We are the Conleys. I am Amanda, my husband's name is Seth, and we have three boys: Kaleb (10), Elijah (6), and Emet (16 mos.) I had to think long and hard about how we as a family live a simple life. My mind went in several directions at once, until I boiled it all down to this; God doesn't ask us to do more than we can, in fact it is by what He has done that means anything at all; but what he does ask us to do is to believe what He says. (Romans chapter 4). This is as simple as it gets. I try to teach my children that believing is not just knowing, but actually acting on what you know. Such as: if you said you believed that the chair your host offered you was going to be sturdy enough to hold you, but you refused to sit in it, then you would not be truly believing (and you would hurt your host's feelings). So, in believing the Lord, we must know His Words and act on them.
-Our family lives simply by keeping our eyes on Jesus. We know that if we do this first, then everything else will fall into place according to His will. "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning it's shame, and sat down at the right hand of God." Hebrews 12:2
-We encourage each other and teach our children to stay in the Word of God. "Jesus answered, 'It is written:'Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."" Matthew 4:4
-We try to live with open hands by giving generously and trusting God to provide for us. (2 Corinthians 9:6-15, Matthew 6:25-34) We recently had our boys go through their room and give away toys to ThriftSmart which benefits New Hope Academy, Mercy Children's Clinic, African Leadership and the Belize Project. We make sure to talk to our kids about why we are giving.
-Prayer is another way that we live simply for the Lord. Sometimes there is nothing to do but pray. God promises to honor our prayers, and we teach our children that praying is like agreeing to open up our hearts before the Lord. We know that He always knows our hearts and everything that is going on in our life before we bring it to Him in prayer but prayer is important because:
*It is an act of belief. (Hebrews 11:6)
*It opens our eyes to the needs of others. (Ephesians 6:18 & James 5:13-16)
*It allows us to confess our sins. (1 John 1:9)
*It allows us to praise(Hebrews 13:15) thank (Philippians 4:6) God. And to know that He hears us!(1 John 5:14)
In my personal prayer life I not only pray for friends and family, but for our church, our country and the persecuted church. We don't live a perfect Christian life, nor is everything simple, but I am thankful that God has left us His Word that we might know Him and simply believe.