Tis the gift to be simple, this the gift to be free

mommabirdOctober 24, 2011

My Sunday School class is doing a 5 week short study on the book Discovering Joy through Simplicity and Generosity by Adam Hamilton. This book is wonderful and I highly recommend it to my THS organizing friends! The basic tenet is that simplicity frees us. It does - I've let so much stuff go over the past year and I feel so free right now! In the book, Hamilton keeps going back to the Shaker Hymn:

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free

'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gained,

To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed,

To turn, turn will be our delight,

Till by turning, turning we come 'round right.

Since we've been studying this book I've been meditating on it while doing chores, purging and organzing. It is a gift to be simple, and it is freeing. Less stuff = more freedom. Freedom from the stress of clutter that ruled my life for 20+ years, freedom from debt; I just paid off the last of my joint debt from divorce this month! WOO HOO! Now I have a mortgage and small car payment - that's it! With freedom from stuff-itis, I will stay out of debt, and get the car paid off within 10 months.

I'm also not ashamed to "bow and to bend." I'm not ashamed to tell family and friends I don't want to go out to eat because it's not in my spending plan for the week. I'm not ashamed to tell my friend I don't want to go shopping with her becuase I have ENOUGH, but I'd love it if she stopped by to have a cup of coffee with me after her shopping. With Christmas coming up, I'm not ashamed to tell family that I have to scale back this year, including my kids.

I hope you all enjoy this little book as much as I have. It's a slim volume, quick read but packed with wisdom.

Here is a link that might be useful: Enough

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jannie

I remember that song myself, I believe it's Aaron Copeland who wrote the music. Congratulations on simplifying your life. Getting rid of clutter and debt are my current projects right now. Bad news is I owe around $62,000. Yikes! But the good news is I am on track to having it all paid off in less than three years. Mommabird, you are proof that it can be done! Thanks for your vey eloquent posting. I'll look for that book.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 8:23AM
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LuAnn_in_PA

"I believe it's Aaron Copeland who wrote the music."

Nope... it was written by a Shaker Elder in the mid 1800s, well before Copeland was born.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 10:00AM
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lazy_gardens

Copeland used it, and several other tunes, for his "Appalachian Spring" composition.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 1:18PM
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jannie

Thank you, LuAn and Lazy, for clarifying the music.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 1:45PM
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karinl

Thank you for posting this song! I used to sing it with my daughter all the time but it's been so long that it was quite the exercise dredging the tune out of my brain. I couldn't find a Youtube rendition that quite matches how we sing it (and that's not just because we sing out of tune :-)), but we love it. It is a real spirit lifter.

Karin L

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 1:30PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

We have this in our house...

Here is a link that might be useful: Simple Gifts music box

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 3:11PM
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mommabird

I used to sing this to my sons as a lullaby, too. Now my youngest son is playing it in 6th grade band. He plays marimba and I love hearing him practice every day!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 8:57PM
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