My Journey To Minimalism – Week 2

After a BIG downsize, clean and truck bed full in our Master Bedroom we were blessed enough to be able to take a couple of days and go stay at a respite for full-time ministry workers.  While we were there we had time to relax and reflect.  I’ve got to say after week 1 I am already feeling a little lighter and I can’t wait to give all my clothes away to people in our neighborhood in need.  I think a lot about those that we serve in this inner city ministry; the ones in jail and the ones in our back yard.  Three years of being on this mission field we have learned so many lessons and have grown closer and more connected to God.  I’ve prayed for the last two of the three years to be able to see the people through Jesus’ eyes and love them with a compassion that He has for them.

No matter if you are the C.E.O. of a major corporation, a ditch digger, a mega-church pastor or a homeless addict we are all God’s creation and people that Jesus died for and each individual life carries equal value and worth.  Through my prayers I have been able to see the needs around me.  During this journey I’ve been able to slow down enough to notice my community.  I’ve realized that my money and my stuff do not belong to me.  I am only the steward over the resources that God has allowed me to have.  I must admit as I’ve been clearing out the clutter I am ashamed at all of the “stuff” that I have.  When I think about all of the clothing and perfumes, nail polishes and even extra linens that I keep in my closet I realize that they add up to quite a lot of money that I invested in things.  How selfish of me to spend God’s money so unwisely.

Each day I pull into our cafe I am reminded of the condition of the battleground we are on.  We have so many broken people that we come into contact with each day and the deeper and longer we are in this community the more I want to be a voice for the homeless.  I want to remind people of the forgotten and fight for those who cannot.

You see, this journey that I’m on is not only about cutting the clutter out of my life but it is about living the life that I was created to live.  I believe that when Jesus saves us  He calls us to be His imagine bearers to a lost and dying world.  I have been asking myself if my savior didn’t even have a place to lay His head why do I deserve to have all this excess.  Honestly, for me, I am not able to live a life of excess; excess clothing, excess possessions, excess housing when my brothers and sisters are hungry and dying in the streets.

Please friends get this, I am not being dramatic I’m being real.  This year alone I can testify to several deaths resulting from drug, alcohol and poverty.  The time and money that God gives us each day is not to be squandered away.  We are His light in this dark world and perhaps instead of building bigger buildings to meet in our buying the newest fashion we could put shoes on some of our neighbors that don’t have any.  Yes, I have neighbors that do not have any shoes.  I’m working on that by the way.

If we would stop for just 15 minutes and go to God in prayer and ask Him, “How have I done with the time and money you have given me?  Have I spent the money the way you want me to?  Have I spent the last 24 hours doing what you would have me do? ”   Have we even slowed down long enough to realize that the only reason we are here right now is that God is allowing us to be.

I want you to be encouraged.  I hope that you are picking up what I am laying down here.  I am going through several life-changing lessons that I believe I am supposed to share.  There is someone God wants to be impacted by this other than myself.  I believe God is revealing himself to me more and more throughout this process.  I am earnestly seeking the simplicity that minimalism offers.  We are living in a culture that encourages selfishness and excessive consumerism.  I don’t want to drown in all of my possessions and I certainly don’t want to spend the time it takes to maintain them.  I want to live a life of passion and purpose that is bigger than me.

So for today, I have managed to clear out the excess in my bathroom closet and vanity area.  Be encourage friends.  God is all we need.  His values and His plans are all we need.  Praise Him!
Pantrybefore linen closetafter linen closet 2after linen closet 3 after linen closet before vanity drawer 4after vanity drawerbefore vanity drawer2after vanity drawer2before vanity drawer 3after vanity drawer3 before vanityafter vanity topUnder vanity

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Declutter

As the Christmas season approaches us it can be a very stressful time.  Most of the time we overspend, over commit and run ourselves ragged until we hit the bed at night exhausted.  Why not start this holiday season and start making the changes in your life. Show that you care for the home God has blessed you with by cleaning out the clutter.  Appreciate the people He has surrounded you with by spending quality time with them, stop and actually “listen” to what is going on in their lives; be present.  Be good stewards with the income He allows you to make, remember everything belongs to Him so ask Him before you spend His money.

Ok so dear friends, for those of you who are ready to join me in a true “Awakening the journey begins today.  The journey begins with you and God.  It is important that we spend some time alone with God today.  Ask him what His priorities are for your life.  Ask Him what activities or appointments are not necessary for you to be involved in; even if they are good.   Allow Him to begin to set our schedules and priorities for us.  As we’ve been learning this past week in our women’s group, we exist to glorify God.  That’s our purpose, to glorify God.  Take a good inventory of your life from how you spend our money, how you spend your time and what relationships may be unhealthy for you.   Do your life and the way you spend your time, your money and your relationships glorify God? 

I encourage you to start journaling through this process as well.  Journaling is an invaluable way to organize our thoughts, look back over our accomplishments and recognize our personal development. 

First step:

  • Grab a journal – this does not have to be anything fancy, just a regular notepad will do. 
  • Sit down with God and spend at least 10 minutes in prayer and meditation and take the time to silence the noise around you so that you can really hear God.  

In your quiet time today, please read Psalm 139: 13-16.  Read it quietly then read it out loud.  Spend time with God meditating on these verses.   We can see in these verses alone that God cares so deeply about us that we are marvelously made.   Pay special attention to verse 16, “You saw me before I was born.  Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”  Friends, God created a baby book for you!  He planned out your life and recorded every moment of it.  Isn’t that just like a parent; proud of their precious creation given to them by God?  When our precious babies are born we start planning their lives, we have hopes for their futures and God has those same desires for our lives; He makes plans for us.  Now, it’s up to us to make sure our lives line up with God’s plans for us.  Jeremiah 29:11.

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