus our micro-nursery was born.
The crib, bedding and most of the decor was from IKEA. For some reason, I do not have a picture of the other side of the micro-nursery, but we hung curtains to hide the hanging clothes and storage containers for his clothes. The curtains were the same pattern as his bedding.
Even today, the monkey boy still sleeps in his beloved blue IKEA crib. He is in his own room now, and we are getting ready to convert the crib into a toddler bed this summer.
One more random thought about simple living: Would you ever consider living in a tiny house? Check out these links: here, here, and here.