the blues succI stumbled upon minimalism several years ago when I was beginning to struggle with the sensory overwhelm of parenthood.  I was being buried in baby clothes and swaddling blankets, I had 3 different wardrobes for myself (pre-baby, maternity, and post-baby) none of which fit well or made me happy. Our 1500 sq foot house was feeling claustrophobic with only 2 adults and one tiny baby.  In searching for some serenity, I came across the blog “Becoming Minimalist.” It resonated so deeply with my soul that I dove headfirst into battle with the clutter in my house.  I would dismantle entire rooms at a time, maniacally editing and taking trunk load after trunk load to donations.  I was finding freedom in releasing burdens from decades of my history.  The discipline of simplicity has stuck with me for 5 years now, and few things make me feel at ease like taking a sack of unneeded items from my home and giving them away.

There are so many resources on how to go about de-cluttering or simplifying your home. I don’t have any great new tips about the best way to jump on the minimalism bandwagon. However, I do want to give you some reasons why I did.

We have to maintain the perspective that our homes are ultimately a tool for the gospel.

Having less brings beauty to our spaces.  My home is lovely to my family because everything you see displayed is something that we truly love and value. I don’t shop at Pottery Barn, in fact, no small percentage of the things in my home came right off the curb on trash day.  By editing the things I own and reducing impulse purchases, I have cultivated a collection of family artifacts.  The little blue cow in the kitchen window tells the origin story of our favorite anniversary tradition. The collection of butterflies in my room reminds me every morning that no matter how impatient or selfish I was yesterday, today I am a new creation. The map of Scotland hanging in Daniel’s office reminds us to pray for the country that is so dear to our hearts. Our home is pieced together with significant moments in our family history.

As Believers, we are called to be guardians of our time and resources. There is nothing wrong with owning things and even owning nice things. However, we have to maintain the perspective that our homes are ultimately a tool for the gospel. We work to make our space a safe, comfortable place for people to enter into.  I can accomplish that with Craigslist and curbside finds and a can of spray paint as well as I can with the latest trends from my favorite home stores. My home is meant to have people crashed on the couch with a cup of coffee talking through the hard stuff in our lives and how we NEED Jesus; how can I focus on that when I’m worried about that coffee spilling on my $4000 sofa?  How can I give generously to my friend, who just became a single mom, when I’m preoccupied paying off my latest Visa-funded shopping spree?  Simplicity liberates our finances and our minds to be ready to serve Jesus.  It gives us the flexibility to be spontaneously generous.

As Believers, we are called to be guardians of our time and resources.

Walk through your home, check your calendar, view every aspect of your busy life and ask yourself, “How can I trim away the excess to free myself to serve Jesus better? Is my home a shrine to my accomplishments and my vanity, or is it a place that people feel at home and at ease?”  By simplifying our homes and our schedules with the intention to serve Christ better, we soon find that he brings peace and restoration to our weary souls.  I call that a win!


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