Journey to Minimalism, Journey to God

{do without}

This evening, as I browse The Zero Waste Home and reignite my excitement for minimalism and simplification of my life, I recall the journey that has gotten me to here. What appears to be a journey of decluttering and an ongoing battle against stuff, is actually a journey to God and an ongoing battle against the stuff that distracts my focus from Him. Here are a few journal entries--from 2007 and 2012--that tells more of that journey.

Read if you are brave enough; it's long, but I promise I was impressed to type it out because it will be worth someone's while.


I believe I had my first Lasn-and-the-shopping-cart experience. His expression was anger, mine--disgust. We ate out yesterday with friends, then went to a movie by ourselves for our first month-iversary of our wedding. Leaving the theater, I felt sick as thoughts of Rhetoric class and Kalle Lasn's Culture Jam as well as Media and Meaning and the documentary about creating American "cool" circled my mind. Questions tightened my stomach with the hopeless surrender of no answers.

Who deemed it acceptable to pay $25 for burgers and fries? What made me okay with trashing one week's grocery budget on one meal when we're scrounging for that grocery money and avoiding the store for lack of it? Who said $15 was a fair price for a couple to see a movie in the theater and what made me okay with following this "norm" in the name of celebration? Why did I agree to a movie, knowing it would be an inappropriate against-my-beliefs movie?

I felt sick leaving the theater. A valuable evening wasted, leaving my precious night hours to finish an assignment (a critique on Culture Jam, none the less). Money blown on a frivolous meal leaving me to wonder how/if groceries will be bought this week. A cluttered apartment to return to, an entire extra room useless as it's currently full of... stuff. Things I haven't used nor missed in quite some time. Some useful items currently unusable, lost behind all the uselessness.


The drive home was my window of hope as my husband held my hand in his lap, my other hand thoughtfully and sentimentally rubbing my belly and thus the baby girl inside. They are what matter most. My husband--the considerate and selfless man in my life. The one by my side through morning sickness and patheticness. The one that rubs my feet before I ask, processes laundry when my best excuse for not doing it myself is the cold cement floor, and decides to recycle just because he cares. My prayer partner and encouragement. My warrior and stallion. As we drove down the dark, sparse Lincoln streets I watched the street lights glow across his face, and I felt giddy. How could I be so blessed?! Some girls "get knocked up" and wind up abandoned or trapped in a relationship destined to end before a pregnancy altered fate. Not me. I got the stallion. The one I'm stoked to spend my days with and so peaceful and comforted to spend my nights. How blessed am I?!

And the little one--the baby girl--the Heavenly royalty inside of me. She's God's child and I am so blessed to be a part of her creation. She's growing and moving and responding to her dad and me. I can't wait to hold her in my arms or to see her resting on her daddy's chest. She'll grow and laugh and learn and love. LORD, may we teach her how valued she is not only to Daniel and myself, but especially because she is Your daughter. May we be blessed examples for her little eyes to see. And when we mess up, may You always be there to carry her and to be her ultimate parent. How blessed are we?!

And that's where my evening ended. I drew myself a warm bath--settled my consumer-sick stomach and reveled in the love of my God and in the arms of my husband. I have a long way to go--lots to learn about my role in God's creation and lots to do in my efforts to put into action what I've already learned--organizing to do, a schedule to revamp, and time to return to God. I rest assured, the journey continues...


Ahhhhhh!!...!! Ahhh!!....!

I think I am honestly going to go insane! Seriously, I physically and actually can't take it anymore. The "stuff"--it's taking over. I mean, really, I don't know where to start. I just went through my school papers--finally just punched holes in everything, put 'em in notebooks I already own and decided I'll sort through them another time. I mean, this whole process is a multi-step event, yes? So I will take each section and make it a little better until I get to round 2 and can make it even better, and round 3 will be more organized and so the cycle continues--probably until the end of time.

I mean, really, how many times are new things coming into this house? School papers. Mail. Notes. Gifts. Shopping trips. I am convinced I will spend the rest of my life in a never-ending organizing frenzy. I've felt consumed by having too much before, but never this bad. Never so I feel impaired, like my life (homework, search for a job, time with friends) must be put on hold until I can catch up. And catch up, I will. I refuse to be so consumed, to be so stressed and preoccupied. Stuff will not get the best of me.


Okay, I feel better. Like I have a place to begin the action--a goal in mind and a set of brainstorming ideas of how to put it in motion. What to get rid of, what to hang onto, what to throw away to not waste precious resources. We'll see how it works out. But, for now, I'm feeling really good about it. LORD, consumerism (and its effects) is a silly issue to deal with. Thank you for taking my pleas seriously anyway and urging me forward into potential solutions. Thank you for showing me that my petty problems (and I) matter to You!


When a woman has a Kingdom heart, she has an active understanding of what matters most to the heart of God. She energetically pursues Him with every piece of her being. She lives in the balance of passion and contentment. She learns to love well, give without regard to self, and forgive without hesitation. ... The woman with a Kingdom heart... has learned to hold [her possessions] with an open hand. {A Beautiful Offering, p. 157}

[Matthew 6:19-21] says that your heart follows your treasure. Wouldn't it be amazing to be a woman whose treasure always leads her toward the Kingdom? {A Beautiful Offering, P. 162}



Enough is too much.

That was the message I felt You speaking to me last night. I kept reading about and desiring contentment with less. Less stuff, less spending, less waste. But in application, I'm saying, "Okay, but..." Okay, but... I want curtains and rugs that coordinate better and are more my style. Okay, but... I want to revamp my wardrobe. Okay, but... let me just buy these few things we "need" for our home. And then I'll be happy. And then I'll spend more time [volunteering/with the kids/with You] (fill in the blank). And then I'll be done spending and wanting unimportant things. And then I'll give to others. And then I will seek how to be more involved with the kids or Bible studies or following You.

{gratitude is enough}

But Enough is enough. In fact, enough is too much. I have more than enough. We have more than we truly need. More clothes. More food. More decor + pleasantries + time consumers + hobbies + wants + distractors. More than enough of all of it.

It ends now. If I want curtains in the dining room, I will hang the green ones I have with the curtain rod handed down from a friend. If I want rugs, I will use the ones already covering our floors. If I want to hang pictures, I will use the frames we already own. And the money saved can help others. Or pay off debt. Or help others pay off debt :)

But I need help. My OCD mind has a picture-perfect idea of what my home should be. But I need to stop now. Yes, clean and declutter. Yes, rearrange or sparingly decorate resourcefully. But above all SEEK THE KINGDOM and be content with what we have.

{delight in the LORD}