Living a simpler lifestyle has its benefits.

It’s been seven months since I early retired. I knew ahead of time that I was going to have to simplify my lifestyle. I didn’t realize how many adjustments I was going to have to make to simplify my life. It helped that I had already taken steps to simplify my lifestyle over the years, even when I was working, and now I appreciate all those earlier efforts. As I contemplate my life at year’s end during this solo Christmas season, I am pleased with the outcome.

I was enabled by the Lord to move across the country and adjust to changes in pace, climate, and culture without a boatload of whining (well… at least it wasn’t a barge).

I continue to learn to prioritize and coordinate my time, resources, and energy.

I had the freedom to take on a very short-term seasonal job at a favorite organization I’ve volunteered at for years. I stand and walk my entire shift and bring my lunch every day. I finally wised up and starting having salads so I don’t have to wait in long lines for microwaves, so I am getting used to eating the healthy salads that I used to enjoy again. Bonus: I am actually losing a little bit of weight.

Yes, living a simple lifestyle has its benefits, especially for us single Christians.

Simplicity hands me fewer obligations, less stress, and more options.

It is usually cost-effective and easier to maintain.

It helps me to stay focused on the most important priorities.

It encourages me to develop wisdom, stronger boundaries, and better stewardship skills.

It helps me to stay on top of my bills, stay out of debt, and give me enough leftover money to do extra things.

It helps me to appreciate what I have, and the Lord Who gave them to me, more.

It allows me to enjoy the holidays. Christmas as a single newbie to this area is softer, simpler, and more filled with wonder as I look over the region’s holiday activities calendar and experience the weather. (Everyone keeps saying that we rarely get a heavy enough snow to stay on the ground. Since we got rain with sleet flurries Friday afternoon, I won’t be surprised if we get an unusual amount of snow this winter, and even a white Christmas. Problem is, I’m not sure I want one just yet! LOL)

And I am sure spending more time this year contemplating the wonder of the very first Christmas, so long ago in Bethlehem.

Maybe the Lord needed to simplify my lifestyle even further by getting me away from my comfortable and warm So Cal weather, wonderful church, and amazing Christian friends so I could listen to Him better and depend on Him more.

My faith is even simpler than my lifestyle. I just believe what the Bible says.

I know there are many ways to interpret several passages, or objections to taking the Old Testament law, which applied to the historic Jewish nation, literally. However, it is simplest to take what it says at face value—literally—unless the passage is clearly a parable or allegorical.

Obeying some of it is more difficult, but I know it’s rewarding.

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes by the Word of God; Romans 10:17.

The Lord is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him; Hebrews 11:6.

Anyone who obeys the words of Jesus will know whether His teachings are from God; John 7:17.

I don’t know what my future holds, or why the Lord called me to move across the country to the east coast. But it’s easier for me to hear what He’s saying without chatter from the clutter of constant, built-in distractions and a mound of obligations.

I thank God for allowing me to live a simple life of love, joy, peace, truth, and increasing faith.

No matter how much or how little money or fame I get, no matter where I am or what happens to me, Jesus loves me, this I know.

Jesus, thank You for loving me and saving me. Thank You for coming to live inside me and never leaving me. Thank You for Your patience in teaching and enabling me to simplify my lifestyle to reflect, as much as possible, Your values and priorities. It’s been so cool to watch You work all sorts of miracles in my life, meet my needs, and get me through some tough times. During this holiday season and for the rest of my life, help me to live for You, to love You above all else, and to always seek not only Your face but Your heart.  

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