Highest Thinking and Simplest Living

Highest Thinking and Simplest Living

Editor’s Note: In 2017, Simplicity was the theme for the Living Education Retreat. I didn’t attend, but I did get to hear Mary Beuving’s recorded talk on her journey toward simplifying her life, getting rid of things to make room for people. Mary’s testimony is moving and inspiring, but also filled with practical wisdom for living joyfully with less. I hope all of you listening will be encouraged by her words, as I am every time I listen. Many thanks to Mary for allowing us to share her talk and to Sage Parnassus for providing the original recording.

– Brittney

As you listen to the talk, you can follow along with the slides.

11 Replies to “Highest Thinking and Simplest Living”

  1. Oh my, Mary – This is just so sincerely wonderful and inspiring and true. I love your mix of CM wisdom and other quotes with real life experience of your own. I especially appreciated your encouragement to remember that hard challenges are often the most fruitful in our teen’s lives (as well as our own) and the importance of not just holding out to them in books that our lives can be well spent. I cant stop thinking of your quote from War and Peace about emptying out our trunks of things…to make room for people. You have blessed me and I will continue to think of you as I spend some of my summer purging our home of the unnecessary. I so resonate with the truth that the work of teaching obedience in the long run, brings one of the greatest blessings of simplicity. May God continue to give powerful grace to you to bring healing and strength for the days yet to come. Amen.

    1. Thank you Anne,

      I appreciate your comment! Yesterday, I listened again to this recording, and I was a little stunned at some of the words that came out of my mouth. I had prayed a lot in preparing this talk, and I believe the Holy Spirit was truly guiding this time. So thank you for the encouragement, and thank the Lord it was a blessing!

      🙂 Mary

    1. Dear Mary,
      I just listened to your talk and was so intrigued by your part on discipline. I too am and adoptive mom 7 times and have for the most part very disciplined children. Our youngest still struggles to obey with a glad heart and I wonder what your ‘making’ them do something looked like? Guiding? Doing it with them? Talking through it? It’s very tiring work and she’s come so far. Just looking for support and encouragement.

      1. Hi Sharon,

        Blessings to you for your adoptions. That is really wonderful!
        Doesn’t so much go into “making” them do the thing they would rather not do? As I read through Charlotte’s volumes again, I have been struck this time by how much work goes into habit training in the first year of a child’s life…and if we were not present for that first year, what a hard road we have in front of us! I have found the consistency laid out in Charlotte’s words to be a true and trustworthy guide. I have found so much help in Volume 2, especially chapters 9 & 16 in some of those things. My husband always says it is clarity (clear expectations), consistency and consequences…I suppose that’s his way of saying “habit training”! Wish we could get coffee and swap stories!
        Take care, Mary

  2. Mary! Thank you. We’re also a fost-adopt family and we have 6 girls, 10 and under. Our littlest 2 came back to us in February unexpectedly and I wasn’t ready (long story! like foster care!). My life has been chaos ever since. Dealing with the trauma (theirs and ours) and the mayhem along with visits and social workers has just been so much more than I knew what to do with! We’ve done it all before, but this time was just so much more intense with the extra emotions and behaviors. Thanks for this talk. I’m going to follow your reading suggestions because I can tell a lot of these ideas are just what I needed to hear. <3

    1. Sami, you are doing such difficult work, bless you for it! I can imagine your chaos right now, and I will be praying for you. Thank you for your comment!
      I hope this placement can get some stability that it needs and that the Lord will bring peace to your home.

      Blessings to you,

  3. This message is so ministering, Mary Beuving. I admire your love and courage to face the challenge of bringing up children who were previously neglected. So much about parenting is humbling. Your daughter’s realization that before she knew you, and was brought into your family, she knew nothing about God, is touching. Your children’s joy of learning about Jesus and rejoicing in heaven, is a testimony that brought happy tears to my face. It, indeed, is the chief thing that we are called to do. And it does simplify family life when children are trained in the habit of obedience and grow in powers of self-government. I agree. Peace is the reward of months/years of steadfast effort. This grandmother is sorry such training is controversial today. Thank you for sharing from your heart, what God has been teaching you, especially the encouragement to make people our preference.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Karen! I appreciate your kind words, and I am grateful to the Lord that this talk has been a blessing.

      Thank YOU for your work in the Charlotte Mason community, you have certainly been an encouragement to me over the years!


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