After opening almost every window and blind in the house (sorry, husband- I will turn the air back on before you get home!) I walked through my home this morning, coffee cup in hand, sunshine and breeze coming through the windows and I continued to walk straight outside to sit in one my favorite spots in our house… the front porch. One of my favorite spots because of the sunshine? The fresh air? The breeze and birds chirping? Yes… But…
In actuality… I was escaping the mess in my house. Couldn’t deal with it. It overwhelms me. Too much stuff. I wanted to just BE on the porch, unlike when I am inside and I am stepping over the piles, and seeing the “to-do” list grow right before my eyes. The porch is usually not messy. There are no piles of papers to go through. No trash, toys, dirty dishes or things left undone. On the porch I can just “BE.”
Have you ever wanted to DO less so that you could BE more? I’m not talking about BEING in the sense of becoming more successful or achieving more. I’m talking about BEING as in present tense living. Savoring the moment.
I have read many minimalist e-books and blog posts. There have been many conversations with friends laced with frustration over not having an answer, only the encouragement from one mom to another to keep on keepin’ on and forcing ourselves to be present while mentally going through our list of things to do.
But is that how God wants us to live?
We have so much stuff that we suffer for the time it takes to manage it all, we lose joy, we lose the moment and sometimes we even lose ourselves.
How can we DO less so we can BE more?
BE with our shepherd.
BE with our family.
BE with our friends.
BE with our friends.
BE with those who are in need.
BE with those who are lonely
BE…. ENJOY… SAVOR… LIVE FULLY…LIVE PRESENTLY.
I am on a journey, my friends. I have been on this same journey for some time and at each dead end I am forced with the question of “Do I give up on this road or do I take a different fork?”
I Choose a different fork in the road. One of accountability. Of acceptance. Of grace.
Here is what I would like to accomplish:
THE YEAR OF LESS IS MORE
Less stuff (What are we saving “in case” that someone else may need now?)
Less space (Could we live in less space?)
Less time wasted (Organizing and re-organizing our “stuff”)
Less perfectionism (Just do it already!)
Less Over Commitment
Less “Should dos” and “To Dos” (Gotta let go sometimes…)
Less Time Inside
Less Cleaning (If we have less stuff we will have less to clean…)
Less Money Spent (If our goal is less stuff, then we don’t need to spend that $ anyway!)
More Writing (yay!)
More Relationship Building (I’m talkin’ about with YOU!)
More Time on People (Messy house? Come on in anyway!)
More Sabbath (Setting a rhythm of rest to our week)
More Time Outside
More Saying “No” to the “Shoulds”
More Saying “Yes” to Embracing the Moment (When little eyes look up at you asking you to play…)
Because More STARTS with LESS.
For starters here are a few books that I resonated with that spoke to this part of my soul:
Each of these books can be found on Amazon… or if you are a local friend of mine- on my book shelf for you to borrow!
I would like to go deeper into each of the things I want “Less of” in the next year and the things I want to replace with “More of”, my journey through each of these things, sources I find helpful and words of encouragement.
For today… I am starting with my girls’ bedroom.
We had a conversation… it went something like this:
me: “When you look at your room, all the stuff on the floor, does it make you say ‘yay! this room looks so fun!’ or do you want to say ‘grrrr… this room is so messy!’?
girls: “GRRRR…THIS ROOM IS SO MESSY!” – it was unanimous.
So that is where we start.
Too much stuff= A mess we can’t keep clean= A GRUMPY FAMILY
Our plan for the day…. Each girl has a box. They were asked to put things in the box they would like to sell at our upcoming garage sale, where they will receive the $ they earn. $ can be a motivator for kids (and adults!) to get rid of excess stuff.
The rest of what is left on the floor… It will either hit the trash or donation bin.
I am also trying to show my girls the value of time… is it worth a WHOLE day to clean up “stuff” vs. spending that WHOLE day outside playing, hiking or learning to bake something new? They said they didn’t think so! They would rather be outside swinging or downstairs baking than upstairs cleaning.
THIS is a motivator as well! I asked them to consider the “collections” of toys they have. They have a rock collection, shell collection, lego collection, books, barbies, ponies, cars, stuffed animals… the list goes on. Their job this week is to pare down and choose only their “favorites” to keep.
Now I have done this before many times. We always seem to come back to this wall where we, once again, have accumulated too much stuff! So I am realizing I need to show myself grace (and my kids!) We accumulate stuff naturally through gift giving, going to garage sales/thrift shops, prizes given and creations made. Every once in awhile we will have to stop- take inventory- and get out the donation bin!
One step at a time towards a Less is More attitude!