Simplicity

One thing American culture and Korean culture have in common is a love for technology and the accumulation of possessions.

Literally everyone here has a smartphone (and is using it constantly––on the subway, while walking down the street, during class, you name it). Counter to both cultures, I have always attempted to keep my life simple. (Probably because I went to a Quaker school for twelve years and absorbed more of the Quaker mindset than I realized.)

phoneI bought my first iPod about a year after everyone else did, and I have yet to use a smartphone (though I might have to get one next year… using Skype on the subway would be awesome). I’ve never been a big shopper or made too much of an effort to keep up with fashion trends, and I’ve always preferred eating in to dining out.

I can also go a little overboard sometimes in throwing things away and in deleting emails. There are other factors that influence a lot of these tendencies (like the fact that I don’t like spending money), but I think the biggest motivation has always been my desire to keep my life as uncluttered and uncomplicated as possible.

I plan on preserving this lifestyle as much as possible in this modern age, but lately I’ve begun to think I’ve been confusing simplicity with settling.

I have never been very ambitious.

Despite being told I have the ability to do many different things, I’ve never wanted much more than a simple life: to have a family, do something I find meaningful, and love those around me. In some ways, my thoughts about the future remain the same. Having a high-power position or making a lot of money doesn’t appeal to me nearly as much as making a real difference in other people’s lives (something much harder to measure, but still an ambition in its own way).

But now, bigger visions for my future are starting to stir inside of me.

I’m realizing that keeping my life simple doesn’t mean I have to keep my dreams small.

I think I’ve always been afraid to dream big because I feared disappointment and lacked confidence in myself, but I’m starting to suspect that God’s plans for me are a lot bigger than I ever thought. Somehow I find myself surprisingly open to the idea.

stairsStep by step, I am climbing a staircase, reaching new levels, receiving more responsibilities, discovering new roles. Nothing is rushed or forced, I simply climb slowly and steadily. I am no longer settling for the safe area at the bottom of the stairs, but am venturing into unknown heights.

I cannot see what lies above me, but I know the One leading me, and I trust Him fully.

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Are there any ways you have been settling?

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Elizabeth is an American living in South Korea who believes in destiny, miracles, and living life intentionally. She holds to simple faith in a complex world, values the beauty of the everyday, and strives for vulnerability with other imperfect humans. She is always learning, laughing, and finding herself in awe of grace.

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