National Simplicity Day | JOY for Today

There is JOY in simplicity. Choosing simplicity means refining your focus. Refining your focus leads to easier decision-making. Decision-making is made clearer when you choose God as the truth to stand upon. Discover simplicity in Christ.

A white flower with a yellow middle sits against a blue background. Text overlay quotes II Corinthians 11:3
National Simplicity Day | July 12th Annually

JOY for Today Offerings:

UPCOMING HOLIDAYS: 

Did You Know:

  1. The average US household owns 300,000 items? And we are running out of room for them! Storage is real estate's fastest growing subdivision. (BBC)
  2. Living a simpler life yields many benefits? Among people who opt in for a simpler lifestyle, reported benefits include saving money, a reduction in decision fatigue, improved relationships, less cleaning, increased organization, healthier attitudes, more flex space, and extra free time. (Uncluttered Simplicity & Be More with Less)
  3. Simplicity increases productivity? When we aim for simplicity in project completion, it forces us to clearly define our purpose, efficiently focus our attention, eliminate unnecessary tasks, produce quality results, promote a peaceful work atmosphere, and balance time on task with free time. (Lifehack)
  4. We find simple patterns more pleasurable? According to a BioMed Central study, our subconscious minds find complex sounding music that can be reduced to a simple pattern most pleasurable. In the study, random noise was only compressible by 86%, rock, pop, and techno by 60%, and classical by 40%. (Science Daily)
  5. Simple experiences mean better business? Consumers are more likely to recommend and invest in brands with simple experiences. Three current brands that top the simplicity meter are: Netflix, Aldi, and Google. (UX Magazine)

We'd Love to Know:   

Which fact do you most relate to?

Wolfe Stew Connects

This morning, my mother, my sisters, my nieces, and I were sitting around the table discussing birthday cake ideas. The niece with the impending birthday proclaimed herself to be "extra," and as such would require a complex cake design. Quizzically, ignorantly, boomer-ishly, I inquired, "What is the opposite of 'extra'?"

"Basic," she voiced.

My trendy sister expanded, "And you don't want to be 'basic.'"

"Well, that is me. I am basic. And I'm okay with it, even if I'm not 'supposed' to be."

When it comes to added flare, extravagance, or details, it's an easy, "No, thanks," for me. But, when it comes to tasks (cleaning, cooking, writing, planning, etc.) and relationships (emotions, conversations, interactions, requests, etc.), I tend to overcomplicate things. I get caught in the details and fail to see the whole picture. Often, it's the Mr. that helps me change my perspective to focus on what really matters. 

It reminds me of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42). Martha worked busily while Mary sat at the feet of Jesus. A frustrated Martha approached Jesus to complain that Mary wouldn't help. His response: Mary chose better.

God doesn't ask for our busyness or complexity. What He asks is simple: Love God. Love people. 

How does that look? For me, a return to being basic means prioritizing time with God even when I am overwhelmed. It means throwing away the preposterous list of expectations I keep for myself and others. It means doing what I can with the time I have and choosing actions that demonstrate love to others over my self-imposed list. It means accepting my inability to do everything and acknowledging that it was never the expectation. It means always bringing my best and letting God take care of the rest. 

We don't carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, He does. Our job: Love God. Love people. It's that simple. There is beauty in being basic.

In response:

  1. Isolate an area of your life where you choose busyness and complexity over peace and simplicity. What can you do to simplify the burden you carry there? How can you return the focus to God and people?
  2. Join us as we grow to be savvy by studying Proverbs 31:16 and 27. Currently, we are researching fruit, plants, and fields. Take a peek at our Wolfe Notes from last week where we wrapped up caring and reflected on virtues covered so far. Or engage in last year's growth opportunity and RELINQUISH CONTROL to God.

Bible Verses and Quotes 

Bible Verses

  • "For our glory is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity of heart and sincerity of God, and not in carnal wisdom, but in the grace of God, we have conversed in this world: and more abundantly towards you." II Corinthians 1:12 DRA
  • "But I fear that somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his trickery, so your minds might be led astray from the simplicity that is in Christ." II Corinthians 11:3 MEV
  • "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." I Corinthians 14:33 KJV
  • "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out." I Timothy 6:7 KJV 
  • "This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and doing your own work, just as we told you before." I Thessalonians 4:11 TLB

Quotes

  • "The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. - Hans Hoffman
  • "Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not." - Epicurus
  • "Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God." - Ronald Reagan
  • "Simplifying allows us to slow down enough to savor this life." - Emily Ley
  • "Whenever you say yes to something, there is less of you for something else. Make sure your yes is worth the less." - Lysa TerKeurst

We'd Love to Know:

Which verse or quote inspires you to live a simpler life?


Activity Suggestions

Simplify A Space

Choose one small space - a drawer, a pencil box, a backpack - and simplify it. Choose what belongs there, what is really needed for a specific purpose and discard, give away, or store the rest.

Create Simple...

  • Art Explore art techniques with Art in Context 
  • Music:
  • Moments: 
    • Spend time with a person just talking. No expectations, no entertainment, just the company of one another. 
    • Go on a walk, by yourself or with another, but with no purpose except for the walk.
    • Spend time with yourself, just being. Allow your mind to wander. Note thoughts that surface and write any you might wish to return to.

Discuss "Would You Rather..." Questions

  • Create a painting using one color or a song using three tones?
  • Carefully consider what items to keep stored in your backpack or on a bookshelf?
  • Go on a walk with a person or by yourself?
These questions are unique to this post. If you would like three "Would You Rather...?" questions for every July day, download this Wolfe Stew PowerPoint. 

Take on the Family Challenge

Spend time with each other. 

We'd Love to Know:

What is something simple your learners love to do?



We’re excited to share one more day with you and wish you JOY for Today and HOPE for Tomorrow. 


Your Partners in JOY Finding,
Red stew bowl with steam rising from top. Wolfe Stew crawled on front.

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Find even more JOY for Today in our monthly calendars, holiday, and seasonal posts.

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