January 5, 2008

Commitment to a Simple Life, #1

For many years, I've confused simple with easy. I'm probably not the only one to make that mistake.

Webster's defines simple as "free from elaboration". The definition for easy is "causing or involving little difficulty or discomfort; requiring or indicating little effort, thought, or reflection".

Simple does not mean easy. As I pursue simplicity this year, I'm finding it very difficult. I'm going to have to get rid of some things that I really want to hang on to. But I'm committing to giving them up. And, as the song goes, the first cut is the deepest.

I adore books. I have shelves full of books that are waiting to be read. I'm constantly discovering more that I want to read. My hobby has caused a great dent in my wallet, and piles of books that I may never even get to.

So (deep breath), I'm going on a book fast. I will not purchase a single book (other than Bible study materials) in 2008. I am allowing myself to use gift cards that people give me, but I will not spend actual money. I will use the library. Once I read a book I actually own, I will donate it to our church library (unless it's one I absolutely cannot part with).

Not an easy commitment, but one that will make my life more peaceful and simple.


Donnetta said...

Oh how I needed to hear this today!! The difference between easy and simplicity!

I am striving for simplicity but I also wanted it to be easy!! Guess now I will be forced to re-think that!

Thanks for such a great challenge!

Laura said...

Oh wow, good for you. Books are so hard to part with aren't they but they do take up valuable space in our homes. I've just gone on a purge myself. My problem is magazines. I really do love them but rather than buy them, I try to borrow them from the library instead. Not always easy to do when I see the bright glossy pages waiting for me in the grocery store. I must be strong!

Alana said...

That sounds like a great challenge. I'm way behind on my pile of books as well. Hope you can catch. I'm a BIG fan of the library, free books...you can't beat that!

Lisa Bolling said...

Oh, you brave soul. I don't think I could possibly get rid of my books. They are like a warm blanket to me. But, I admire you for stepping up to that challenge. I also have a pile of unread books that I hope to get through this year. Maybe I should follow your lead and not purchase any new ones. It really is a great idea.

Mary@notbefore7 said...

What a challange! I often look at things I have picked up here and there with good intentions and they just sit. I think that is a great committment. I have backed off so much of my bargain shopping to "get a gift ahead". I often find something else, and else, and else...then none of it is what I really want for the person. I have had to give that over to God and rest in the knowledge that he will provide what is needed and I don't have to stockpile so crazily!

Kate said...

Wow! A book fast sounds painful...almost impossible. You are a brave girl! And you are right...simplicity does not equate with easy.


Janelle said...

Melissa, thank you for sharing your commitment for a simpler life. I think we all crave simple times. I know that it resonates in me.

Love our local library. I haven't purchased a book in a long time. It is a beautiful thing! You can do it.

Leah said...

I liked reading your thoughts on the differences between easy and simplicity. I'm with you on that! I admire you for being obedient to what the Lord has laid on your heart. Donating your books to the church library is a wonderful idea ~ you can share them with others so they can receive the blessing, but you also know where you can go to snatch them back up for a time as well! =) Way to go, Melissa!!

Girl Raised in the South said...

Wow! As someone with stuffed bookshelves, that's all I can say - wow!

Iva said...

Thank you for defining the difference between simple and easy. I guess I always kind of lumped them as synonymous as well.

I live in a small city in GA that doesn't have a bookstore (aside from a cubby in WalMart). I think you'll find reading from your local library to be not as painful as you might think. If it weren't for mine, I wouldn't read at all!

Blessings to you on your Book Fast in '08.