Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Simple Life: A Continuing Journey

Recently, I have been desiring to simplify life. I've been convicted about how "stuff" can become so much a part of my life that it can squeeze out time for family, ministry, and involvement in people's lives. The other problem is where it falls in priority and value in my life. It's so easy to become attached to objects and allow them to influence my decisions! I'm one of those people who LOVES to be organized but I'm not great at accomplishing it and keeping it - a quest I will probably continue for the rest of my life. It's frustrating because at times it determines if we will have company, etc. - okay, okay, I admit it, I tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to how my house looks!

I try not to be too sentimental but I'm finding that exceptionally challenging now that we have two adorable sons. It's just so hard not to keep everything they have ever worn and played with. :) But, I'm also committed to not saving so many things that the boys will roll their eyes and say, "Mom, we don't want that..." I think it will be more meaningful to them to have a few special things and many organized pictures and written memories. (Having said that, I do save clothes (and toys) to use if God chooses to grow our family but I know myself well enough to know that I will want any future son or daughter to have some new clothes, too. I always feel bad for children who only ever wear hand-me-downs. :))

It seems that the example we have in Christ is not a man burdened with lots of "stuff". I don't think having things is bad but I think we need to be careful stewards of what God has blessed us with. And I think it can become sinful if we allow "things" to take over our life. For me, that means going through and donating items fairly regularly. I'm challenged that it is wasteful and selfish to keep things that we aren't using (and likely won't use again). (Side note: The VA is a wonderful place to donate and they will pick up your donations - I make myself say yes every time they call to find out if we have anything to donate and then end up scurrying around the night before pick-up...)

So, simplicity in the form of serious organization is my goal. It is a constant process and I pray God will give wisdom and continue to challenge me in this life process. It's just that - a way of life and I know I fail more often then succeed! Let me emphasize again, having stuff is not wrong, it's my own attitude and actions regarding it that is the problem.

Now, here's my true confession - I love Christmas decorations and dishes. Both take up a lot of storage space... I'm working on it... Anyone need some Christmas lights? (Yeah, I'm not ready to offer the dishes, yet! :)

**Some of you may remember that I blogged about this here.


EmilyAnne said...

I am so glad you are bringing up this hidden beast. Clutter and stuff can take over every time I turn around. I used to be pretty good about keeping everything organized and pared down (I just cleaned evertything out when Franz wasn't around - if he didn't see it leave, he didn't miss it) until the girls came along. Now, I'm up to my eyeballs in "Stuff." And, now there's guilt attached to the stuff: "Oh, remember so-and-so gave that to her and will really want to see it the next time he/she is here." When your kids are the "onlies" in their generation of your family, the stuff really piles up, in the form of great gifts. I've been getting those urges again lately, to the chagrin of Franz and the girls, to heap 1/3 of everything in the house outside on the sidewalk for the VA to pick up.

Rebecca said...

I am always amazed at how much stuff we take out of the house and the fact that we never miss any of it. It is such an ongoing task isn't it, to keep our lives/homes free of clutter. I need to be better at it myself.
And never be embarassed about a messy house, we all have one. :)

Jen said...

Lains, I totally understand what you are saying. I am so guilty of that in my life!! Thanks for reminding me.....

Mama10EE said...

Alaina, I am a friend of Catherine Gillespie's. I have really enjoyed reading both your and the boys' blogs. I too have a clutter problem. Please feel free to share any organization ideas that work for you! I have an only child who is about to turn one (June 30th) and I am struggling about what, if anything, to give away before the onslaught of toys arrive at her party.

Andrew & Alaina said...

Hi Mama10ee, Thanks for stopping by! I'll be happy to share a few things though I have lots to learn and am always looking for tips myself. I'll write a post with a few ideas.