Friday, December 27, 2013

The Beginning of My Journey With Minimalism

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."-Matthew 6:19-21 ESV

I am not sure when my minimalism journey really started, but I became acquainted with the term "minimalism" sometime between winter 2012 and early 2013, due to stumbling across Joshua Becker's blog, Becoming Minimalist.  Since then, my life and my vision for stuff has changed.

Traveling lightly has always appealed to me, but things have never really ended up that way, until now.  I would always pack more than necessary, "just in case."  Leaving my house always felt lighter, even if I had too much stuff.  Visiting my parents when I was single, or working at a summer camp, my car was always loaded down with stuff, but even then being away from home, and all the stuff there to take care of, still felt better.

After I got married, my husband and I accumulated a lot of stuff.  We combined our stuff.  Things were given to us.  We inherited stuff from family.  Right before the birth of our 1st child, we had enough stuff to fill a two bedroom apartment, and an approximately 10 x 8 storage building.  We continuously gave stuff away, but still kept acquiring more stuff.

There is more story in between, and maybe I will share later, but fast forward to 2012.  We were having financial issues, which I am assuming catapulted us into minimalism.  We had put our house up for sale, but it was not going well.  No buyers.  So, were making a house payment on a home we were not living in.  Ugh.  We started having to scrutinize every dollar.

Sometime around that time or early 2013, I found Joshua Becker's blog on minimalism.  It was amazing.  I started changing the way I looked at our stuff, and our money.  Things that were once so important, now, not so much.  I began to make a shift in my perspective on the accumulation of stuff, wealth, and purpose.  I started becoming freed from the need to "store up riches on earth."  

We had always given away stuff, but now we were giving away more.  And, we stopped buying things that were unnecessary.  We began thinking about every purchase.  We stopped accumulating.  Life was becoming more simple.

Now, my life is different.  I see a lot more possibilities.  I don't have so much stuff to take care of, and can focus on the important details of life with my family, and the service God has called us to.  I am not bound in my thinking.  I know that we have not arrived, but we have come so far.

If you are wondering what minimalism is at this point, the definition that works for me is "simplicity," and "getting rid of the unnecessary to make room for the important."

What do you know about minimalism?  How has it changed you?

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