Thursday, April 7, 2011

Simple Living?

My house is in complete chaos. Our bed is on the floor, pieces of kids furniture are blocking the upstairs hallway and there are piles of books and un-put-away clothes all over.

Why? Because we are heading into a major, 1/3 of the house, home improvement project. We have finally hired someone to sand, stain, and seal the wood floors in three bedrooms, the upstairs hallway, and half of the kitchen. (For which we have to remove every single item from the floor and closets of those rooms and then not use them for 5 days--did I mention that this is going to involve my kitchen too?)

And before we finish the floor, Eric and I have decided to make our terribly ill-planned and not-at-all-suitable closet into one that could actually hold clothes. So, this weekend we're knocking a big hole in the wall of our room.

Now, do you understand why I am living in chaos? Of course you do.

But all this moving and rearranging and cleaning out and putting somewhere else has led me to think more purposefully about Living Simply. Now, I am not talking about that beautiful magazine that teaches us how to make a perfect bed or clean all our bathrooms with vinegar and freshly squeezed lemon juice. I am talking about the stuff that we accumulate, collect, hold onto, and allow to dominate our space without even thinking about it.

I don't even think I truly realize just how much stuff I/we really have in this house. And it is gratuitous. Yesterday I found boxes in our closet that we haven't touched since we moved here and on our bedside tables were easily a dozen books that are never opened nor have any meaning to us. We are surrounded by stuff.

How can one deal with this? I am not sure I have the answer, yet.

I have a hunch that the answer is found not so much in simple living, but in purposeful living. Deliberately choosing what things to have, choosing where to put them, choosing when to get rid of them. I am trusting that as I purge through our belongings, keeping all three pairs of dress pants (because I really like them) becomes less important than making sure I use well the things that I have. I am also trusting that as I cheerfully model being content in having less, I will raise up kids who are not consumed by the desire to acquire more things which truthfully, will rust away and be destroyed.

But until I figure all that out: don't come over, it's a mess. On the other hand, my chaos may just make you feel better about yours. . .

1 comment:

The Geurink Family said...

I hope it is going well. It is amazing when you walk through the house and realize what you can live without. I hope it is a good time for you and your kids to have some in depth conversations. We love you!