Simplifying… With Multiples

It would seem that having multiples would completely defeat the purpose of living with less…

But for me it. Helps. So. Much.

I bought two pair of church shoes when I was engaged. They were identical except one pair was brown and the other was black. I have worn those shoes ever since. These puppies have walked me through countless verses of Just As I am and have been around long enough to see many a popular praise song go from hit to vintage… Maybe not vintage… but out of fashion. ;-)

Shoes look fine

I still love them, but…

Melted Heel

It was time for them to go. Besides the one melted (?!?!?) heel on the brown pair, the fake leather was peeling off of the black pair. I loved them so much that I bought a back up pair of black flats at Target years ago when my beloved flats started showing serious wear. The idea was to wear the “backup pair” as often as possible when I needed a black pair and save the “good ones” for when I needed a “nicer” pair… Yes it was silly… And because it was Target… They had an identical purple pair for cheap that I couldn’t refuse…

Where am I going with this?

Oh, I bought three pair of dress shoes.

Yes it totally helps simplify life.

My feet just don’t fit most flats. They’re usually too tight at the top of my foot or too long. So when I found a comfy pair that fit… I bought black, brown, and navy.

Shoes in multiples

They are plain enough to go with anything, but cute enough that I love them. Also having the same exact pair in more than one color makes my shoe selection easier. If flats are what I should be wearing, then all I have to do is choose a color. Bam. No mental energy wasted on

Should I wear the moccasins or the ballet flats?
Would the ones with rhinestones look better or the flats with the metal spikes?
Orange suede?
Purple faux croc?

Now, I am NOT saying you can’t have any fun shoes. Of course you can!!! But for ME in THIS STAGE of my life… I just don’t have time for it. I realized that when I forced myself to wear the purple pair of Target flats recently… and realized that I had worn them maybe twice… So the back up flats were donated, the broken down loved flats were trashed and I feel lighter.

Four pair of shoes were traded for three. :-) Not only did I downsize by a pair, I downsized a choice.

Boom. Fewer Decisions = Simpler Life.

Now I have more mental energy to make more important decisions, like Curious George, Thomas the Train, or Veggie Tales when Daddy works late. ;-)

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 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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Too Much Stuff

My college roommate sat down and watched as I painstakingly tried to organize my belongings. They spilled over into her side of our dorm room. No matter how hard I worked, I just couldn’t keep it clean… and I had no idea why. After watching me for a good 20 minutes she finally said

“You just have… too much stuff.”

She was a neat freak. She was a boss at organizing and cleaning… So rooming with me was probably a nightmare for her.

I can remember sitting in my room as a child surrounded by junk. Clothes, toys, nick nacks, and worthless treasures covered my floor so that no actual flooring could be seen. I had tried and tried to organize things. I put things away as best I could. Honestly, I liked organizing. I liked my room being clean. What I never realized was that I just had too. much. stuff. It had never occurred to me that I could give most of the things I didn’t really care for away. Really.

I felt a sense of guilt and obligation to keep things that had been given to me. Once something entered my room it was now mine. The option of… well NOT keeping it never occurred to me.

It wasn’t until my college roommate spoke those words that I had even realized I didn’t have to have all of it.

I would love to say that immediately my life was changed. I learned to live simply my freshman year and never looked back!!!! But that would be lying… It has taken me years to figure out how to live with less. It takes actual work to get there.

Over the last 3 years I have worked to simplify every area of my life. Every. Singe. Area. had too much junk.

I blame Ariel…

Mermaid

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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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31 Days- Excess {Part Two} 2012

** 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.