Book Review: Destination Simple

So much of simple living is in the art of noticing. . . if I had to sum this book up in one idea it would be this: become a noticer.

Brooke McAlary is a blogger and podcaster at Slow Your Home. She wrote this tiny book as a great place to start for simplifying your life. It’s not about decluttering your possessions, but more about decluttering your mind and life. She gives several basic “rituals and rhythms” to put into practice, with the goal of making your life simpler and more intentional.

I adore how small this book is. I picked it up yesterday and finished it today. The layout inside and her simplistic writing style makes it a quick, easy read. I also appreciate that she is more focused on how we live and our daily habits than on a one-stop, easy fix. Brooke recognizes that simple living is a conscious choice we must make every day; and she teaches us in this book how to start moving in that direction.

Her ideas are sustainable and uncomplicated, and I’m excited to put some of them into practice in my own life. While Brooke’s suggestions and philosophy is not inherently Christian, they certainly can be applied to the life of a believer. My goal with simplifying my life should be to make time for what is most important: spending time with the Lord, serving Him and others, and becoming more like Him. If my life is cluttered and overbooked, if I’m constantly stressed out, or if my mornings are rushed and I don’t make time to spend with God, I will not live a victorious Christian life, I will not make time for loving others, and I will be easily frustrated and disappointed.

One of my favorite chapters was on the concept of “tilting.” It’s sort of the opposite of balance, which is talked about a lot when we try to reorganize and prioritize our lives. Tilting means that we lean into the areas that need to take more time and focus than others. These areas will change – work, family, health, and so on. But we have to be aware of what needs more focus at a given time. We cannot simultaneously balance every aspect of our life at every moment.

The physical act of tilting means we’re leaning in to one thing, and leaning out of another. We can’t be everything to everyone in every moment, and tilting makes it clear that by saying yes to one thing, we’re saying no to another in that moment. And what’s more, it’s OK to do so. Conversely, tilting actually helps us to achieve balance of a longer period of time. Instead of battling to find it every day, it’s more important to create balance over a month – or a year. If we take a longer view of balance, it’s much easier to see if we’re living the way we want to e, or what areas we need to focus on more.

page 107, para. 2, italics added for emphasis.

I 100% recommend this book for anyone who wants to simplify their life, but feels overwhelmed at the thought of decluttering or 10-step programs or long books about minimalism. You could pick it up and read it in one sitting, and I believe it would be a help to you.

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