Saturday, November 24, 2012

Our Journey to Minimalism

About two months ago a couple of DVD's arrived at our door.  I wrote my review of Growing Up Wild  here a couple weeks ago.  In my review, you may have noticed the discussion of a Venn Diagram comparing our house and that of the Wild family.  Here's another photo in case you missed it. If you look closely there is one thing we noticed about their house that didn't match ours.  Toys.  The kids' way of writing, less stuff.

The general lack of things in their home is a direct result of the challenge-and expense-of flying their possessions at a minimum from the closest big city, or even longer if they wished to bring it all the way from Florida.  The little airplane that can reach their small village also decides the size of the items they can bring.  

We watched the Growing Up Wild DVD many times before we wrote up the Venn Diagram.  I remember after one of the first times we watched the DVD, I was standing at my kitchen sink and I heard (in my head) "What if I called you to go, could you?"  It wasn't a question of whether I'd be willing-I'd be willing in a heartbeat, the question was geared toward-how can I call you to go somewhere when you have all this STUFF weighing you down???  It would take you YEARS to get ready to go.

Then I heard part two, "I've already called you, and you are too busy with your stuff to do the work."  I looked around my house and realized that as I try to wash the mountains of laundry, pick up the store's worth of toys, and organize many totes of things we aren't currently using, I was missing out on the calling of my children!!  I was also keeping my home so hard to manage that I wasn't able to properly open it up to other moms and families who could be ministered to through friendship.

That was the day it all changed.

I actually had a dream that night about writing a blog about our new life.  I woke up with the name Becoming Minimalist.  LOL, it was God's way of getting me to READ a blog, not write one.  As I typed in the name, it brought me to one of the greatest tools God has used in helping me on our journey to minimalism.  The writing of Joshua Becker is exactly what I needed to read!!

When we wrote the Venn Diagram of our home comparisons, I was able to show my children the differences.  I am sure there are a few toys or things we don't see in the video, but the Wild brothers have just one main toy-a Lego loft.  I was able to explain to my children that, if we have just a few toys, we will have plenty of space to play with the ones we really like.  They were on board.  I think they are still hoping for a Lego loft/room :).

So, for the last two months, I have been selling, donating, and trashing, BAGS and BAGS of things.  I am only on the beginning stages.  I know we have so far to go. 

I appreciate that Joshua Becker (author of Becoming Minimalist) writes that minimalism isn't, necessarily, only owning a few things.  It is owning a few things that you use and love, so this isn't a race to see how few things we can own. This is a journey to find the things we love and make the space to use them.  And, eventually, use them to show love to others.  Most importantly, this is a journey to rid ourselves of the things that keep us from following God's call on our lives. 

I will be blogging a lot more about our journey from here on out.  I hope it can be an encouragement to you and an accountability to me.  If you are already on your journey to minimalism, I'd love to hear from you!  If you are wanting to begin a journey to owning less, believe me when I say it is not easy, but it is SO SO SO worth it!!!

Thank you for stopping by and God Bless!


Mrs. Taffy said...

Love it! I'm excited to read about your journey!

Discovery Montessori said...

This post has truly hit home for me. When I only had 3 children I was drowning in laundry. One night I sat on the edge of my oldest son's bed and cried to God that I just had too much laundry to do. He answered me back, "You DO have too much stuff!" It took me some time to figure out just what was meant by that direction.
Pretty soon I was loading 5 large van-fulls (back to front) of STUFF and getting rid of it. I have become a "thrower" of stuff and a "keeper" of treasures.
I feel like having less has given me so much freedom and greater ability to leave it all if I was asked to.

learning table said...

This is such a wonderful post, and everything you said really spoke to me. And, it is so true. When I look around me, and when I think about how much time and energy is spent just moving stuff around and cleaning it or organizing it...
Thank you! :)

Anonymous said...

The cry of my heart the last year has been to trade all the excess stuff for space and time. I want to play with my children- not constantly clean my house! God has called us to so much more than a life full of stuff. I am on the journey with you and I pray that it will lead us both closer to God. (BTW-for a year we have been giving away stuff and we still have too much. It can be quite a process!)

Dawn H

Anonymous said...

I can appreciate you're calling. He flat out told me that it all must go. It took almost a year but I put together a garage sale and sold almost everything. Whats left can literally fit in a large closet and I'm hoping to get that so well organized that it all has its spot.

Erika said...

I completely agree. I've been feeling like this a lot lately, especially since watching Growing Up Wild. I've cut back on blogging specifically so I could use that time to minimalize our stuff and focus on our kids. I'm tired of spending every free moment trying to keep everything in order. We need less of "everything."

Charlotte said...

I really love this. I too, was impacted with the Wild DVD's. It is amazing how much we have here, and how much more we think we need. I will look forward to watching your family go down this road, and Lord willing also make some changes of my own.

Have a blessed week!