Generation Cedar


Ahhhh….we all want it, or say we do. So much that the word itself has become overused, trite and meaningless.

Do you know what it really means? Do you know how significantly in can change your life?

Even before the storm, I had a strong urge to simplify.  Meaning, at the time, “get rid of stuff”. Because whether or not we realize it, stuff complicates our lives and robs our time. More stuff means we need more places to put it. It means we must clean up our stuff, take care of our stuff, spend money on our stuff or something to put our stuff in.

I’ve half-way joked that “there’s nothing like an F5 to help you pare down” 😉

But when I randomly ordered a book called Organized Simplicity, I had no idea how the author’s words would meet the desires of my heart and cause me to see simplicity in a whole new way–in a life-changing way.

Simplicity isn’t just getting rid of stuff, though that’s a good start. It’s about living intentionally…deliberately.  YES! Without intentional living, we’re not really living, we’re allowing life to sweep us along, taking us places we don’t want to go, robbing us of time well-spent and ultimately robbing us of our deepest need–PEACE.

Organized Simplicity challenged our family to craft a “family purpose statement”. Before you think that sounds cheesy, hear the point:

With a stated, agreed upon purpose, you can begin to evaluate every decision, every activity and opportunity in light of your purpose. Because the reality is, we CAN’T do everything. So, unless we intentionally choose the things that best fulfill our “purpose”, our time will be robbed by the lesser things, ultimately diminishing our very quality of life.

Example: suppose one of the things in your family’s purpose statement is “more time for relationships”. Friday you are invited to a Tupperware Party. You have also been wanting to have the new neighbors over for a while. In light of your statement, you need to decide which of the two will best fulfill your purpose. Maybe the party, maybe having the neighbors over. But with a written purpose, it helps you choose deliberately.

We are a society who has bigger houses than ever, fewer people occupying them than ever, spending less time in them than ever and more in debt from buying more stuff than ever, with the least amount of time to enjoy it than ever. Realistically, the typical American family is trying to keep a pace that is insane.

We have the power to stop the insanity! We CAN live intentionally. We can choose to embrace the important things in life. But first we have to stop, get off the wheel and begin to simplify.

Join me in the upcoming posts for more practical ideas to simplify your life!

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23 Responses

  1. The funny thing is, my husband is unemployed right now so I am selling Tupperware AND having a party Friday! 🙂 I was convicted what you were writing anyway and then you wrote that and I knew God was speaking directly to me! He is so incredible that way! Thanks for sharing! You are a blessing!

  2. Awesome! I am looking forward to this. I love the Bible story in Luke 12 and use it to explain to my family why we shouldn’t store what we don’t need.

    Now, ‘need’ is the tough thing to figure out. How many pants (toy cars, sweatshirts, semi-worn-out shoes, etc.) does each child/parent ‘need’?

    Even if something is ‘good’ but you don’t use it, you should get rid of it, in my opinion.

    In a way, I would like to start from scratch. It’s the chance to REALLY be intentional!

  3. You and I are on the same page sister! I’ve been working on a post in my mind about this very subject. Hopefully it will be up in a few days. I look forward to hearing more from you on this subject. Blessings, Milah

  4. So do you have trouble actually putting this into practice when the time comes? I really want to think like that. But I end up not. Let us know how it goes, please!

  5. Here’s another good simplicity book:

    I have also half-joked that a tornado would make improvements around here! I am so sick of STUFF. I really want to just sell or give it all away and move into a rv as a full-time traveling homeschooling family. But also trying to be content in the here and now.

    Looking forward to your next post on this subject. Love your blog!

  6. That is so weird, because I have been cleaning out closets and drawers to get rid of stuff that has just been cluttering up our home. This very week I got both Tupperware AND Pampered Chef party invitations!!! Have you been reading my mind or what? Sounds like a great series, and I am looking forward to it!

  7. This post is the second place in recent weeks that I’ve read the recommendation to write up a family purpose statement. I see the value in it, but feel kinda clueless as to how to carry it out. Did your book have practical ideas?

  8. Thanks i think i really needed that.Pls just pray for me that i will have strength to do it & God’s grace in accepting some things in life which i know i need to accept.

  9. Hey Kelly,

    Can you tell me who wrote the book and where I might find it. Feel as though God is convicting us as a family in this area, but need some help as to where to start. Thanks!

  10. I love this post! I can’t wait to see the new posts you will do on this topic!

    Amy Jo

    So glad your getting your new home built!

  11. My husband just built a small house, which we had planned to sell. God had other plans for us and we just moved in to the new house this week. It is a small house, nothing fancy, but it’s all we need. While we were on vacation we wanted to buy a new picture/sign for the house- our sign says “Simplify.” When I saw it I felt as if God had put it there for us. That is our new theme. We want to do more for Him, and in order to do that He has asked us to Simplify! Thank you for this post because it gave me the assurance I needed to let me know we are on the right path!

  12. I like the “family purpose statement” idea. I remember, several years ago, going through a Fascinating Womanhood course where my husband and I were asked to list our top 3 goals as a family and top things we would change if we could. I think that might make a good starting point for crafting a purpose statement, and am going to try it this weekend.

    1. It is the “fujita” scale, used to measure the intensity of a tornado based on how much damage it does to a man-made structure. The tornado that hit our home was rated an F5, and I understand the most destructive tornado to hit the US since the one in the 1920’s. It was a record-breaker for our state and I’m pretty sure for the country in terms of death toll. A tornado can be rated an F6 but has hardly ever rated. F5 is generally known as the most intense tornado possible.

  13. I have been following you blog since the tornado. I do agree with you and have been struggling with simplicity myself. Looking at the things I am involved with and what really matters in life. While my children are all older and the baby is in college, I am praying for direction in this new season of life. I would love to find a copy of this book and read it too! I look forward to hearing more insights from your reading.

  14. We are also doing some major decluttering in our home because we want more time to enjoy each other and I’m tired of picking up and cleaning all this “stuff.” It’s a good experience for the children also. Our motto for this season: Is it a NEED or a WANT?

    Thank you for sharing your powerful testimony to God’s goodness even in the mist of struggles. How is the Lee family doing? Will continue to pray for them and your family!

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