Friday, February 12, 2016

Minimilism


Beware!  Guard against every kind of greed.  Life is not measured by how much you own.
Luke 12:15

Much has changed around my house in the past 16 months.  The loss of Bill.  My two teenagers moved out.  At home now it is just me and my four youngest children, Angel-Leah, age 12, Luke, age 11, Selah, age 9 and Tommy, age 8.  I know four children may sound like a lot to many people, but to me, that's a very small family.  I have gone from having a houseful, to having only five of us.  I don't know how to cook for that small a number.  The dogs are loving it...

Older age has brought a few physical changes, too.  My right knee has gotten pretty bad.  And yes, I take lots of supplements, and they help, but they are not curing.  I will soon give up trying to do stairs at all.  Arthritis is taking a toll on my hands, twisting my fingers.  Young Living's "Deep Relief" stays near my crochet hook.

But...I still have lots of other dreams and things I want to do.

One thing was to update the look of my house a bit.

A couple of years ago, daughter Mary Susannah decided she wanted to move to the church in Lott, Texas.  I love my house so much, but I knew it would likely be the last big thing I would do for her before she grew up, so we considered it.  We drove the hour and a half to Lott every Sunday for about a year, before she decided she didn't want to go that way after all, and we began to attend the sister church in our area, Osceola Christian Fellowship.  That decision turned out to be THE biggest blessing in my life.

While we were thinking about a move, a real estate lady came to look our house over, and tell me what she thought it was worth.
While we sat and talked, I asked her what she thought I needed to do to make the house more sellable.  The boys thought we needed to tear down some buildings.  What did she think?
Well, she would certainly not tear down any buildings.  What I needed most, she said, was too clean the house out.  It was...well...cluttered.

Cluttered?  I was shocked!

But why was I shocked?  My older kids were always telling me that.  I tend to be a hoarder, but I called it frugal.  I kept things, because I might need them later, and why buy new stuff when you might have exactly the thing, hidden away somewhere.  I hung onto clothes, furniture, kitchen utensils, building supplies - you name it.  Closets, storage shed, under buildings, in cubby holes - I probably had it.

When Bill died, I rethought it all.  Why was I hanging onto everything?  I began to read minimalism blogs.  I read "The Magic Art of Tidying Up".  It made sense for several reasons.  I am getting older, and my time will eventually come to die.  Did I want my kids to have to sort through all the stuff they have been complaining about all along?
Also, I'm tired.  My hands and knees hurt.  Why do I need to maintain all this junk?  I can hardly rearrange it anymore!  It was time to force myself to let go.

So I started.  Gone was my bakers rack full of salt and pepper shakers.  Yes they were cute, but some joker in our house thought it was funny to turn them all backwards when I wasn't looking, so it always looked messy.  And dusting that thing was something I put off as long as I could.
My old desktop computer that barely worked anymore, with all the cords and tangles of wire because it wasn't wireless, why was I hanging onto that messy thing?  We had a laptop.  It was time I learned to use it.  
Out went many things hanging on the walls.  Furniture that really didn't serve a purpose, especially since our family at home is smaller now.  I didn't need so many couches.  Messy bookcases don't adorn my living room anymore. 
I minimized our homeschool things so now they fit into one cabinet.
I got rid of excess stuff in the bathroom.

Of course, that meant I needed to paint, right?  And our wonderful church gave us new floors.


I didn't realize how much more peaceful it would be. How much easier it would be to keep clean.  How much more I would WANT to keep it clean!

I don't stop at every garage sale anymore.  I don't wander isles while I am at Walmart, just browsing, because I always ended up buying stuff.  I repurpose a lot of what is in our house.  That saves money on presents.

And I have more time to crochet, with my Deep Relief bottle close at hand.
And that's always a win!!