Saturday, February 7, 2015

THE BEGINNING OF MINIMALISM (but not to the extreme;)

Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to enjoy life and your family when you are on vacation!? No distractions. (unless you still can't put down your cell phone ;).  No job/housework to get in your way. No project calling your name. No dishes in the sink to do. No clutter to pick up. NOTHING - ABSOLUTELY NOTHING between you and your family. It has always intrigued me, as a wife and mom, how free I feel on vacations because my mind is not being pulled toward all the STUFF that my task-oriented self fells the drive to tend to. I tend to get pulled to the "Martha" side of the "Mary and Martha" story in the Bible...I find it very hard to relax and enjoy my family when there is so much STUFF to take care of! Recently, in my latest drive to minimize my belongings and simplify my life, I have realize that MY STUFF is a tactic designed by my enemy, the devil, to move me to focus on THINGS THAT DO NOT MATTER. THINGS do NOT add meaning to my life! THINGS take away meaning from my life. The more stuff I have, the more stuff has me - because it pulls me to take care of it in one way or another. Luke 12:15-25 has jumped out at me in a fresh way...this man had accumulated SO MUCH STUFF that he had to build bigger barns JUST TO STORE ALL HIS STUFF!!!! And our Americanized bigger, better lifestyle is not any different! We work, to make more money, to buy more stuff, to get lost in taking care of it, to miss out on what truly matters. LOVING GOD AND LOVING PEOPLE! Having things is not wrong...but the greedy accumulation of things is - and it is also wrong for however little or much we have to control or dictate our priorities in life. PEOPLE MATTER MORE. 

Luke 12:15-2 (ESV)15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down mybarns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This nightyour soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

Let me say this - it is NOT WRONG TO BE RICH...but it does matter where our heart is. And it DOES MATTER how we spend our money. To whom much has been given...much more will be required. (Luke 12:48)
So this freedom that I feel on vacation...the freedom from stuff...I have lately found myself minimizing my stuff, so that I can feel that freedom from stuff as a normal part of my every day life. I don't NEED stuff...

I've come to a place in my life where I never thought I would be...I can honestly say that there is no material possession that I find myself wanting. I am completely content with everything I have. In fact, I don't want STUFF anymore. I want to let it all go. I am realizing more and more how the stuff I own takes away from my relationships...because the more stuff I have, the more I have to take care of, the more THINGS get in the way of what really matters. 

So I have very seriously began this journey of minimizing. Not to the extremes that some people go - which you can find on YouTube - although I have to admit it is tempting ;). But having felt the freedom from stuff on road trips, and having experienced the freedom in boxing up my doubles and extras, and things I don't use to sell/give away, I feel like I've tapped in to a whole new world/way of living! So now I am selling our STUFF, to raise money for our family missions trip to Haiti. We cannot wait for this amazing experience. Can't wait to go love on some kiddos who having nothing material-wise, but who know real happiness. We were never designed to be tied to our stuff. We were not created to focus on STUFF! We were created to do life with other people...TO LOVE GOD, and LOVE PEOPLE. Good bye to my THINGS that get in my way of that.

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