I woke up early each morning to the creak of our cabin and the wind brushing my face as I slept on the top bunk, right next to the open window.
I climbed down the ladder and walked through a winding path, under a canopy of bright green leaves.
The leaves crunched underneath my feet and there was something about going out into the world without having looked in a mirror that made me feel natural and truly authentic. Like I somehow fit in more with the nature around me because I was just as authentic and in my natural state as the creation I was walking through.
The woods felt thick with expectancy. It was as though the trees, and the sunshine, and the lively wind were preparing for the hundreds of young lives that were about to spring out of their cabins and hoop and holler through yet another full day at camp.
It was silent as I opened the door to the lodge and poured the thick black coffee into my white styrafome cup.
Pulling my flannel a little tighter to shield myself against the cool morning air, I would select the perfect spot on the wide front porch and sit down, full of expectancy and confidence that Jesus would meet me.
And He did.
Sometimes I would read, or write, or just sit there, staring out at the camp gently enveloped in the glow you only see at sunrise.
I breathed…something I hadn’t done in months.
Those moments were sweet and sacred for me. My favorite memories of this summer were the ones I spent sitting on that front porch wrapped in flannel and sipping black coffee and communing with Jesus.
I honestly don’t remember everything I thought about from that front porch or everything I was praying about or everything I read.
But there was one statement that continues to play over and over and over again in my head after I returned home.
I had written it in my journal, almost frantically and without considering the cost of the statement.
Without thinking twice, I had written, “Life here seems simple and I long so desperately for a simple life.”
It may not seem like much to you.
But for me, it was as though that statement had been pounding on a door inside of me, just waiting to be spoken and acknowledged.
And once I created the space… it finally broke through.
It shocked me and was familiar to me all at the same time.
Because, here’s the thing.
I’m most often known as the achievement-aholic, extroverted girl who has 5 million big dreams and careful plans to make them all come true.
I can think of many words to describe my life.
Wild, exciting, thrilling, full, busy.
Isn’t that for…the weak?
The normal people?
Aren’t I better than just wanting…simple?
But in that moment, when my truest desires were unleashed and given the platform, my soul screamed for simplicity.
For times of silence.
For moments of pause.
For baseball hat wearing and wild hair days.
For walking slower and leaving my phone behind.
For forgetting about a calendar and seeing the opportunities that were all around me.
For being impressed by Jesus, instead of impressed by myself.
I wanted simplicity.
What do you actually desire?
When you take a moment to pause, to center yourself, to exist… what is your soul screaming?
Is it screaming for attention or for care?
Is it yearning for a pause?
It is seeking purpose and fulfillment outside of your to-do list?
The thing about my simple life is that I still have big dreams, and audacious plans, and lots of stuff to do.
I still love grand adventures and I still want a wild and full life.
But I have started to ground myself in simplicity.
And from that foundation I am better able to bring simplicity and beauty and pause even into the craziness of life.
My pace of life hasn’t exactly slowed down.
But here is what has changed.
I’m grounded in simplicity.
Every morning, my day starts the exact same way.
For this adventurer, consistency wasn’t really ever my thing.
But for my simple life, it has to be.
For me, this means setting my alarm earlier than my first meeting or deadline or work day.
I pour myself the strongest cup of black coffee I can make, grab my Bible and head outside to commune with my Savior.
I write out my prayers, or I read His word, or I listen to music or I just….pause.
I ground myself in simplicity.
The beauty of this discipline has made me wonder why I didn’t start doing this years ago.
But that doesn’t matter now.
And so can you.
Life is crazy sometimes.
There are things to do, places to see, experiences to relish, people to be loved, and wonder to be had.
So before you do all the good, crazy, overwhelming, amazing, beautiful life stuff… make sure to ground yourself in the simplicity of who you are in the eyes of your Creator.