Less of Me, More of You. My Journey to a Simple Life.

Posted · 28 Comments

If you’ve noticed from my header, I’m re-working my site design.  It’s a still a work in progress but something I’ve wanted to do for some time.

As much as I enjoy blogging about food (and will continue to do so) there’s so much more I wanted to start writing about.

Faith, family, and finding joy through simple living.

Hey, I’m a work in progress and I enjoy sharing what God is doing in my life ;)

My Journey to A Simple Life

Before I start on my journey know that I’m still on my path to simple living. God is still working things out in mine and my families life.

He’s leading and directing while we follow in faith.

I can’t wait to share a year or even two from now as we begin to fully understand God’s work, however, I would like to share how my life has changed for the better over the past five months.

My journey started this past October 2nd.  The day I almost lost my youngest son.

Exhausted, overwhelmed, and overworked I promised my God, that day, that I would live in the moment and be there, really be there, for my husband and children.

What does it mean to live a simple life?

Before I really felt the pain of almost losing someone so much a part of me, I felt simple living meant doing.

You know… produce more, consume less.

Living without so much dependance on anyone else but myself.  Knowing that I could nourish my own family by the use of my own hands and by filling my head with knowledge.

Wow, was I ever wrong.

Today, this is what simple living means to me.

simple_living2

nehe

simple_living1

To me, it means taking the time to enjoy the every day.  To not be worried about keeping up with the “status quo.”

To live in a manner that my family and I can live slowly in a society that moves so quickly.

To never worry about consumerism and in turn,  having a constant heart of praise for the needs God is providing.

To sum it up, for my family and I, simple living means to live, laugh, and rejoice in the moment.

Learning to Be Content

It’s really awesome to look back and see how God has used every single moment in my life to lead me onto His path.

Of course, often begrudgingly on my part as I’ve had a lack of understanding of His plan for me.

I’ve often written about my battle of trying to stay at home with my family and at the same time having to work.

In pursuit of figuring out the best way to make an income at home, I’ve often filled up my schedule to the point of exhaustion to see if I could make a go at making a career out of blogging and online design.

All the while I had been working my booty off, I neglected the fact that God has provided me with an evening teaching job which allows me to be at home with my children every single day of the week.

What more was I asking for?  Why was I working so hard when I could have spent so many more free hours with my family.

My Plan -Vs- God’s Plan

It comes down to what I thought was best for my family and I with disregard to God’s calling on my life.

For a couple years know I’ve been praying to be a full time stay at home mommy.  To not have to worry about having to come up with an income to help in supporting my family.

At the same time, my hearts desire was for a bigger home, maybe an acreage.  Room for the children to play, room for animals, room for a home office, room for a greenhouse, a sunroom, a bigger kitchen etc, etc, etc….

Yes, I was wanting…. more.

To get more, means to work more.  I started to contemplate a full time job once again.

A full time job means daycare.

Let me go back…. God has provided me with an evening teaching job which allows me to be at home with my children every single day of the week.

God has been answering my prayer of being a stay at home mommy this entire time and I failed to recognize it.

Less of Me, More of You

It’s been a difficult season for my family.  The state of the economy has hit my family financially and I don’t even want to begin to start with our medical insurance struggles.

However, God’s been providing.

As we see him unfold in the next year, I’ll continue to share our story, our testimony of faith and patience on His timing, not ours.

However, after we almost lost our son, none of the above mattered.

I could care less that we live in a 980 square foot house and that soon we’ll have three children in a two bedroom home.

It’s the perfect size for our family.

We have a wonderful sized backyard with plenty of room for playing children, a large garden and chickens.

My family loves our home.

God has given it to us and although a smaller size, (in regards to today’s averaged sized home) by living here, it’s allowing me to stay home with my children.

Isn’t God seriously awesome!

I just wish my blinders would have been unfolded a couple years ago!!

And… guess what, yup God answered another prayer.

I’m homeschooling.

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It’s been my deepest desire and my son’s as well.

The blessing of spending this much time with my children, being content with where we are and living slowly in the moment has been beyond amazing,

It’s been true peace.

What Have I Learned About Living a Simple Life?

Please remember, this is my path… my journey.  Each of ours will look differently and not one way is better than another.

What I’ve learned is that simple living means so much more than just doing.  It means to live a life that is not consumed with the Joneses.  Not being consumed by wanting more… bigger and in turn having to live your life consumed in work in order to attain and keep it.  It means slowing down and enjoying every moment in life.  It means to love living and all the experiences it brings, both good and bad.  Of course gardening, urban homesteading and all of those fun crafts and homemade things go along with it.  But to never be consumed by it or anything.

So in this month I do plan on sharing posts related to the following things I’ve been learning about.

  • To not think about tomorrow but simply on today.
  • To free up our time for our family and friends.
  • To organize and de-clutter in order to prioritize and be efficient.  Printables!!!
  • To jump into the land of grown-ups and prioritize our finances. That’s right… we’re looking at being debt free, Lord willing, in the next 3-4 years!
  • To Love LIVING.
  • Simple, Real Food recipes the family will enjoy.
I also have great guest posts lined up of others sharing their story on living a simple life.

Are you on a journey to living a simple life?

Wherever you are in life, don’t settle for the materialistic things that don’t last.  True peace and His love is worth more than anything this world can provide.  Always remember that God loves you and has a plan for each of us.

Get in His word… pray, seek and He will show himself.  That’s a promise!

Are you on a journey to living a simple life?  Please feel free to share your story and struggles in the comments below.

28 Responses to "Less of Me, More of You. My Journey to a Simple Life."
  1. This was wonderful to read and I’m so with you on so many of the things you wrote and have seen the same struggles and triumphs in my own life! Love the Lord, He is so amazing and faithful!!!

  2. Adrianne Gaskell says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. God bless you.

  3. Gone Country says:

    LOVE this post! I couldn’t have said it any better!

    My hubby and I are on the same journey… striving to live a simpler life and become more self-sufficient. We are also striving to be debt-free, we’re hoping, by the middle of this year (with the exception of our mortgage). We’re continuing to seek the Lord’s guidance on finances and possibly starting a small hobby farm.

    The Lord has also taught me so much in these past few months about myself and my spending habits, consumerism, my lack of contentment, etc, etc. It’s been tough coming to grips with these things as no one really likes to be made aware of one’s faults but it has been so rewarding to give these areas over to Him. I can now enjoy ‘the process’ of striving for a simpler life rather than just wanting it to happen overnight. I could go on and on but then I would be writing a post!

    I’m so happy that you’ve found contentment and have realized how blessed you are and that He is answering your prayers!

    Enjoy each moment!

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Thanks for such a sweet comment. I think the coolest thing is that God never gives up on us even when our hearts and minds start to wander. Praise the Lord for the Holy Spirit and His power of conviction to turn us back :D

  4. Mely says:

    Congratulations in your decision about homeschooling. You will enjoy the rewards of your decision.

    Proverbs 31:2

    She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

    Besos,

    Mely

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Thank you so much Mely! We’ve been enjoying it so much. It was just so scary to start but once we did, I’m so glad we made that decision. Huge hugs my friend! xoxo, diana

  5. You’ve managed to put down in words a lot of how I feel about living.

    Jeff and I are very aware that we live smaller than most. We live in a one-bedroom apartment and unless we can get a great deal on a small house, we plan to stay here even with a baby. Explaining to folks that just because there is no bedroom for a kid doesn’t mean there isn’t room has been interesting.

    We also have two cars from the early 90’s one has been hit by a bus the other by a deer. They are not pretty but they are fuel efficient and steady. When Jeff drives to work he’s aware that his car is the worst in the lot, even clunkier than his students. I’m sure from the outside we look like we are very poor indeed.

    However, we save about 1/3 of our income; the only debt we hold is the last of Jeff’s graduate school loans. We have retirement; we eat really delicious and nutritious food. We are healthy and happy. Jeff has a job as an art professor that he loves and gives him summer off.

    Sure it would be nice to have a standard size oven and a newer car, but that would mean dipping into savings or worse, me taking on a job and giving up my work for food co-op arrangement. It would mean daycare for our future child.

    I’ve been calling our choices minimalism. Although the only minimal part is owning less stuff and holding strong against consumerism. The rest of it is all about finding a good life on our own terms. Our ideal of a good life sounds very much like your ideal of a simple life.

  6. Another thought… We have moved into a part of Indiana that has a lot of Amish, Mennonite, Church of the Brethren, Old German. Not all of them use horses and buggies, but it’s that type of communal living. As an outsider looking in I wish I had that kind of support. The kind that were when big projects come up you call on your neighbors and everyone comes around and lends a hand to put up a green house, or terrace a garden, raise a barn or vaccinate a herd of cows. Were folks get together every Sunday for service and dinner.

    I believe these group efforts take a lot of pressure off the nuclear family and create stability. I’ve seen Amish farmers take risks with new organic cropping ideas because they know if they fail the community will take care of them. The traditional small time farmer in Indiana could never take that chance. He might lose his farm if it failed.

    There is a lot to learn from these folks.

  7. Great post. I have vowed to live simplier as well. One of the last points you talked of was budget and as of Jan. 1 we’ve have become strict about ours as well. I would LOVE to become debt free.

    And the clutter – I will have none of it! Another plan for this year…

  8. Dana says:

    Love this post. I’m so with you!

    I have the same goals in mind… just need to be accountable and stay on track. That’s the hard part. So many temptations out there.

    Thanks for sharing!!

  9. wow. beautiful. And, age DOES help. You mellow a little every year. It just keeps getting better and better! I am happy I found your blog.

  10. Winnie says:

    I love seeing all the beautiful things you are up to Diana. You are an inspiration ;)

  11. Yes, to all of the above! I’m thankful you shared, and will continue to share and I pray for you and your family. I feel like I am at the point where I am struggling needlessly; where I have everything I need but I just can’t see it yet. Isn’t it weird to be there, to be aware of it, but still not see it? Yup, that’s me right now :) I will keep reading along, with this journey but also I enjoy your recipes :)

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Jen, thanks so much for the comment. Odd, no not really. I think once we find His joy is when we can begin to know everything is in it’s place. When we can be in a place of contentment. It’s so hard especially with all the propaganda of this world, but look for Him. Read through the bible and ask God to reveal himself to you, to show you contentment, His joy. If you ever want to talk, let me know ;D diana@spain-in-iowa.com

  12. Jenny says:

    I really enjoyed this post. It is really hard to be content with what you have. Lately I list and sometimes say out loud what I have. The list is long. I may not have everything new and big but what I do have is enough. I figure if I have a home, heat, (I live in northern IN) food, clothing and a car I am rich. God did say he would give us our needs. I find he is awesome in that he also gives us some of our wants! I too found out the hard way last year what really is important. I shouldn’t say found out but reminded of. My first grandbaby was miscarried. My second grandson was stillborn a year ago Jan 31. My daughter is pregnant and due in 3 weeks with her third baby and my only prayer is please let her (the baby is a girl) be born alive. This is important; nothing else really is. If God chooses to let this baby live with him then He will also get us thru it but… Life really is simple if you think about it and if you let God lead. Gosh, that sounds simple but it really isn’t is it?

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Jenny, my heart aches for you and I can’t imagine the pain your family must have endured. However, God is so good and he calls us all his saints. Claim it! In church we’ve been going through this and let me tell you it’s pretty cool to stop and think… Jesus died for me, he loves me, He’s given me His power through the Holy Spirit. The next time you start to worry about the new birth, just think to yourself, “Satan, get behind me!” Isn’t that awesome! Stand firm on your two legs with faith that God is going to deliver this baby healthily and I’m sure you will soon meet this sweet child!

      Dear Lord, I pray that Jenny can have true peace that surpasses all understanding. Fill her with your Holy Spirit and give her a peace that this child is of your will and will be born with many memories to come for this family. I thank you my God for giving us the power to claim your name and to stand solidly in faith. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

      In Jesus name, Amen.

      God Bless you Jenny!

      diana

  13. Brittany P. says:

    Yes, we are on the same journey. It took the same thing to put us on that path. Our daughter was dx with medulloblastoma brain cancer in 2008. That taught us VERY quickly what is really important to us.

  14. Diana, this is so timely and something I am going through right now as well. I feel just the way you do, the need to “let go and let God”. To be thankful for the many blessings that we do have and to listen the signs and follow the path that God has given me, instead of trying so hard to move mountains. This is huge for me right now. I have always been a fighter. But now it the time to look for guidance and listen to the divine.

  15. Though I stumbled here as part of my job to learn about Organic farm stuff, I cannot tell you what a blessing it is to read an entire blog dedicated to our father in Heaven. You just don’t see it much anymore. The news, TV, and internet are filled with junk! My family and I are on the same journey of relying on him for everything. So far, God has provided our every need. I am able to work from home so that I can be with my kids and make enough money to pay all the bills. God is faithful! Please continue promoting God in your blogs as you are an encouragement to all. May God truly bless you. Thank you.

  16. Steph says:

    Great post! It does sound like our journey’s are similar, however you seem to be a little further along then I…;)After a long time of fervent prayers to God, my dream has come true and I am going to stay home with my children, a decision that has been available for sometime, but one that I have been so scared to make. What an awesome feeling to have your prayers answered! Sometimes you just have to really open your eyes to notice that they have :-) Good luck to you in your homeschool journey, your blog really truly has been a blessing and source of encouragement to me!

  17. City Share says:

    What a beautiful post. It obviously has struck a chord with lots of people. I think your small house is a blessing. We have found that a small apartment prevents us from acquiring stuff. When you don’t have space for stuff it frees up time and money for more important things. Congrats on getting to stay home and start homeschooling.

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