I’ve made a deal with myself that I’m not allowed to acquire anymore crap.
I keep having the mental image of selling my precious Home Goods stuff for 30 cents to you guys in several months when we have a “we’re moving to South America garage sale”. So it’s just not a worthy investment right now… no matter how fabulous those marble-looking bowls may be.
Coincidentally (or not so) the theme of us simplifying our lives seems to be coming up pretty regularly—and for the record, it’s not because Netflix released a viral documentary called Minimalism—haven’t seen it (I use Netflix for endless reruns of The Office/Parks & Rec exclusively).
Since November, I have been re-evaluating our life, how we live, and the STUFF we live with— clearly getting in the mindset of having to choose what things I’m going to move with me, and what I’m going to get rid of makes me want to get rid of all the EXCESS stuff now. In fact, this morning as I was getting ready for the day, I kept having the thought of wanting to only spend my money on things that retain their value—which is hard, because I really like things/clothes/excess.
Lara Casey—editor and chief of Southern Weddings Magazine, spoke right to me on the subject in her book “Make It Happen”.
She says of her own life,
“I had so many decorative throw pillows on my couch that no one could sit on it. The act of digging in a drawer to find the spare set of car keys (since the main one was buried in another pile of stuff) just created another mess. My junk was multiplying junk…. For me, clearing the clutter was not a matter of tidying up and donating a few bags of clothes; it was much bigger than spring cleaning. I had yard sale after yard sale and gave dozens of bags of clothes away, but the clutter never seemed to end. I finally understood that clearing the physical clutter in my life not only requires letting things go, but it means not acquiring more. So I stopped shopping. In September 2013, encouraged by my friend, who had done the same, I decided to fast from buying clothing, home decor, and other things I didn’t need. I planned to do the shopping fast until that Christmas, but as I type this to you months later, I’m still going. I’ve learned in this fast that God’s comfort lasts far beyond a new outfit. I have a long way to go in aligning my heart with God’s (it’s still hard for me to walk through Target and not want to buy things I don’t need!), but I'm grateful for what this fast has already taught me.”
You guys, I need to repeat this line and have it in caps/bolded for myself (can someone cross-stitch this on a pillow for me?! Wait, nevermind.) okay:
GOD’S COMFORT LASTS FAR BEYOND A NEW OUTFIT.
Maybe new outfits aren’t your thing, but man, they’re mine. I like to tell Josh Woolley that just like people collect guns, stamps, deer heads (you know, whatever) I collect clothes, and you guys, I’m a really good clothing collector. Trying to change that. Starting to learn that God’s comfort is here to last.
I’ll close with this: this isn’t my new year’s resolution for 2017. No, just like you, my resolution is to look like Halle Berry by the end of this year.
But working on simplifying, becoming more generous, less materialistic, is my current work in progress. My hope is that we (Josh, Karri and Betty) begin to put our treasure into people, dreams and goals, which will never lose their value.