Four more boxes of "stuff" to be donated...I think the house is finally at the minimalist place where I am happy with it. I question every purchase now so wasteful things typically do not find their way into my house these days.
Every inch of my home has been sorted through multiple times over the last several years. I found that sometimes things I thought I needed to keep were not things I wanted a year later so the process took me some time. My wardrobe is now a capsule wardrobe that I am satisfied with. While I know this is a journey with no real finish line, I am now at this time happy with where we are as far as "stuff"
I am grateful that just over three years ago the Lord started speaking to my heart about simplifying my life. When I first heard of the idea of minimalism something about it touched a chord in me. I even found that it lined up with my Biblical worldview. So I set about learning what it meant and deciding if it is was something I wanted to do but all the time I really felt the Lord nudging me towards it.
He brought this aspect into my life at the perfect time. I started this journey just right before my life would take an unexpected turn and I would go through something very emotionally hard. I think this minimal focus often gave me the diversion that I needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other during that time. It was as if shedding the clutter was giving me courage to face the things going on in my life.
I wish I would have taken before pictures when I first got interested in living more minimal. I know the kitchen would have reflected a HUGE change Obviously there is a difference in the way that my house looks now. However, the biggest change was inside me.
I can clean my house really fast now. I have more free time and with it I have been able to actually enjoy doing some things I love doing. I don't look for lost items anymore...having less means I can stay organized with minimal effort so things I need are where they should be.
But inside it was changing me. I find my entire attitude is more giving now. I am quicker to give something away to someone that may need it more than I because well it is just a material thing and that drive to hang on to things has been broken. I have more time to spend with Him because I am not busy sorting and cleaning and organizing stuff.
I no longer try to keep up with the Jones's. It is easier for me to tell if what I am wanting is really a need or a want. Saying no to myself is liberating and freeing in ways I never expected. I don't need more bling to have a sparkle in my eyes. My worth comes not from things but my worth comes from Christ Jesus.
It is said the value of something is based on what someone would pay for it. Jesus gave His life for me...that makes me worth more than I could ever imagine. The King of Kings laid down His life for me. Material things can't give me any joy when compared to that. I don't need some lavish earthly gift because I have the best gift ever, salvation bought with the Blood of Jesus. Nothing in a box could ever compare with that.
No longer do I need the latest and greatest gadget. My computer is older and I will keep it as long as it serves my needs. I don't have a smart phone, nor do I want one. I just need one that will do the basic stuff. God knows I waste enough time on the internet on my computer and my kindle, so I don't need it on my phone too. The most surprising benefit is the peace and calm that living with less has given me.
I know this isn't for everyone and I am sure there are people in my life that think I may be a tad crazy to find it good and wonderful to see how little I can live with. Before someone who doesn't know me gets the idea I have a home with nothing in it...I still have things. I just tend to have less things. I don't do a lot of decor type things in my home. I prefer clean table tops and counters. I have even tried to limit the number of frames and such hanging on the walls. But it is not like I have nothing. I have what I need and what I enjoy.
Now the focus is on other areas to simplify that aren't material but need some decluttering. I feel the Lord is leading me to make some changes in how I live. Those areas may prove to be more challenging than letting go of material stuff. If I have gotten this many positive things from shedding material clutter I know the next leg of the journey is going to be even more rewarding...although I have a feeling it may take a bit longer. I also suspect it may be a bit more painful to walk out. But I trust Him and I am ready for the pruning to start.
But as far as the time it will take...that time is going to pass by anyway so I may as well spend it doing something positive. And since my work for the day is done I think I shall go spend some time at the feet of the Father and see where He is going to take my journey now. I have a feeling this leg of it is going to require me to hold even tighter to Him. But that is a good place to be...and one that I long to be more fully. Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.