Learning to simplify

Next year holds the potential of being completely different than this year .. Of course it is expected, seeing as I will no longer be a college student, care free and young. I will be a real person, more than that, I may very well be in a developing country doing service. The applications are in, one for a program in South Africa and another for a program in Haiti, two programs that could potentially turn my life upside down.. No more technology, no more calls home when I miss my mom, no more home cooked meals or shopping at the mall. Life will certainly be simplified to say the least. So I guess I need to find ways to start preparing for this.

My mom and I talked about it on the phone tonight. I don't want anything expensive for Christmas, not an Ipod or a digital camera, not really anything technological. Little by little, I am beginning to inch myself towards a more simplistic lifestyle, one that incorporates more prayer, more trust in God and more gratitude for the little things in life, the things that money cannot by.

It is probably the hardest this time of year, we say its all about friends and family and memories, but I often see my friends pulling their hair out over buying for people on their lists or my family trying to get out of my what I want.. What do I really want? The simple things in life-- smiles, hugs, letters, love, conversation, encouragement, understanding -- let these simple things settle in my heart instead of under my tree.