Sunday, June 13, 2010

Greetings from Maui

I've come to the conclusion that to LIVE BIG (which is the name of my most recent book that purports to have some answers in it on this topic)...you really have to live small. I know that may not make sense at first blush, but here's the gist of what I have discovered in the past six months that I wish had made it into the book before it was published:

I'm living in a 650 sq. ft. condo in Maui. My daughter and her husband (newly married) are renting my CA place from me. I have left my car on the mainland with a young couple from church who only had one car, so I ride a $129 blue Lady's Beach Cruiser bike (love it!!) and take a bus wherever I want to go. I only buy what I can carry in my bike basket or backpack. My church is a little 1850's Hawaiian chapel that seats 70 people and sings/prays sometimes in Hawaiian. My entertainment is a movie at the theater every 3 months or a rental for $3.99 from ITunes --and a daily swim in the ocean. I only eat out once or twice a month for a delicious burger, unless I have family visiting! I have 3-4 casual outfits in the closet and wear flip flops most days...unless I'm in tennis shoes out for a walk. I brought over 100 lbs of "my stuff" (lots of that was for our September training event here), and the rest fits in a CA storage unit that is a 5' x 10'. I gave tons away to family, friends, and Goodwill -- before I moved.

Ok...you get the idea. I live a very simple life, and frankly, I CAN'T REMEMBER when I have been this happy or productive! (Am on an Oct 31st deadline writing a DVD Curriculum for Youth, a parent trade book, and a student devotional trade book.) True, I'm looking at the ocean when I type -- and I understand that is a huge part of my joy. But, my conclusion is this:

LESS IS BETTER. SIMPLE IS GREAT. SMALL MAKES ROOM FOR LIVING BIG IN AREAS THAT MATTER!

Tell me what you think? Does this sound right to you, or am I just awestruck at the beauty of the Islands? Trust me, I thank God a zillion times a day for the location, but with that out of the equation, is my conclusion correct? (Sure don't want God to test my simplicity theory by moving me; would rather have you help me sort out my thoughts!)

Mahalo for sharing your thoughts,
Katieb

13 comments:

Yvonne said...

Love your thoughts, Katie! We share much in our philosophies of life. I too am a life coach and love the simple life and slowing the pace for soul restoration. Would love to meet and talk.
Blessings,
Yvonne Hart
Oak Ridge, TN
AFocusedPurpose.com

jongekrijg said...

I agree but the world is shouting somthing different...the more we have the happier we will be, etc. I have found the more you have, the more you have to fix, paint, winterize,clean,store,repair...well you get the point. Then we become so busy with all of this "stuff" we end up not enjoying the life God has given us at all...we are too pre-occupied with all the busy work the "things that were supposed to make us happy" created. "Be Still and Know that I am God" I think I need to say or hear that 25 times a day!

TradingMyStuffs said...

Our riches consist not in the extent of our possessions, but in the fewness of our wants.

Janet said...

I totally agree...I've experienced 2 deaths in the last 7 months and watched my good girlfriend pass as well as my father in February pass to be with the Lord. Although they were both believers, and I know, are having a party with the Lord, the losses were both really huge for me and I withdrew for a while. I'm a sanguine personality, have 3 kids, church, ministry, etc and I have found the SPACE to HEAR GOD!!!! Honestly, I made a decision to stop a few things so I could be in the moment and feel, listen and really feel God's presence.
In all this loss, God has been there to comfort and hold me up...if I hadn't made a decision to stop....really stop, I would not have had this life changing experience!
I've been able to focus on my dreams- to write and speak, and grow into a more Godly woman.
YOU inspire me ... thank you for your service to us all!

Sharon Newhardt said...

Great observations, Katie!

RosalieG said...

Yes, your theory is correct.

I de-cluttered in order to sell my home. By the end it felt spacious and peaceful. I'm glad computers with virtual storage space have replaced reams of printed papers, and that the Internet has replaced an encyclopaedia collection

Melissa said...

I couldn't agree more! I know that when I keep my life simple and not focused on all the materialistic "stuff" that can be consuming, I am so much more content and joyous. When Jesus is the first focus, everything else just falls into place :). We are surrounded by a world that thinks more is better which is so hard to not get reeled in by that thought pattern. A wise pastor spoke on how everything to do with Jesus and His character is opposite of what the world thinks is good and it is so true. Following Him is going against the norm but is so much more fulfilling!

Diane Nelson said...

Hi - I am applying to be a life purpose coach and LOVE your thoughts. Living God-sized dreams means living simply and in total dependence on God. P.S. I met you in April at the Free to be Intentional conference in MN at the Blessings booth.
Diane Nelson, Fargo, ND

heisthegodwhosees said...

I absolutely agree. Katie, we met a couple of years ago when you interviewed me on stage. My life had become simpler... I and my two precious little girls left an unsafe home and started a new life - a much simpler and happier life. I am now a senior in college majoring in Christian Studies and I work for our church. God is so good!

I have found I am so much happier with having only what I need. Plus there is less to dust! We walk to the store, walk to church, swim, and play. The simple life is a good one.

Side note...one of my friends and I decided our gift to ourselves after graduation is a trip to Hawaii. How funny is that. The beach is my happy place.

Thank you my friend for the strength and encouragement.

Penny said...

Katie,

God is doing this simplification in my life at this moment. My husband and I are leaving his position as a bi-vocational pastor (he has a separate full-time job also) and my job as an adjunct college instructor, our big beautiful custom-built home, and life in a beautiful area. We are leaving it for a full-time pastorate in another state. He will have one job--as a shepherd of God's people, and I will devote myself to raising our four great kids and supporting him in his ministry, and I will pursue my passion for ministering to women through writing, speaking and coaching. We will do this from a rental house half the size of our current home on half the salary we currently live on. And I anticipate the same kind of joy you are experiencing. I praise God for the work He has done in our lives to prepare us for this downsize, and I know it won't be the last either!

Penny said...

Katie,

God is doing a similar work in my life. My husband and I are downsizing greatly for him to take a full-time pastorate in another state. We are trading a large, expensive home for a rental half its size and him having two jobs and me being employed to him having one job equal to half our current salary. I, too, believe that in order to live big, I must live small. Amidst our transition, I know that I will experience blessings from living more simply. I also look forward to launching my own Life Purpose Coaching business, as I will finish level 2 with Geri Swingle in August. God has given me a vision to minister to women through writing, speaking and coaching and I look forward to having time to pursue my purpose.

Pam said...

You are so right on. I can hear and see God in things when I have decluttered my life and my mind. When I turn off the TV and quiet my soul...when I am able to steal moments away with my God. Then, the fast pace of life all around me can not press in. Psalm 16:6 says that He had laid boundary lines for me in please places. I love that, living within his boundary lines I can not be shaken as the Psalms go on to say in Psalm 16:8. Thank you for bringing these thoughts to the table... they are so freeing!

Sandra said...

I agree, less is more, a simply life is easier to manage, less stressful. I think the dictates of the world put undue pressures on people giving the impression we can have it all. Well, we might, but it typically comes with a price tag, our health suffers, strife in marriages, families, financial debt. Ultimately finding a good balance
brings peace with contentment.