It appears I took a month off from blogging! It wasn't my intention but it was needed. I kind of burnt myself out with Christmas and needed a break from everything. As I said in my last (and only post of January) the Lord has been showing me what I need to let go. Not just in my commitments inside and outside of the home but with my things. He has been shedding light on my deeply rooted need to be comfortable...my attachment to my things, even my home, my car etc. Ouch! It is hard to learn these things about yourself.
It all started a few months back when Grace came home with this memory verse from school:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matt. 6:19-21
In helping Grace learn this scripture it helped open my eyes! I now see the treasures I have stored here on Earth. The value I have place on things. I've also come to realize that with things often comes stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. It clouds our focus. Instead of focusing our minds and essentially our hearts on Christ we are focused on keeping our things, getting new things, organizing our things, cleaning our things and on and on... If we learn to live with less, we have less things to preoccupy our time, our minds, our hearts. If we have less clothes for example, there are less clothes to get dirty and less laundry to do which leads to more time to spend with Christ and our families. If we learn to live with less, we spend less and it helps provide the opportunity to give more.
Just an example: These are just my clothes that are on their way to Goodwill!
So what am I doing about all that I have learned? Well, it is a s-l-o-w process! :-) It takes time to weed through the things of life (especially with little ones along for the ride). I am working my way through our home and donating or trashing as much as I can. I am training myself not to replace the old things with new things. Together my girls and I are learning that we do not need the newest thing to be fulfilled. We also don't have to keep every hand-me-down or gift and when it is out grown, get rid of it! AND we don't need to buy it even if it is a good deal! I am noticing that the things that once brought me joy no longer do, such as a latte in the morning or a new shirt. Instead I'm saving the extra money or giving it to others. I'm allowing God to teach me more and show me more of what I need to change.
Jeremy and I have talked and eventually, when the time is right, we will be down sizing to a smaller home. Either fulfilling our dream of building a home and renovating an old one. I love the home we are in now, it is a home that I have dreamed of. However, I now see, that with the more space you have, the more stuff you fill it with and the more time you need to keep up with it. The higher your standard of living, the more consumed you are with keeping it and maintaining it. Again, if we live simply and below our means, then we are less likely to be stressed by the things of this world and can focus our attention to heavenly things. Being less stressed makes me a better person, wife and mother.
In addition to learning about my stuff issues :-) the Lord has been enlightening me with the little things. That even though a little commitment "isn't that time consuming" a lot of little things becomes very time consuming. I've asked Him to reveal to me what I should part with and to my surprise He has shown me that I need to let go of most of my (outside the home) commitments! I was shocked. Everything is worthwhile and often fun but if it takes you away from your family frequently or distracts you from your family or makes you grouchy then it is a commitment that needs to be let go.
So, that is where I am these days. Still trying to make sense of all if it! :-) I hope you don't mind, but I might take you along for the ride, sharing from time to time where I am in this transition.
I have entered the world of blogging! My purpose? To stay connected to friends and family and invite you into my world. A world filled with fun, tears, laughter, excitement, elation, disappointment and all the blessings of being a mother and wife.