Simple Living Lesson Two

    This weekend I kicked off my 30 days to simpler living.  The e-book can be found here; it is now $2.99 but it was free when I "picked it up".  I'm going to try to chronicle my journey through this bok, and ultimately, to a whole year of less spending, more loving what I have and practicing being content.  Isn't that a major part of happiness; dreaming big but ultimately being content with what you have right now?  I struggle with contentment, yet I know deep down that more money, more stuff, or a trip somewhere will not make me happier necessarily.  

     The Bible says this, "But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world" (Timothy 6:6-7).  Such a good thing to remember; that no matter how many things we amass in this world, when the end comes we cannot keep it.  Would I like to have things to hand down to my children?  Absolutely.  Do I want those things to be boxes of paper and junk collected over the years, or crates full of cords for electronics we don't have anymore, or scrapbooks I never finished?  No.  There are some things worth saving, and then there are things that I probably should not have kept in the first place. 

     You see, the big problem is, that I already have a lot of "stuff" and yet I don't use it all, because I don't have enough time to do all the things that I have dreamed up in my mind.  I think this is partially part because I am creative and I see potential in all things, and partially because of the way I grew up.  I hold on to too much.  I can't use all my things, and I still want more things that I don't have yet, because I feel like those things would help me out or make me happier or make my life easier.  If I really want my life to be easier, I think I just need to downsize.  I need to make space.  I need to simplify.  I need my home and my mind to be less full so I can enjoy what I have now.

     Lesson one was about dreaming big, and lesson two is to spend 30-60 minutes cleaning out your *ahem* underwear drawer.  I wanted to take pictures of my progress, but I am not photographing this lesson for you.  I think you'll understand, though.  My problem with this step is that I know I'm in need of replacing a lot of things.  I won't tell you the last time I bought good underwear, but I assure you, it's an embarrassing amount of time.  Having kids will do that to you sometimes.  I always spend on them first.  The biggest part of simplifying this year, is that I want to save money though, not spend it.  I hate this assignment because of this.  

     I get it, though.  When I get up in the morning and I go to get dressed and nothing fits right or looks good on me anymore, it stresses me out before I even leave my bedroom for the day.  I get discouraged.  I sulk.  I hate myself a little bit.  This is no way to start the day.  I am cleaning out my dresser this afternoon.  This weekend, when I attempted to do it, we cleaned out the garage instead.  That's right, I would rather organize my whole garage than go through my clothing and make some hard choices.  I would rather organize all my children's clothing than go through my own (four kids equals a lot of sorting!).  Well, at least that's done now.  Time to face the music.  

     Do you practice a "simple" lifestyle?  Is it even really possible with a larger family?  I feel like we have so many more things than the average family because we have four kids 6 and under.  Most of these blogs that I see devoted to simple living, are written by single people, or couples with one or less children.  Life is a little simpler with less bodies in one home, but that's not our home.  I would love tips on how to make this happen with more children and at least one creative type in the family.  My crafting/scrapbooking/teaching areas feel impossible to control at all, let alone simplify and turn them into peaceful areas where work can be accomplished without a headache.

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