Sunday, September 16, 2012

On Having Less - A Guest Post!

Can you believe it’s the middle of September?  The older I get the faster the time goes by.  I remember my mom telling me when I was bored with my life as a child {I look back now and wonder HOW was I EVER bored!!!} and wished away the years until I could be older so I could do “whatever I wanted”, that I would change my mind one day and wouldn’t be so quick to “wish away” my life.  I thought she was crazy.  I see now she was wise.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Kelly and I blog over @ The Houtz House Party.  I am a wife to my husband J and a mama to 4 littles ages 3 and under.

My family and I have undergone a LOT of ch-ch-changes in the last few years.  My husband and I had 4 children in 3 years.  I went from being the career corporate type to a SAHM.  I’ve struggled quite a bit with the transition. You can read a little about that here, here and here.  We live in one of the most affluent counties in the country surrounded on all sides by excess.  I think both of us used to think that was what we would strive for too.  We thought we would strive for it because it was the norm.  Slowly, however my heart changed.  My husband and I have both seen quite clearly what the “important” things to us turn out to be.  The important things are no longer that “dream car” or upgrading to our “dream house”.  We found those dreams in the 4 little faces that stare up at us each day. 

Something COMPLETELY different has replaced my desire for MORE.  What’s different?  The desire for LESS.  You see, the more I’ve had the more stressed out I’ve become.  The better paying job the more responsibility, the more “notoriety” and praise, the higher I climbed the more stress I accumulated.  To be perfectly honest, I saw this person {me} as a robot.  It was almost an out of body experience; checking each box as I went throughout my day. I was not miserable and I enjoyed my work but there was this missing piece or should I say PEACE?

When I got pregnant with our twins {kids #2 & 3} we decided that I would become a stay at home mom.  I was excited about a new part of life.  After the initial challenge of it…err identity crisis I dropped on my knees in prayer and kept my nose in scripture as often as I could.  And through this a desire began to well up within me. 

You know when you are on a certain path and something just feels off but you keep going anyway?  Have you ever been there?  I have!!!  A LOT!  To be perfectly honest I am STUBBORN!  That being said I felt the urging to simplify what we were doing and how we were doing it.  Stop right now.  Look to your left and right.  What do you see?  If you are a mom with young children ignore the cheerios under the table or the dried milk that didn’t get wiped up “all the way” on the floor.  {Do you have a kid that throws his sippy cup when he’s done?  I do.}  Instead notice the large tv, beautiful hardwood floors, granite countertops.  Open your pantry and notice all the food in there that you “can’t possibly make a meal with because you NEED to run to the grocery store”.  Go to your bathroom and look at your toilet…yes your TOILET. Look at the clean {relatively speaking of course} clothes on your children.  Look at ALL THOSE TOYS in the playroom threatening to take over.  Do you understand where I’m going with this?

I’m not suggesting you get rid of your indoor bathroom!!  Holy cow heck no!  God blessed us to be born with indoor bathrooms and not in a 3rd world country or back in the pony wagon days! Embrace that blessing my friends!  What I am saying is that the more I’ve prayed the more I’m convicted that LESS really IS MORE.  Do your boys play with all 15 trucks  Probably not.  Why don’t you sell them a few of them 2nd hand or give them to a local Goodwill Store to bless someone else’s child who could only DREAM of 15 trucks?  Do you wear all the clothes in your closet?  I know I don’t.  Instead of letting them collect dust why don’t you consign them or give them away?  You don’t have to address everything all at once or at all.  But, once you start paring down I bet it will cause a snowball effect.  It frees up space in your house and could either A) make you a little money or B) make you feel good by giving it to someone who could TRULY USE your excess. Think about the difference it makes to you?  Less clutter, less dusting, less cleaning!  Think about the difference it could make someone else?  That new to them skirt they could have never thought of buying before or that new toy they could have otherwise not afforded for their child for Christmas. 

As you learn to live with less I can promise you the less you will desire.  God is working in my heart in this area BIG TIME!  And trust me, if he can do a work in ME I can only imagine what he can do with YOU!

I’d love to challenge you to start in ONE area of your life.  How about that crazy closet filled to the max, that playroom that looks like a toy factory exploded, even that kitchen with random gadgets you NEVER use?  Get rid of a few things and see if you miss them…REALLY miss them?  I can just about guarantee that you won’t.  I’m still very much on my quest for a simpler life BUT I can tell you this journey has been a FREEING one!  Life goes fast enough without a zillion possessions to bog you down and stress you out.  Less TRULY is more.  Who TRULY cares what your neighbor thinks or HAS?


Thank you so much, Kelly!!  This is an awesome message.  As we are moving this week, we are clearing out some of the "things" that just take up space.  Some of it is literally of no use to anyone else and it just needs to go, but there's still that mentality that we might be able to do something with it someday.  Granted, I've been at the hospital all week with Peyton, so I haven't had much opportunity to clear things out, but once we get home - into our new home that is - I will be taking time to go through and set up a "donate" pile as I organize things into their proper places.

Friends, please, if you haven't visited Kelly at The Houtz House Party, you need, now!!  She has been an awesome "bloggy" friend who is actually now an IRL friend.  She is an awesome lady.  Please go visit her and say hi!

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