Most people couldn’t imagine how to live simply when you have children – because they take so much of someone’s time, money, and effort – at least for those who are growing or are still toddlers.
But this, I have discovered: simplicity is possible with anyone and everyone. In fact, one of the main reasons why my wife and I decided to live a simple life was because of our daughter, Ryah.
We began living a simple life because we want Ryah to learn:
- That we don’t need material things to be happy. We own fewer things today than three years ago, yet we’re still happy. Or happier. Our joy comes from God’s presence in our family, and our relationship with one other.
- That we don’t need to live life like somebody else. We don’t compete with any family, and we don’t aim to copy any family’s life. We don’t base our plans, ambitions, decisions, expectations, and actions from any family. The foundation of our family is God’s Word. We proactively live as the Spirit leads us to live.
- That we live within our means. Although Ryah is still too young to understand, we are slowly inculcating in her mind the joy of being debt-free, and our family’s desire to stay out of it.
- That we gladly share to others. Since we’ve simplified our life, Ryah has been a witness to us giving away most of our stuff. And she has somehow learned that toys are just toys, stuff are just stuff. They are meant to be used to build relationships by sharing with others, and not to hoard.
- That spending time with her is more important than buying things. When we give Ryah gifts, we focus on giving her a fun and memorable experience, rather than something material. The happiest and most memorable moments of our days are the minutes just before bedtime. We cuddle, wrestle, and play with each other’s cheeks and noses, until we’re ready to doze off.
Living simply has allowed us to focus on Ryah’s needs more than anything else. And now, with the coming of our second child, our son Rafa, I know that decision to live a simple life will benefit us even more.