31 Days- Excess {Part Three}

** Note. I’m running out of steam. So, in order to take a breather I’m reposting my favoritey favorite posts from my first 31 days series. They also actually fit my theme for this year.**

Originally posted 19 Oct 2012:

 

At this point the purging, organizing and learning to live simply is consuming our focus. We’re making decisions daily on what to keep, donate or toss. It’s a little exhausting really, but worth it. Having less junk around makes things less messy. There’s less to clean, less to jump over because it’s in your way, etc. The kids are better able to focus and Momma is not quite as cranky. During this process I have been hyper focused on the purging. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if I wait until this is over to think about others, I’ll never get there.

Thinking of others makes me finally face my previous question. What can I do to affect change? How can I be Jesus to someone in need? Is giving my leftovers and cast offs all that I’m called to do?

The family goal is to get to Dave Ramsey’s big #7. G.I.V.E. Being focused on the other steps is great, but we have lost sight of the reason we’re hyper focused on saving, living simply and being a little weird…

A recent post from (in)courage exactly explained what we felt:

“To me, “7″ gave me freedom in knowing that sometimes it’s ok to be weird. But it went even further than that… it also gave me a realignment of my focus. I realized that my minimalist lifestyle had become so habitual, that I had forgotten the meaning behind the action. I had forgotten that I wasn’t just living so that I could hoard my wealth. No, we had lived this way so that we could be in a position to give, and not just give with the leftovers, but fully give from the harvest. Yet somehow, I had lost focus and instead found myself questioning why I saved at all, wondering if the lonely path was even worth the heartache. My dear friend Katie summed it up so well when she said to me: “We [spend] and [spend] and [spend] our bountiful resources that God has lavished on us so that when a big need arises, we can help, but only in a small way. The giving doesn’t come remotely close to the gift God has given us.”” – Lindsey

I have been touched, rebuked, and inspired.

{Source}

I personally cannot feed and clothe every person in need, but that’s why God has called all of us to help. Can you imagine if everyone gave even the tiniest portion of the harvest towards sharing our food with the hungry and providing shelter to the wanderer?  (Isaiah 58:7- My paraphrasing) We would rock Heaven’s gates!! (Perhaps not backed in theology, just using my over active imagination…)

My family still sponsors International outreach organizations, but we also decided to get involved in a local way. Our congregation partners with a homeless shelter in the area. This ministry runs a food pantry, a soup kitchen and a shelter. They also prepare the unemployed to return to the work force by helping them prep for interviews and clothing them with business appropriate attire.

Keeping that in mind, we went to a local store and found some business appropriate shoes on (awesome) clearance. They were discounted so deeply that we were able to purchase several pairs in a variety of sizes and stay within our budget. I’m convinced it was divine intervention…

It is my sincere prayer that someone can wear those shoes to a successful job interview and eventually work.

{Source: Facebook}

As a family we have been broken, and convicted. We are re-committing to staying the course and becoming 100% debt free so that we can learn to bless others from the harvest.
 

Live Simply so that others can Simply Live.

*Note:

If you would like to find a homeless shelter in your area check this database.

Click Here for Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps to Financial Peace

 

 

31 Days- Excess {Part Two}

** Note. I’m running out of steam. So, in order to take a breather I’m reposting my favoritey favorite posts from my first 31 days series. They also actually fit my theme for this year.**

Originally posted 18 Oct 2012:

 

The last several times I’ve gotten ready for our worship service it has taken me longer than usual to choose my shoes. I’ve had to think long and hard about which pair I would wear. The thought of leaving my shoes at the altar was weighing so heavy on my mind that each time I have been momentarily paralyzed in my choosing.

Isn’t it silly how a pair of shoes can throw you for a loop? The worst part is that I knew no one would ask me for them… It was a hypothetical situation, not a real one. Once I realized how ridiculous and selfish I was the shame and grief came flooding. I felt so small and insignificant, but changed. I went to worship knowing if anyone asked for them, I would leave those shoes at the altar in an instant. How silly of me to even stress about such a trivial offering when there are others in TRUE NEED.

I am shaken to my core. We’ve sponsored children in third world countries for years, but is that all I’m called to? Is sponsoring a few children all that I can give to help a dying world? I have the perfect pair of shoes for every occasion, but in other places children are dying because they don’t have food.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:

to loose the chains of injustice

and untie the cords of the yoke,

to set the oppressed free

and break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food with the hungry

and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—

when you see the naked, to clothe them,

and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Then your light will break forth like the dawn,

and your healing will quickly appear;

then your righteousness[a] will go before you,

and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;

you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. (NIV Isaiah 58:5-9)

In the shadow of such enormous need, I realize that in no way shape or form can I do it all. I can’t even put shoes on that sweet soul wearing soda bottles on their feet…

The realization that I am so small and the need is so great humbles me beyond words. I am overwhelmed by the enormity of the need compared to my own insignificance. What can I or any one person possibly do to care for the vast multitude in need?

(To Be Continued…)

 

 

31 Days- Excess {Part One}

** Note. I’m running out of steam. So, in order to take a breather I’m reposting my favoritey favorite posts from my first 31 days series. They also actually fit my theme for this year.**

Originally posted 17 Oct 2012:

I’m over the hump and more than halfway done with 31 days! :-D

My brilliant idea to start my blog by jumping in with the Nester’s 31 Days linky seemed like a good idea at the time…

If I’m honest, writing a post every. single. day. has been exhausting. Not just because I have this self imposed deadline, but I’m still figuring out my blog and the direction I want it to take…

I prefer to be (*Note: “think I’m”) funny. I’m a deep thinker by nature and if I let myself dwell on serious issues all the time I’d be gloomier then Eeyore…

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Why?

Before I really dig into the nuts and bolts of how we have downsized, I want to talk about the why.

Some people talk of reducing carbon footprint, others of just helping the environment in general. Some people champion the cause of human rights and say that overconsumption hurts those that manufacture these items. Some people point to debt reduction and financial freedom.

All of those those are big things to think about. Truly.

But this is my motivation:

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Our Version of Simple | 31 Days 2014

Welcome those who have wandered in via The Nesting Place. :-)

This is my third year to participate in 31 days… and I almost didn’t. The first year most of my posts were nonsense. Just trying to write for 31 days and stay on topic was so hard… my rookie year gets a “needs improvement.” Last year was better, but I was pregnant… With an October Due Date… When our sweet chubs made his arrival during the series I stopped writing because… newborn!

So here we are. With my sketchy list of Meh 31 Days posts trailing behind me I almost bailed this year. I mean, I just like to do things well and so far… I haven’t. That being said, I think the point of this challenge is to make you write something. So, I  had the brilliant idea to write about what I write about already.

Sneaky right???

Our family is on a journey to PURGE like it’s nobody’s business and live simply. I am currently a secret fan girl of several minimalist blogs. Right now the idea of people living in teeny houses or only owning a handful of things is really interesting to me. The stories are so fascinating, but that lifestyle just doesn’t fit my family. Instead, our goal is to live simply. Have the things we need, need the things we have and cut out the excess. Well, most of the excess. So if like us you want to purge the nonsense but own more than one towel per person, then please join us as I catalog what living simply looks like for our family of 5. :-)

 

31 Days 2014-7

Why we are downsizing

I’m kind of  a hermit…

Having moved 6 times in 7 years of marriage we never stayed in one place long enough to find a real church home, much less make friends. That left all of our social interaction for the office… which means we had very little to none really. Add to that two precious cuties and me deciding to become a stay at home mom… that put my social interaction meter to zero…

I have happily lived in my own cocoon for so long that I had forgotten what it was like to talk to other people for more than 30 seconds.  I have read my favorite simple living/ minimalist blogs while spending precious time with my babes and doing everything I can to survive this awesome but hectic phase of life. So when I interact with people who are not on a purging journey, then I feel completely out of place. I have surrounded myself with like minded simplicity loving voices for so long that it is completely awkward to talk to normal folks. Thankfully we have finally found a congregation where we belong and for the first time in… years I’m making friends. Which has completely highlighted how socially awkward I’ve become. :-)

Awkward

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Simplify Week 6 (Multiples)

(*Note: I realize Project Simplify is officially over, but we have so much more work to do! We decided to keep moving forward. :-)

This week I decided to venture into the crazy room again…

I did finally realize that while we live in this rental house, that room will just have to be a little crazy… Our experiences with the rental property manager have not been pleasant. It was made very clear that we were to put no holes in the walls. The items that I would normally hang on the walls are now stored on the crazy room floor… There they will stay until we find a place of our own.

Sad Wall Items

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Comfort

Wikipedia:

Comfort (or comfortability, or being comfortable) is a sense of physical or psychological ease, often characterized as a lack of hardship.

Because of the personal nature of positive associations, psychological comfort is highly subjective.[2]

The use of “comfort” as a verb generally implies that the subject is in a state of pain, suffering or affliction. Where the term is used to describe the support given to someone who has experienced a tragedy, the word is synonymous with consolation or solace. However, comfort is used much more broadly, as one can provide physical comfort to someone who is not in a position to be uncomfortable. For example, a person might sit in a chair without discomfort, but still find the addition of a pillow to the chair to increase their feeling of comfort.

We are currently house shopping. Due to the current economy our real estate market is a bit… funny. The inventory is also very low. There are McMansions (am I too old to use trendy words like that?) for sale, there are normal middle-class houses (priced as if they were McMansions), and there are “fixer-uppers”. There seem to be few reasonably priced houses in between. Even though this is a tiny bit frustrating… I’m (now) glad that we’re in this situation. It is completely forcing me to change my perspective.

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