Monday, May 9, 2011

Less is More

The first life principle Joel taught me when we were married is, It's better to have more than enough, than not enough. Although in certain cases this is true, like when you are having people over for dinner or planning a kids birthday party; It isn't always true when it comes to stuff. Over the past 7 and a half years we have moved a total of 9 times. I can tell you I pretty much HATE stuff. I've gotten rid of so many things over the years with each move and I can honestly say there was only a handfull of times that I look back and say "I wish I'd never gotten rid of that...". When we moved into this apartment it felt huge compared to the 2 bedrooms we were living in at my fathers house, but alas once it was filled with stuff it felt as though I was suffocating. We've been here 15 months and over that time I've let more go, but still...our stuff is breeding. I need to come up with a good plan on how to displace this stuff from my home on a regular basis. God has been instructing me on the art of contentment. It doesn't come naturally to me, I have to work at it quite often. Being content with my home, content with my clothes, content with the things, content with our finances, content with the toys my kids have...I don't want to waste my life wishing and hoping for the next new thing, the next bigger place, more room in my budget. I want to learn how to be content subtracting when what I really want is to add. Do I want more space? Subtract some stuff. More money in the budget? Subtract some spending. More time with the Lord to dig deep and grow? Subtract some sleep. I want to know this practice so well, that it finally just comes naturally to me.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Simplifying

I am reading a LOT about simplifying my life. I'm focusing and planning more, and as I read so many things that other women are accomplishing, I am motivated. Here are a few of the ways my life has been changing (for the better)
  • I've given up drinking soda at home. I've also given up buying drinks at the store, except apple juice and milk. I now make homemade iced tea for Joel and homemade lemonade for me, and I can adjust the sugar and lemon juice to taste. We are also heading into summer drinking a TON of filtered water. I feel amazing lately because of this switch. (and we are saving money!!)
  • I'm still waking up at 6am every morning to make Joel his coffee and lunch, but instead of crawling back into bed, I am staying awake, using the time before the kids are up to focus on my day, pray and read the Word, catch up on blogs (which helps to motivate me) and just waste a little time on the computer. So now by the time 9am rolls around, I feel like I've already accomplished so much (and had time to be lazy)
  • Joel and I have come up with a menu plan that repeats every week. We will pretty much be having the same meals on the same days every week, with a few variables. When I grocery shop, I buy whats on sale in quantities that will last me 2 weeks to a month so I can make meals ahead, save money and time.
  • I've incorporated a Family closet. I am blessed in this tiny apartment with a huge bedroom closet that was previously a disaster and used to store totes. I've since cleaned it out and put in a dresser for the kids clothes so I can put all their stuff away all at once. Our clothes get hung up and casual wear stays in a dresser in our room. This is going to be a time saver for me, and will hopefully keep the kids from pulling everything out of their drawers because they are bored!
  • I've gone back to making my own laundry soap. For us as a family, it works out to be about 8 bucks for enough laundry soap for about 3-4 months. It's passed the poopy PJ's test on Micahs clothes, so I know its working good, too!
  • I've made a simple daily and weekly cleaning list to follow, with the repeatable chores and what time of day is most practical to do them. I carve out specific time for myself, too, because I know I need to take breaks throughout my day or I will burn out.
  • I have made a list of the Few things I know Joel really needs me to do, so that he can feel loved, cared for and respected by me. Each husband is different, each appreciating different things. Joel in a nutshell: Coffee and Lunch made for him, the living room and bathroom picked up so he can walk into a mostly chaos free zone after work, the house kept in a reasonable clean and clutter free state so we can move around unhindered and not knock things over all the time, having me not complain about my entire day, and making sure his 'spots' in the house remain clutter free. He hates clutter, but expects that with children there will be clutter. I'm just aiming to keep it to a minimum and have the toys stay in their rooms.

I've come to realize that even though this place is small, and we are hopefully moving into a bigger place around the end of the summer, I need to use this time as practice. Even when we have more space, it would be so easy to overfill it. I want to keep things simplified. I like visual simplicity in homes. I want room for life to happen.

Monday, May 2, 2011

"Stewing" on some things

I've been thinking, praying, thinking some more about some things going on in my head and heart, trying to gain understanding and insight. I'll write about it soon, when it all comes tumbling out. Prayer would be appreciated as I'm going through all this stuff! :) Hugs to you, my dear friends.

Who I Am

My photo
Connecticut, United States
That is where God met me. He kept repeating the word 'Undone' to me....kept repeating the phrase "She's come Undone". And then it hit me like a wave, the tears flowed. I realized all that I have been trying to accomplish within my life, my marriage, my home, my parenting...it is all being done in MY own strength. God is calling me, telling me to become Undone before Him. To let Him do the work in and through me. To rely on HIS strength to accomplish all the great things He has for my life, and to be the Woman of God, the wife, the mother, the friend, the daughter, the teacher that He is calling me to be. With that, I am becoming Undone before God. I am letting go of the old mindsets that I have been setting for myself. I'm letting go.