Return to Self: Simplify

“The poorest shack in which love prevails over a united family is of greater value to God and future humanity than any other riches. In such a home God can work miracles and will work miracles.” ~ David O. McKay


This, the year 2011, I have one big resolution. To Simplify.

I’m happy with where life has led me, but I’m not who I know I can be. I really enjoy what I do for a living, but it’s not my #1.

I’ve been skirting around my #1 for as long as I can remember loving my #1. Age of 6? That’s a long time!

Why do I dance around it? Of course it’s fear! This is the year I will cut that out.

Here’s some motivation to stick to my guns.

I love David O. McKay. I heard him speak the quote above a few months ago (when I started this post) when BYUtv aired David O. McKay: Where E’er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part, a biography of this very much loved LDS prophet.

Our prophets have all left inspiring legacies, but the prophets who live through and around our own life-span give us a personal connection to them. This is one of the many reasons I believe in modern day prophets. We need them. They are humankind at its best, leading and serving others while enduring human frailties and hardships with faith.

I keep thinking about those last two sentences though: “The poorest shack… In such a home…”

Our little Cottage is far from the poorest of shacks and just as far from the poshest of estates. Although we’ve made some recent modifications to the ambiance (added decor/rearranged furniture), it’s simpler than anywhere I’ve lived. But I’m growing to like the simple life more and more all the time. I think I know what President McKay means. God’s miracles have come (get by with one vehicle, my new healthy body, more time with my husband) and I pray for more miracles (children, work success).

But speaking of simple, I go to our storage unit to look for something, open a box and think, “Why do I even have this stuff? If we’ve lived without 90% of our stuff for 6 months, how much of it do I really need?” And then I make an internal promise–I will sort through it all and get rid of it.

Much of it.

When it’s warmer.

Have any of you seen Enough Already with Peter Walsh on OWN (Oprah’s new network)? It’s a kind of hoarding show, but SO much more–what’s the word…SANE than Hoarders (of which I’ve only seen one episode, leaving me with an icky feeling). Peter Walsh is so compassionate and patient in helping people overcome their “clutter”. His methods inspire me: Two piles. (1) The “Vision Pile” – what I want the room to be. (2) The “Out the Door” pile – throw or give away.

It’s a little ironic that I write this amidst my Holland memories because, really that’s where the idea to simplify life became an intention for me. I came back more aware of how much excess we have in America. It’s “the abundant life” that we take pride in, but it can also be our weakness. The Dutch are forced to make do with less and smaller vehicles (like the little yellow EMT car below) because of their limited space.

Just because we have the space, doesn’t mean we have to fill it. That goes for land, houses, closets,…uh, plates, heads, silence.

My Al is one of the results of my Holland trip because his life philosophy is in line with the Dutch way. He reinforces the lesson I learned there, to

Find your best self and cut out the excess.


I’m becoming aware that the more I learn to cut out the excess, the happier I am.

Cutting it out in 2011. That’s the theme of my year.

One thought on “Return to Self: Simplify

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