Living Simply by Fiona Castle & Jan Greenough
Reviewed by Grace Bates
If you are anything like me, your life is full of clutter – some openly on show but much else buried in cupboards or hidden deep within the recesses of my heart — all of which can lead me away from God. Jesus led a simple life and calls his followers to do the same. In this continuing time of austerity, and with much of the world in a state of exodus and/or poverty, the need for us to clear the clutter and live a far simpler life becomes increasingly more important.
Following an eye-opening trip to Peru, Fiona Castle returned home resolved to carry out a life audit, from which she wrote this book ‘Living Simply – decluttering your heart and home’, in which she suggests three areas that require examining and re-assessing in order to achieve this:
Physical (possessions), Emotional (hopes, fears and relationships) and Spiritual (assumptions, ambitions and attitudes).
Starting at the front door of an imaginary home, Fiona walks through room-by-room examining, challenging and making suggestions on what causes clutter and ways we can deal with it, all the while pointing towards God’s way with bible verses, prayers, action and ‘stop and think’ points dotted throughout the chapters. Although not all the ‘rooms’ will be relevant to individual readers, personally I found them worth a read through for the insights they may offer.
This book is easy to read but much harder to honestly digest and put into action as it requires change! Although it could be read in one sitting, perhaps it is best read in small chunks chapter by chapter with a thoughtful, prayerful and honest attitude and with a pen and paper close at hand to jot down what speaks to or challenges you.
If God is nagging at you to do something about the clutter in your life and you are then prepared to make changes – some painful or costly – then this thought-provoking and gently challenging book is for you.
As Fiona says on page 12 “Let’s examine ways of living more simply, so that we can simply live – in the way God wants us to.”