christy’s story

September 10, 2008

yesterday, christy shared her personal journey with me as a comment on this blog. her story is similar to ours. i found it encouraging to me as we continue to become minimalist. and because one of the purposes of this blog is to encourage you to minimalize, i thought i’d post it here for you to read as well. so with christy’s permission, here it is:

“I have spent the last 10 months de-cluttering and simplifying our home and lives. I did one round of simplifying and when I started looking at my things more critically, I realized that the first go-around was really the tip of the iceberg.

It all started rather unspiritually last Halloween. I was schlepping to the door for trick or treaters. I was embarrassed at the state of my house and thinking about Christmas and it all just came to a head internally.

The thought occurred to me – – I live in a darling little victorian house that could be the epitome of home and warmth, but it feels cramped and messy. And I knew Christmas would be here before we know it and that will mean *more* decor and clutter. Talk about missing the point and skipping the whole peace and reason for the season.

So I decided that night to start the next day removing as much clutter and reorganize so that in a few weeks when the Christmas season hit, I was going to enjoy my little house and cramming it full of people and things I really loved.

I worked my TAIL off and it made a huge difference in our Christmas and in my mental clutter. I started to look for things that had meaning in my stash of Christmas decor and somewhere along the process, I started to see *all* my things in a new way….I wanted to be surrounded by things I love and not by stuff I should keep. I re-thought what I wanted our living spaces to be like and how they could serve our family better. For example…while a rocking chair emotes a feeling of warmth and comfort, how practical is it when my wrestling little boy gets it in the head and floor space is at a premium?

And in the 10 months since, I have kept at it…paring down our entire house- – basement to bathroom – -every drawer and corner. I’ve taken countless overflowing carfuls of possessions to the thrift store and there isn’t a single thing I wish I’d kept. That concept has been sobering to me say the least…I had *that* much stuff that was “out of sight out of mind”. Oy…no wonder we’re consider the “haves” of the world. And I’m still finding things weekly that I can purge.

To me, this isn’t about if I have 100 things or 1000. It’s about living on the least I can. It’s about spending less time thinking about stuff and more time loving people. It’s about living in the present and not being caught up in the past or waiting for the future. It’s about seeing everything I have as a huge blessing.

Am I down to the bare minimum? Probably not, but I’m working on it. But I feel like I’ve discovered a new way of living that involves real thought and priorities and creativity. I ask myself questions now when dealing with my things…Will I really use this thing (and not just in theory!)? Is it in the most sensible place for it? Would it mean more to someone I love to have it? And most importantly “Just because I CAN buy something, does it mean I have to”?

And this desire for simplicity has spilled over to how I spend my money and my time too.

For me it’s an obedience thing. I have been given by God a huge heart for the less fortunate of the world. So how can I possibly justify being excessive and wasteful if I care about the poor?

I am really enjoying reading your blog from start to finish and thank you for your transparency. Blessings to all of us as we find explore this journey we’re on and God’s best for us.”

thanks for sharing your story, christy. the comments on this blog are my favorite part… in a small way, i feel like i get to meet new people. and it’s my privilege to meet you. God’s blessing on your journey as you strive to focus less and less on the material and more and more on the eternal.

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3 Responses to “christy’s story”

  1. Christy Says:

    I’ve officially extended my life from just being a hippie in theory, to being a full-fledged card-carrying hippie. ;o)

    I feel like there is a lot more I could have said…about the evolution of my feelings toward my home, poverty, waste, and my values in this process. About how it fits into the whole politically correct and trendy “green” idea. But this is already a novel and I’m told brevity is the soul of wit (Clearly, I will never be witty).

    Thanks for giving weight to my words — it’s a pleasure to meet a family with similar values.

  2. Juanita Says:

    Hi, I’m a friend of Christy’s. She told me about your blog. I have enjoyed reading your journey to becoming a minimalist.
    My husband and I have decided to be minimalists as well. It was a bit of a forced decision, we have no basement. It truly is freeing. What point is there to having stuff just for stuff’s sake?
    Thanks for writing this blog. I hope it inspires other’s to do the same.

  3. caron Says:

    I love that this minimalist blog is not over the top! It definitly motivates me to get rid of stuff I do not need, but it does not make me feel guilty for owning possessions that make my life easier. For example, I read one blog where a man was thinking about buying a bungalow to live in…but decided that a minimalist does not really need that big of a space to live in. I feel that Christy is very well balanced in her approach!

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