Thursday, April 24, 2008

Simple Update

Since I wrote about our desire to simplify our lives in January, we've made a lot of changes.

Life has gotten simpler, more frugal, and more thoughtful. We love it.

While we've slowed down on purging stuff, we've drastically cut back on what we're bringing into our home.

I've been reading all around Blogland of so many others of you who are doing the same things. It's becoming quite a phenomenon. I think each family is in their own place and it is not my place to say what anyone else "should" be doing. I'm just sharing because so many others have been writing things that are encouraging and inspiring to me.

It almost seems as though I am surrounded by others who feel the same call on their lives to slow down and simplify. For some, it's about eliminating activities that are draining away time with family and time with God. For others, it is a need to become more frugal. There are job changes, new babies, cars dying, and grocery bills rising. For some, it's about becoming more "green". Some of us are realizing how our things are getting in the way of our lives.

The constant siren song to buy, buy, buy, is losing its appeal. Realizing that our endless consumption is taking a toll on our lives is a wake up call. Whether its our shopping, eating, constant busyness, or whatever we use to fill the void, our lives are out of balance and unhealthy. We're drifting away from God, from one another.

We're numb to our need for Him and each other as we constantly self-medicate, often by buying more. We don't live with just basic survival in mind anymore. That's good. I don't want our lives and livelihoods demolished in a dry season, or a storm.

While life back in that little house on the prairie may seem ideal at times, we must remember how hard it all was. And yet, and yet... We've lost a sense of our need to rely fully on Him. We don't pray for rain, we turn on the sprinkler. We don't have to hunt for our food, we just drive to the store. While we're there, we can buy just about anything we want, and even more than we can afford.

We are offered instant gratification everywhere we turn, but still we are unsatisfied. We may buy whatever we want today and deal with paying for it somewhere down the road. And pay we will. Not just the interest on the credit cards, but with the drain on our lives. Everything has a cost, even if the true cost isn't revealed all at once.
To me, it's not about getting a great deal as it is just buying what we need. Just because something is inexpensive, doesn't mean I need to buy it. Thrift store shopping for something we are looking at buying is fine, but just random wandering through the store-thrift or otherwise-is unwise. It maybe "just a few dollars", but it all adds up.

As I wrote before, I want to be know by what I am for, not what I am against. I am for Christ. For growing closer to Him. By being transformed by His love. For sharing that love with those around me. I don't want to be known for being that weird Mom who grinds her wheat and bakes all her bread and doesn't watch television. I want to be known for a life of love, for feeding others' souls. And, if I can pass on a few loaves of homemade bread along the way, so be it! ;)

Along the way these last few months we've discovered that our new lifestyle is healthier, cheaper, even "greener", and a lot more fun. I like milling our flour, when I put the bowl in all the way. I like only doing the main grocery shopping twice a month. I like making my own cleaning things. I *gasp* am enjoying sewing. I like reading and stitching in the evenings after the boys go to sleep by the glow of the oil lamps. I like getting the garden ready and learning how to preserve what we'll grow. I like all the money we've saved.

I like being at home and inviting people over more. I like that a lot. It's been wonderful to relax and open our door to those God has put in our path. Since I'm not so busy running around, I've had a lot more friends over during the days. (Thanks Joanne for trekking out here yesterday!)

I so wish we could live out in the country and have more land. I'd love to raise chickens and a few goats and cows. I'd like to be able to have a clothesline, for that matter. But we live in a regular American house in a regular suburban neighborhood. Our dream of a little place in the country will have to wait as our whole neighborhood is in foreclosure and nothing is selling.
We must therefore, do what we can, where we are. So, the garden will expand, the fruit trees will be planted, the flowers grown. Little boys will have space to play and explore here in our backyard. And we'll continue to dream. And save. And see about smuggling in a few chickens, or at least a renegade clothesline!

I'll post more about some of the specific things and links over the next week as time allows. It has all been floating around my mind, but it's hard to get down as little boys must come first. Blogging is a wonderful outlet and I wish I would do more, but in this season I find my need to rest when the boys are is stronger that the pull of the computer.

It is time to go now as Dumpling has just awakened and Pumpkin is due to come out of Time Out. While darn cute, that red-headed boy isn't perfect. Which is good, since his Mama sure falls short!


Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

Simplifying is like a soothing balm to the soul, isn't it?

I think God is working to re-claim the family. We've gotten so caught up in pursuing the American Dream that we've forgotten the plans God has for us! All of our busy-ness has taken its toll, which is evidenced almost everywhere we look.

Through simplifying, I'm learning to love & appreciate my family more. THAT'S worth far more than any item I could buy.

Very well said, Kimberly!

Kelli said...

What a lovely post, Kimberly! I enjoyed hearing about all the ways you are simplifying.

Davene said...

Kimberly, it's so refreshing to visit your blog again! I'm finding that although life is settling into a new normal now that Tobin is a few months old, it still can be topsy-turvy...and like you, I realize that my boys are more important than blogs. But I do miss the breath of fresh air that is your blog, and I look forward to being able to visit it more in the future!

This latest post of yours is so good: so thoughtful on your part and so thought-provoking on mine. Thank you for sharing your heart in this way!

Mrs. Pharris said...

As Lawrence Welk used to say, "Wonderful, wonderful!"

Loved this entry. I'm a long-time reader de-lurking to comment. ;-)

Rhonda Jean said...

Hello Kimberly! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. It's been a real pleasure for me to go to all the blogs to read about the lives being lives all across the globe. You are doing good things. Well done.

Nicole said...

Hello There! I loved this entry. :)

Lis said...

Hi Kimberly,

Thanks for sharing your simple life with us. I too live in suburbia and dream of the country life!

Joanne (The Simple Wife) said...

You are welcome, dear friend. Thanks for inviting me!


Amy said...

I found you through Rhonda Jean, and I think I'll have to return soon. Don't get discouraged in the suburbs; we moved to a small town neighborhood from a farm and there are good things to be said for town too. But I do miss my chickens and am trying to get up the nerve to 'smuggle' them in too.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin