He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young
. {Isaiah 40:11}

02 August 2013

Becoming a Minimalist : Day 1

I'm  not gonna lie... I have no idea where this series is going to lead. 
I don't think, for me, it is only a matter of material things.
We moved almost two years ago and, let me tell you, moving is an excellent way to come face-to-face with all your material "stuff". I was shocked that we needed an entire tractor trailer in order to move our things to the new house. Even with that we have extra to take in the car with us. Hubs and I agreed to never do that again. Instead, we will have a moving sale, open the front door, sell/give it all away, and start fresh somewhere else with the money we make.

Beyond the tangible stuff, though, I think this process will involve getting rid of excess in other areas too. Maybe relationally. Emotionally. Mentally. I don't know specifics yet but I'm gonna find out.
So what do you think? 
    if you need a boost and feel a constant undercurrent of stress
    if you're a mom and feel guilty for not doing more with your kids
    if you struggle with contentment
    if you find yourself often saying "I might need it someday"
    if you sometimes dream about having more time and money to do things you enjoy
    if you forgot what it's like to do things just for fun
    if you've ever purchased something only to realize later you already had it
would you think about joining me as I seek out practical ways to get rid of the excess in my life?

For a practical start I highly recommend two things.
1. Pray over the entire process. This all began with a prayer that I could efficiently simplify. I know that I have NEVER known the meaning of the word "need" in my life and I haven't lived that way for some time. For me, it's a heart change that needs to take place and so I pray because without Him I can do nothing. (John 15:5)
2. Get your hands on the book or ebook Simple Living by Loriless Lippincott. She a Christian who offers some really practical ways to get started. Some of the things she mentioned I had already done and heard suggested by others so I will share a few of these as I go along...

Starting today!

Day 1: Cleaning Out My Closet
Fling open the doors of your closet, open all the drawers of your dresser, and tell yourself...
If I haven't worn it in the past six months. 
If it doesn't fit me...
If I don't like it...
If it's uncomfortable...
It it's too revealing or immodest...
If my husband/wife doesn't like it...
If I've tried it on several times only to be unhappy with how it looks and put it back... 
If it's stained/ripped/damaged beyond repair...
If I'm hanging on to it only because I know a simple fix will give it new life (and I have been telling myself that for longer than a month and am not motivated to fix it RIGHT NOW)...

Set aside items for your own tag sale (you're probably gonna have loads of stuff to sell when this is all over). Donate them. Give the rags to a local animal shelter for bedding, cut them up for reusable baby wipes, or pitch them. Either way, get them out of your house.

The Rationale...
I have found myself folding 7-8 loads of laundry too many times. I kept asking myself why this was happening and I realized it was because it took me that many loads to realize that I was low on clothes which seemed so excessive to me. Yes, we have 6 people under our roof and four of them are ever-so-messy-but-beautiful munchkins, but I know in my heart that we have more than we need in this department and I also realize that if I we all have less clothes to wear, I won't have to wash as many (think of all the unmatched socks!). So keep that in mind... the more you get rid of now, the less you have to launder later! 

A Note...
In this entire process I find that I am my own worst enemy. I can rationalize/convince/excuse my way out of just about anything and up until now I have but I want a different life. I want that extra weight on my shoulders gone. I want to be consumed with my husband, my kids, and doing the things we love to do together. I no longer want to be caught up with the "have tos" of my life which, at this time, most often is "Of course we can go play at the park but you have to clean up the entire basement first" (which often means a trip to the park doesn't happen)  or "I would love to play a game with you but I have to fold these 7 loads of laundry first" or "I would love to go to bed at 9:30 but I need to get the house picked up before I can rest".

So what are you waiting for?!
Go get 'em!

Did you miss something in this series? Check HERE for more

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