The Simple Life.

It’s pretty funny how much I think I need to live. I clearly missed the “do not store up treasures on earth” part of Jesus’ message. I would say that I don’t have treasures but when I clearly examine what I have, I would be lying.
I knew that God was really going to break me this summer and teach me things. I had no idea he would teach me about how I live in excess. After all, I’m spending my summer in Kenya! By myself! And a lot of people posted on Facebook about how great I was for being so sacrificial.
But Jesus could care less about what people think of me. He doesn’t just want my summer. He wants my life. I’m reading this fantastic book. “7” by Jen Hatmaker. It’s about finding the places of excess in your life & giving them up. I encourage you to read it if you would like to be wrecked.
God had been chiseling away at the “excess” part of my life since January and I think it’s starting to finally make a dent. I mean give me a break, the “American Dream” of “more, more, more” has been working on me for 22 years. It’s gonna take some serious work to get rid of that mindset. Rome wasn’t built in a day. And those ruins are still around.
That being said, after 7 months of thinking about how rich I am (and buying more)…I’m starting to realize that thinking isn’t enough. I did have a slight moment where I graciously sponsored a needy Ugandan child. So let me toot my 25 dollar horn. Please look at my holiness. Gosh. I really thought I was doing something great. I mean I guess it was okay. Like filthy rags are okay.
God expects so much more of me. He was not telling us to “think” of our neighbors as ourselves or love our neighbors as ourselves on Christmas or Thanksgiving when donations programs have lots of commercials.
He also wasn’t kidding when He said we can’t serve two masters. Please tell me you don’t serve money. How much were your shoes? How many swimsuits do you have? (girls?) How much was your lunch? This is not in any way to tell you of your sin. I’m talking to myself because so many times I said I didn’t serve money. Then I looked down at my $30 shoes (please don’t look at my other 20 pairs). Or in my swimsuit DRAWER, because I have so many. Because I can’t be seen wearing the same swimsuit in pictures. My last lunch in America was $20. What a deal.
So here I am, in Kenya. A midst some of the greatest poverty in the world…truly broken for it. For the first time ever. Did I mention this is my 3rd time in Kenya? Guess I’m hard headed (understatement).
Did I also mention I came to Kenya with two suitcases full of clothes? Even in poverty, I chose to be blind and live in excess. I bet God was giggling when He saw me packing and said, “Oh how I will break you of these desires.” Well. He did it. I’m broken. And it sucks. Because I like have sandals in every color for every occasion. And I like having more sundresses than some people have underwear (I wish I were kidding). And I really enjoy getting complimented on my cute outfits, I mean who doesn’t? If I don’t have a lot of stuff, who will think I’m cute? Once again, these are the thoughts that penetrate my mind. I’m so embarrassed.
Part of me is excited to return to America and part of me is incredibly scared. What will people think of me if I don’t go shopping with them? Or if all my clothes are old? I guess I can untag pictures of myself on Facebook (gotta love idols of approval). Or probably the biggest fear of all, if I give all my money away…what will I have? As if God doesn’t own the cattle on a thousand hills. But above all else I am more scared of living outside of God’s will than I am of anything that earth can do to me. Above all else I would rather be homeless with no teeth & completely in God’s will than comfortable, clean and with new clothes and being outside of God’s will. I’m excited to start this journey of truly living out the Gospel.
I’ve been studying scripture for so long that I forgot to actually DO scripture.
And I’m almost positive that doing life with Jesus will be so
much more fun than just reading about Him.
I’ve been without a lot of things this summer. Most of them that I thought I “needed” to live. You know what I realized most? I just need Jesus. Period. Please share with me in some of the things He has blessed me with this summer.
Sweet moments with my first graders.
Experiencing Joyce eating her first oreo over! She loved it.
Remembering that having a new puppy around is always fun.
Walking home from church with my kids. One of my favorite parts of every week.
Being with Elizabeth as she rode in a boat for the first time!
My life is incredibly simple. I know what everyday will look like and that’s completely okay with me. I’m just doing life with these people. I’m not solving world hunger or ending poverty and that’s okay because no one person could do those things. I’m spending time with these kids & teachers and learning about them and we love each other and it’s great.

The simple life, I’ve come to learn, is the best life. 


2 thoughts on “The Simple Life.

  1. Jen! Wow. I am so incredibly thankful for you and what your obedience has done in my life. You are absolutely fabulous, thank you for your prayers! SO blessed by you.

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