Tag Archives: Simplicity

What do you watch out for?

What do you watch out for?

The prompt this week for Scribble Picnic, an art co-operative, is Watch out.

How often as parents have we said those words? “Watch out.” “Don’t trip on that log.” ‘Don’t run into that table.”

As parents we are conscious of what can happen if a child makes a careless move.

Recently my granddaughter has twice tripped and fallen. She got a goose-egg on her forehead  both times. She is three years old. Will she do it again? Probably. But I am sure she is becoming more aware that she has to watch out where she walks. All paths are not clear of objects.

How often do we do that in our lives? How often can we see trouble coming if we say something and do something? But we do it anyway. We don’t always watch out even though the signs are there.

There are many “watch out”s in the Bible. Here is one that I think we all might take a closer look at.

Don’t be greedy.

 Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions (Luke 12:15, NIV).

watch out

I do Bible painting in a special Bible just for art. It helps me remember verses that are important to me. As soon as I read the prompt “watch out”, many verses came to mind. But at the moment decluttering has been on the top of my list. I have pitched (given away) lots of stuff. I have more to go. It is freeing for my mind and soul.

I found this article amazing in how much stuff we are accumulating that we don’t use or need.

21 Surprising Statistics That Reveal How Much Stuff We Actually Own

Lately I have been reading much about simplicity. How much do we really need? There are many articles that show that the more clutter we have the more cluttered our minds become.

Here are some good sites if you are interested in decluttering:

Modern Simplicity by Sandy Kreps

Passionate Homemaking

365 Less Things

Stop Household Clutter 

I have written about decluttering my mind in order to pray.

How to Live simply.


watch out

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by Rose Harmer

In our morning family devotional time, we read Luke 14, where, at the end of the chapter, Jesus talks about the cost of being His disciple.  When we ask Christ to be Lord in our lives, I believe for some people He orchestrates circumstances to help us remember our commitment.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight……… and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 KJV).

In the Living Bible the same verse says:

“Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down.”

In 1995, perhaps it was our dream home built on a two hundred foot canal complete with a large swimming pool and all the possessions which people accumulate over the years that prevented us from “running the race set before us”. My husband Bob was given a diagnosis of ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with only one to three years to live.  His prominent symptom was he could not lift his arms straight up – perhaps the “weights” we had accumulated was weighing him down.  It is a disease which seems to occur more often in men involved in a career involving physical strength.  Lou Gehrig’s is the street name for this disease and he was a very popular baseball player in the early days.

Bob’s dream, encouraged by the many postcards of traveling friends, was to take early retirement, buy a fifth wheel and travel throughout Canada and the United States.  Since God is Lord, it seemed as if I needed to consent.  At the time, I was the director of a nonprofit Christian counseling center which I had founded with 15 employees.  However, my pastor and board encouraged me to take a six month leave of absence.

We did exchange our lovely home, gardens and possessions for a used fifth wheel and a new truck. God kindly allowed us to sell the house furnished in a short time.  We adopted a simpler lifestyle for ten years – living in 300 square feet instead of 2400 square feet.  But we have traveled to every province and state in Canada and the United States.  We have seen God’s mighty hand at work in our lives with many prayers answered.  Bob is still living after sixteen years with the disease.

Christ wants to be Lord.  Relinquishment comes in many forms.  Is there anything in your life which you feel God wants you to lay at the foot of the cross?

Rose Spillenaar Harmer





Rose was born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, to a missionary family.  She speaks on many subjects related to marriage, family and mental health and still counsels but travels throughout North America in the spring and summer and winters in Cape Coral, Florida. Her published works include a short biography in Clayton’s Kids (2009) and a column entitled “Listening” which will be part of a forth-coming book. Contact Rose.


Praying Our Lives

Twice today in the space of about 15 minutes God reminded me about simplicity. First I met a woman who had a garage full of stuff and talked about needing to get rid of things. She knows the need; now she needs the courage to do it. Next I read a post called “Redefining Simple Living: Enjoying the Things You Love” and can be found at Simple Mom.

These incidents made me think of our prayers to God. Do we feel we need to set aside a time to pray; to say the right things; to speak “holy”; or to be reverent? All of those things are good. But simplifying our idea of prayer might take our communication with our Lord to a new dimension.

What if we learned to just talk – like we do with a good friend or parent or sibling? What if we laid out exactly what is on our minds? Do you think marvelous things might happen? I do.

God says in His Word that we are to come to Him. In Born to be Wild, Ed Underwood makes this clear.

“Then they [the members of a Christian group he had joined] began to talk to God about people, some of the people I knew. I guessed that this must be how they prayed. Didn’t sound like any prayer I had ever heard at Grandma Sister Patrick’s little country church. It was just conversation …” [page 35].

Conversation is the key word here. We simply come and talk to God.

“Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live” (1Thessalonians 5:16-18, The Message).

Prayer becomes simple when we pray our lives (talk to God all the time) rather than say our prayers.


Heavenly Father, help us to open our lives to You. We know that You know all about us, but desire us to talk to you about our lives. Help us to simplify our prayers so that we can pray our lives. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.