“Fill your life with stories to tell, not stuff to show.”–Joshua Becker
Isn’t that beautiful?
I love this. Memories are so much more important than things. Our family will remember fun times and special moments far more than any thing we will ever receive.
I sort of stumbled upon the idea of minimalism. I’ve always felt called to lead a simpler life, yet the process of getting there has always seemed a distant wish rather than a current reality.
But as I began to read about minimalism and what it entails and the life it embraces, I’m all in.
This is what my soul has been seeking.
A life free of clutter, free of stuff, a life lived with purpose, freedom and focused on what is truly important.
Who wouldn’t want this for their lives?
So what exactly is minimalism? Let me quote you Joshua Becker from BecomingMinimalist.com:
“It is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality. And as a result, it forces improvements in almost all aspects of your life.”
Minimalism is freedom.
A friend of mine said this to me several years ago, “Everything you bring into your home, you become a slave to.”
So profound. It’s one of those statements that we say “YES!” to. Yet, living this out is far more challenging.
The same holds true for living a life of minimalism. It’s easy and exciting to read about it, to agree with and desire. But, it’s a whole other animal to live it.
It isn’t just about having a garage sale to get rid of some things. Living a minimalist lifestyle will first of all look different for everyone. But for me, it’s about changing my heart and what’s on the inside while changing my external world. Because just getting rid of stuff will not satisfy. It’s a heart issue. A heart transformation issue to be exact. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt 6:21)
Our treasure is either in Jesus or in this world. It cannot be both.
So for the last several months I have been on this journey, initially just to get rid of things. But as I listen to God speak to my heart, it’s more about transforming my life so my soul can breathe.
It’s not as much about removing stuff as it is about living life-to the fullest.
Why I Want To Live Minimally
1. Freedom. I want to be free. To be a slave is to be entirely dominated by some influence. For me, I’m a slave to my stuff. Freedom is defined as ‘not taken up by scheduled activities, unconstrained’. Freedom for me is loosening my schedule.
Freedom is choosing to play a game with my children without feeling shackled to my to-do list. And as a mom, my to-do list is never ending. I am not foolish enough to believe that minimalism is the answer to everything. To-do lists will always be necessary to keep track of those things that need to get done. But “need” being the key word. What if I lived with less, so I had less to manage, and ultimately more time? What if I had the freedom choose?
2. Makes room for what’s most important. Too much stuff crowds out relationships. It crowds out time to invest in my children, my husband, friendships and family. I am constantly trying to find balance between my to-do list and people. I realize that life demands us moms to manage our home and wear many hats throughout our days. But how much of this balancing act is because of the management of things in my home that don’t really matter?
3. Diminishes clutter: from my counters and my mind. Clutter sucks the life out of me. I spend more time moving things around than investing in those things that really matter. I look around and see the piles of things that need to be put away. I am consumed with finding the best way to organize it all. And yet, when I go to get rid of things I justify why I might need it someday. Ugh. I read this once–“Quit organizing and just get rid of things.” Live with less.
4. Allows me to do God’s will. What if I had enough time and a free schedule and a less burdened mind to actually hear from God? What if I had the freedom to reach out to a neighbor in need, to invest in friendships, to do those things that God is nudging me to do? What if I had more time to serve at church, or the women at the shelter in my town? What if I could spend my days being the hands and feet of Jesus instead of a slave to the things in my home? What if I had the freedom to love God, love people and serve His kingdom? Imagine the difference my life could make.
5. Saves time-my most valuable resource. I need margin in my life. Do I have room in my schedule to do what’s most important? I constantly feel as though I never have enough time. I blame my messy house, my chronic tardiness, and my forgetfulness ALL on my “lack of time”. Excuses. All of them. Excuses for my lack of planning, and my lack of treating my time as a priceless commodity. Dave Ramsey is the king of budgeting our money. God is the King of managing our time. He knows everything we need to accomplish in our days. And so much of what consumes my time…is unnecessary.
I have always felt drawn to the pioneer and the Amish lifestyles. My husband tells me I couldn’t possibly live either one of those lifestyles. Maybe this is what my soul has longed for-minimalism. Pioneer and Amish might not be a reality. But, this is achievable. This can be true in my life today. Living minimally.
Seeking God: Lord, show me what minimalism looks like for me. Give me eyes to see the unnecessary in my life and to be free from the grips of materialism. Give me freedom to choose what’s most important today and be Lord over my time. Help me to truly live as Psalm 73:25 declares, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.” Amen.
Stay tuned as I continue to post about My Journey to Minimalism.