Today was a great autumn day here in the mountains! I'm hoping to get a photo of an Elk, Eagle and a better photo of a Mountain Goat. I was able to get some photos of Bighorn Sheep which I will post later. I just love fall, it is my favorite season! Happy Autumn!
We have been house searching the past week and I have been getting a little discouraged lately. Searching for a home here is not easy but I know God will lead us to the right one in His timing!
Also it seems every time we come to Montana I get sick with something in my throat! It is so bizarre! This time I got cellulitis and a skin infection around my eye on the way out here and now 2 days ago I started having my lymph nodes swelling up in my throat and go figure my neck is stiff and sore.
I'm not sure what is going on with that but it is sure frustrating when you put all that stuff together! This morning I was reflecting on the past month after breakfast when God brought to my mind a verse I learned through many years of summer camping.
Colossians 2:6 "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord; so walk ye in Him."
That was such an encouragement to me! We have been led into the ministry and while temporary sickness and the temporary discouragement of house hunting have distracted me all I have to do is continue following Christ! These things that have turned into discouragement have now been put down to their proper size. A little stone in the road of life that obviously will come up now and then as you go down a path. You just step over them and continue going!
"So walk ye in Him".
Yes, that is what I choose to do today. Bye bye discouragement!
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace." - Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV
Well, it could be the same thing but that truly depends on your perspective!
Now let me explain.
It started with moving, reading some books, and some personal reflections, questions and then finally some answers. So here is the story:
During this whole moving process we have been going through our things. Packing, re-packing, living out of boxes, re-packing, etc. A very tiring cycle. So I asked myself "Do I reallyneed these things? Some of these things I haven't missed/used/worn/seen in the time we have been living out of boxes so why should I even keep it?" Then I go and attach an emotion/memory to it or I think of how useful it is once I get my own home again.
The only usefulness about this junk is that it will help me keep my weight down but on the flip side clutter adds stress. Plus clutter breeds clutter.
I see simply decorated homes where, like in the "olden days", the decor was actually made from useful things that the people actually used, washed, then hung back on the wall to save space!
Those homes are so homey and comfortable; it reminds me of a hot cup of coffee by the morning campfire after you wake up on a camping trip. I want a home like that.
So I started thinking about other things cluttering up my life. Things that are running my life, maybe addictions or other things and I started thinking. I started thinking about our budget, my endless boxes of clothes that only contain a few nice, namebrand ones worth keeping, the food we eat, where we go to eat, where we shop, my boxes of cheap seasonal decor. (side note here- I saw some nice decorations from the Dollar Tree! Yikes!)
Then I happened upon some books and one of them is called "7" by Jen Hatmaker. That book drove the nail in the coffin of my excess.
I love simplicity, I crave simplicity so the time is now to truly simplify. Everything.
Now that we are up to the present, here is what I am doing:
I am going through absolutely everything. Habits, lifestyle, desires, belongings. Basically anything really tanglible and temporary. You don't see hearses hauling U-haul's to the cemetery. First thing eliminated on a trial basis is Sugar. I crave sweets like there is no tomorrow. No more snacking on sweet things unless its something naturally sweet like real fruit. I am going 2 months without Sugar. Why 2 months? Our baby's golden birthday is November 2 and just in case I can't find a mildly sweetened cake alternative for her fun cake I am planning on making. . .
Next thing is going through the boxes of stuff. Sure, I'm keeping the essentials like plant pots so I can have my herbs and bring them with us as we move and things like that. Anything that I haven't used in a year and can get replaced easily is getting donated. Unworthy of donating stuff is getting tossed or recycled.
Next thing is priorities. When we are consumed with things for our self, how can we be focused on others?
Up Next is a Time to Rest. I don't think it's something to overlook when this subject keeps getting brought up to me at an almost daily basis. I would say that is God telling me something right there. We human's need to rest on a weekly basis. Take a day off, spend time at home doing stuff with your friends/family. Turn off that awful Time Waster the TV and listen to what your family has to say- their intelligence might be surprising! Sad to note how family can quickly be reduced to room-mate status instead of family.
Also for dreams and desires. Things can sure fog up a person's "vision". Once you start removing the protective "layer" of things and clutter you start seeing other people and their needs instead of being self-absorbed into protecting "your own".
There is so much more I could go on for hours upon hours and then some!
So as we go towards this Loss of Excess instead of feeling an excessive loss, I am feeling something wonderful! Simplicity and the fruits of simplicity! May this be an un-ending process or life will get cluttered up and stagnant again!
Don't be afraid to peel the layers of clutter from around you, there is so much to see and so much more time to be had outside of and free from clutter!