How to Simplify Your Life
While visiting a small vintage home in Lower Fort Garry, I noticed that this particular house has eight beds. Four beds in one room, three in the other, and one off of the kitchen.
I got to thinking about the days when my own grandmother raised 18 children. I’m certain that she didn’t have a separate bedroom for each child, or for each pair. It was girls in one room, boys in the other. They all fit, because they didn’t have an excess of junk.
In families like theirs, they had two sets of clothing, one for school, and one for play. School clothes were hung on a hook beside the bed, eliminating the need for dressers, closets, and credit card bills.
Today, families like mine have at least one dresser in every child’s room as well as a closet that’s full to bursting.
It really doesn’t feel good to have that much stuff–in fact, it feels terrible. On a recent trip to Jamaica, I saw how other people lived. People living in poverty were well dressed because they cherished the clothes that they owned–washed them by hand and hung them outside to dry. I saw how a young woman cherished one pair of jeans because she couldn’t possibly afford another. And then I thought of my denim collection back home and felt sick to my stomach.
I couldn’t wait to go home and purge my life. Get rid of the excess, and live as she did–happy with little.
But excess has a way of creeping back in through temptation, greed, and envy. Things I must constantly keep in check. Empty space feels good for a reason, it’s evidence of self-control. I concentrate so much on the food that I eat, careful that I don’t take too much, all the while living in outward excess. Where’s the balance?
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21, NIV
I’m so thankful for those times I’m reminded of the simple life. Each time I’m given a glimpse of how good it would feel to be free of possessions. And every time I’m inspired to move another treasure out of my house and give it to someone who needs it more.
This is so true, I think the past couple generations have become more and more greedy, trying to outdo their previous generation and give their kids more than what they had… But in giving more, we’ve lost something even more valuable. Contentment.
My goodness, I’ve missed your writings. 🙂
Wow, you are just all full of surprises lately, my friend! I LOVE this side of you!!!!
Thanks you both!! Hey, how do I “follow you?
Oh, I think I figured it out!!
Wow this is exactly how I have been feeling lately. I have been blogging about this too! http://www.simplylivingforhim.com
Love this!!! I think that simplicity is the true key to happiness, not more stuff!!!
When I first moved to the city I purged my house. I couldn’t believe how much stuff I had to get rid of. Then when I moved out of my last apartment I had to purge again. It seems like I had so much excess. I have found living with little is not a burden at all. I still have too much junk. Instead of buying stuff for myself now, I try to buy stuff for others or give the money to the poor. They can use it a lot more than I can.
Glad to see you blogging again.
Karen D. I’ll go see it!
Heather, it would be so great to just wake up with “less” I’d love it!!
Writer, isn’t it weird how we accumulate, and then purge, and then it’s all back again before we know it? Craziness!!