Tag Archives: simple life

Overwhelmed by Info

I’ve heard a lot of people saying “I need a simpler life,” is that true for you too? We tend to be overwhelmed by information today–even social media.

I’ve heard it said that we’ve never been more connected, but have less real connection than ever. You’ve seen it at restaurants just like I have. A whole family sitting, waiting for their food, all of them on their phones. Or couples, both of them on phones. Could we lose the art of connecting? Just because it’s easier not to?

Your kids need connection with you. You need to take the time to kiss their fluffy heads, and tuck them in at night. Even better to take 15 minutes to read to them before you turn out the light. Hug them. Look into their eyes. Your eyes show them their value. Show them love. Children spell love T I M E. And you have to start when they’re young before they start pushing away.

Even then, you can insist on eating together and actually talking about the day without criticism. Even then they need boundaries, not a lot but some, that are held, no matter how they manipulate you. Limits are how they feel loved too. “No” makes them feel secure. Someone besides me is in charge. I’m safe. 

We need connection. We were made for it. Relationship is our primary function. Our first full day after creation was Sabbath, a day set aside for celebrating our relationship with God. Clearly, it is our purpose. Scripture says it too. We were created to show God’s character of love by experiencing it in relationship with Him. (Ephesians 1:11)

Part of a simple life is connecting. It can be challenging to make the time, or to know what to say. Today, you have to be purposeful about it. You have to say “NO” to some things in order to have it. You have to say “no” to yourself, turn off the phone, the tablet, the laptop, the TV. Go outside, do something active with your spouse and kids. Active fun is bonding. And good for your body.

Simple is good, but it isn’t easy to get there. It’s just worth it.

Jesus said to his good friend, Martha, “Only one thing is necessary. You are worrying about many things, but Mary (her sister) has chosen the best (sitting and talking with Jesus) and I won’t take that away from her.”

One thing. Only one thing is really necessary. And it is relationship. Specifically relationship with God. But that love will spread to the people around you. Don’t know how to start? Ask. He is happy to help.

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A Perspective on Irreconcilable Differences

Yesterday I listened to yet another marriage dissolving over Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). That’s two this week. Having an NPD spouse (male or female) is a tough road, not impossible as I can personally attest, but very difficult.

I was musing today on why I have a good marriage. Usually I think it is because my husband has changed so much in the last 12 years of our 22 year marriage.  He really has, with a little divine intervention.  Maybe someday I should tell the story here; it’s quite a story.

But this morning, I was thinking about the things we enjoy doing together and how we have made them work for us. There aren’t many, maybe three. We think very differently about most everything, (part of that is just male and female I know) but we have learned to appreciate the good in the other and build our own lives while really enjoying what works between us: spirituality, gardening, movies, and sex. I guess there’s four! You can make a nice life out of your own fulfillment and those four.

We start the day by reading scripture together all snuggled up in bed. Sometimes we make love, sometimes we just snuggle, but we both agree it is one of the best parts of our day. Then he goes off to the gym and I exercise with my body ball.  (I hate the gym; he loves it.) Many days we go out and garden together. We don’t agree about that either, but we both love being outside together, and we have decided that we love each other more than being right. We enjoy the same movies on the nights I’m off, and reading together in the evening.

It’s a simple life but it’s good.

Choosing how you look at things really makes a difference. All of us bring baggage into a marriage, being willing to look at your own, your beliefs your lies, and get them healed is terribly helpful in cleaning your side of the relationship street. Each person has a side to clean.

Today, I read the following quote in an email and thought, I used to do that all the time, thank God that has gotten better!

 “Negative attributions-finding an unfavorable explanation for what a spouse does-constitute one of the more common thinking problems in marriage.” (p. 165 Love is Never Enough)

Aaron Beck says it’s common, and am I glad, because it was one of the hardest things for me to get over. I had beliefs inside that took awhile to get to, beliefs that said everyone was out to get me. (Because my older brother was jealous of me and made life hard.)

So if you are struggling with huge differences in your marriage, put the best possible interpretation on your spouses actions, usually they aren’t trying to make you angry or hurt you, but you might be set up to see it that way. 

Stop mind reading. You’re no good at it. Ask for an explanation before you assume. Get your beliefs healed by asking God to tell you the truth. And then find some things you can agree to enjoy together. Research shows the more you play and laugh together, the safer you will feel together. That is good.

If you are married to a narcissist there is more to it. But this is a good start.

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