Simplicity: One Word Thoughts



For many people, January is the time for setting goals for the new year. Some like to choose one word to focus on rather than set lots of goals. For the past several years, I have joined the #oneword movement and at least have started out focusing on one word. This year I have been drawn to the word simplicity.

Not only do I want to clear the house of more clutter, I want to slow down, take note of the simple things, and generally enjoy life.


I only heard about the one word idea near the end of 2014. But looking back I realized that it was a year of enjoying some new things. I had started a blog, kept a couple of dairy goats and began taking karate. So I chose the word enjoy to finish out the year. In 2015, I chose the word intentional. I decorated a card and included the word on it to remind me. It was important to be intentional in my choices each day.



In 2016, I chose the word open. I wanted to be open to whatever God brought into my life that year. One of the things that happened is that my mom died in April of that year. But also I tried something new by joining in with a group writing every day in April, skipping weekends. It was themed A to Z, where each day we wrote about something beginning with consecutive letters of the alphabet. That was a fun challenge and also informational as I wrote about unusual animals.

I completed this art journal page with a poem I wrote in 2016 using the word open.

New Blog

Also, near the end of April, 2016, I stopped blogging at Blogger and began this new blog. So I don’t have blog posts to share more about my words for those first few years. In 2017, I chose the word wait.

I had been open to see what God would have me do, and now it was time to wait.

You can read more about it in Wait for God Rather than Rush Ahead.


simplicity entails waiting


For 2018, I chose the word hygge, a Danish word that evokes thoughts of a warm fire, a cozy nook, candles or just a feeling of welcome.  THIS POST will explain more about that. Simplicity is also what I think of with hygge – simplifying to have more time to enjoy. Last year my word was joy.

I learned throughout the year that even with sadness I can still have joy if my hope is in Christ.

In Joy: God is My Source of True Joy, you can read more about it and also a recap of how I perceived my 2017 word at the end of the year.


simplicity brings joy


Simplicity of Life

In the fall of 2019, the word simple seemed to keep showing up. My house was still so full of clutter. There were so many things on my mind. I was busy not only with chores, writing and my new hobby of watercolor painting, I was spending more time caring for our son, Stephen. He died the last day of November shortly after his 29th birthday. You can read some of my thoughts and poems concerning him HERE, HERE, and HERE .

Life is too short to have to constantly work around clutter, moving things to clean, putting them back, stepping over things in the way, etc.

I want to have more of an open rather than cluttered feel. We have been watching Tiny House Nation on Netflix. It’s amazing how open and inviting these tiny homes can feel by a creative use of space. I’ve come to the conclusion that we have too much stuff.




By simplifying there will be less to clean and care for and more time to enjoy what we have. It is much easier to relax when the area you are in is clean, airy and fresh. Something about that type of atmosphere is inspiring. 

There is much more to say about the idea of simplicity or simplifying my life. It is not only about decluttering stuff, but also clearing my mind of things that might weigh me down. Creating an atmosphere of calm rather than chaos is what I am hoping for.

With all of it I want to have an attitude that reflects thanksgiving, looking for the beauty and the good in the simple things, to really enjoy life.

I will continue these thoughts in a future post, but I want to leave you with this scripture that kind of relates to all my words including simplicity. It encourages me to pursue a simple, yet joyful life.

Ecclesiastes 3:11-13 NKJV)

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.


And this song beautifully illustrates the simplicity I desire:


I’m linking up with #HeartEncouragement, #TuneInThursday

6 thoughts on “Simplicity: One Word Thoughts

  1. Oh Gayl,I love your new word of “Simplify.” I think it’s something that the Lord would lead us all to look at more closely, to be ” looking for the beauty and the good in the simple things.” And I love the photo of your porch swing that symbolizes the heart to simplify. You have such a beautiful way of sharing the moments of your life, and expressing the ways that God is there in it all. My prayers are with you in this season, my dear poet/sister/artist/friend. Much love & hugs! xoxo

    1. Thank you, dear Bettie. I have to keep reminding myself of the simple things, looking for beauty even in the mess. I really want to declutter enough so that my home is more open and ready to welcome people in. I appreciate your prayers and love so much, dear friend. Yes, God is with me through every moment, and that’s how I am comforted and can have joy. Much love to you with many blessings, my sister/poet/artist/friend! xoxo

  2. It’s amazing to see others live with so much less space and make it work, isn’t it? Even coming here to the Netherlands, I have been amazed at the use of space (like putting the toilet under the stairs) and how homely people can make tiny spaces.

    My best friend (an American married to a Dutchie) lives in a really small house but every time I am there, it’s like I enter an oasis of calm. It wasn’t always like that. She has spent a lot of time sorting clutter over the years and investing in small changes that have made all the difference.

    What I love is that this change in her home has flowed from her conscious decision to be thankful for the space and life God has given her. That thankfulness exudes from her into her home and flows out into all those who visit. It fits so well with the Ecclesiastes verse you added here.

    She is an inspiration to me. I truly need to invest more in decluttering and simplifying: also in my mind. May God help us both to follow His direction in that. Always thankful for your promptings to focus on what matters.

    1. I love what you have described that your friend has done with her house. And you are right that thankfulness really does help move us forward. Instead of wishing things were different and complaining about it, by giving thanks for what we do have changes our attitudes.

      I started my gratitude journal near the end of November, and it really has made a difference. As you know it’s been hard for us losing our son, but by focusing on what I have to be thankful for I have been comforted.

      There is still clutter, but I am learning to keep taking steps to work on it. Still a long way to go. Yes, may God help us to follow His leading as we work to eliminate physical clutter and the clutter in our minds.

      Thank you for all your support and encouragement, dear Anna. Love and hugs to you my dear, sweet friend! xoxo

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