We are just starting the DVD study together. It is really good -- as in any study where you want growth -- you have to work at it. Stop making excuses and become the person God wants you to be: which is hopefully the person you want to be too
Are we living the life God called us to live? Doing so, Hybels says, means uncluttering our souls. It means we stop doing the stuff that doesn't matter and concentrate on what does. It is a simplified life, but, Hybels writes, Simplified living is about more than doing less. It is being who God called us to be, with a whole hearted, single-minded focus. (2)
He writes about a handful of practices that will orient us toward a simplified life. He helps us identify what drains us and what replenishes us. He encourages us to control our calendar and our finances. He considers the role of our job. He helps us deal with offenses and anxiety (productive and destructive fear). He explores relationships (real friendship), adopting a life verse, and identifying the season of life we are in.
Each chapter examines the practice and assesses what Scripture says about it. He has included very practical Action Steps at the end of each chapter. Those help us look at our own lives and then incorporate into our lives the principles he's presented.
This book is about uncluttering our souls. The book is not so much about stuff as it is our commitments, our relationships, those things to which we give time and energy. He has included three filters at the end of the book through which we can screen our activities and relationships.
If you are ready to focus on the life God has for you, one of intentionality and purpose, this book is a great resource to get you on your way.
Food for thought:
The path to simplicity is not for the faint of heart. (12)
My schedule is far less about what I want to get done and far more about who I want to become. (35)
Bill Hybels' Simplify encourages us to take a long hard look at all of the things we have allowed to crowd into our lives. The very things that may be crowding out our relationship with God. From the practical (schedules, work and finances) to the personal (self-care, forgiveness and relationships) to the physical (ministry, life-changes and legacy), Hybels challenges us to listen to God in determining our life priorities. And then to ruthlessly eliminate anything that stands in the way of pursuing Gods presence and meeting the goals of a life well-lived.
Hybels pulls no punches with the reader. He calls us out on our modern-day lives and backs it up with scripture. After helping us to assess where we are in a particular area of life and determining that we need to make a change, Hybels ends each chapter with action steps to correct the problem areas. You gotta love a book that both helps you identify a problem and find the solution.
It seems as though the topics of busyness, organization, and decluttering are running circles through the blogosphere with mothers and women in general. Ive always enjoyed finding new ways to organize my home and my schedule and eliminate all unnecessary burdens. Almost everything Ive read thus far in regards to decluttering your life has been in reference to more practical solutions to material entities. So needless to say I was intrigued to find this book that focused on decluttering our soul.
Hybels intention with such a book is to provide years of experience on what works and what does not work with decluttering our souls for an authentic and intense relationship with Christ. Essentially, he claims that we can simplify our lives and live a richer, fuller everyday life with friends, family, coworkers, and God. Simplified living is about more than doing less. Its being who God called us to be, with a wholehearted, single-minded focus.
He outlines 10 actions, along with personal reflection questions, we can complete in order to accomplish a satisfied life. Each chapter also includes action steps to assist in accomplishing the objective.
exhausted to energized by replenishing your energy
overscheduled to organized by prioritizing your calendar
overwhelmed to in control by mastering your finances
restless to fulfilled by refining your career choices
wounded to whole by practicing forgiveness
anxious to peaceful by confronting your fears
isolated to connected by deepening your friendships
drifting to focused by choosing and then living out your life verse
stuck to moving on by welcoming new seasons in your life
from meaningless to satisfied by choosing to live now in the light of eternity
Of few of the subsequent questions for personal reflection are as follows:
How would I spend my time if I truly believed and lived as if God were in charge of it?
Am I living my life as though God's current provision for me is not enough? Am I joyfully living within this provision?
Knowing that simple decisions have generational legacies, what investment of my time am I taking with my husband, my children and those I love?
Am I fearful and deceived, or am I allowing Christ to reign fully within me, his hand steadying me as I walk on the waters of life?
Am I thinking in terms of the years for this present life, or in the immensity of the eternal?
What is God wanting to teach me in my current season of life? Is Christ enough for me?
I love Hybels writing style. He includes a humor to lighten the mood but is always bold with his thought provoking questions. Its always beneficial for the author to include his own experience, failures and successes for further support of his claim. Right from the start, he mentions the typical exhausted, overwhelmed, overscheduled, anxious, isolated, dissatisfied attitude of todays generation. Although he touched slightly on biblical references or historical significances, it seemed the overall atmosphere of the book was similar to a motherhood declutter class.
I do believe the book holds significance and practical suggestions for relieving yourself of busyness, but I think to declutter our soul comes more from a right relationship with Christ than practical actions steps.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher as part of their review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.