I am usually completely upfront and honest about my thought and feelings on this blog. Maybe that comes from my experience writing a journal (which is how this blog started) or my relative inexperience with writing to an audience about a particular topic (to pull that off you need to be educated about whatever you’re writing about and I feel like I am only at the learning stage of these things…). So yet again, I post yet another “this is what I’ve been thinking about” blog. Interestingly enough, I find that is what occupies my mind these days, not the actual doing (which would be worth writing about) but the thinking about doing (which leads to overly-emotional-practically-useless posts).
The latest (and repeating) thought is that, like so many blogs that I am following, I want to lead a simple life. We are a young family of four, in more debt than my husband can reasonably make in a year (not including the two new cars we own) and we have four television sets of which at least one is running most hours of the day. My house is dirty and I am frustrated. Sounds pretty, right? Of course not!!! Maybe the problem is that I keep thinking about solving my problem instead of acting on my problems. No matter what, the time has come to sell our belongings. I have been changing slowly but surely and I really do feel the conviction to lead a simple, if slightly “abnormal” lifestyle. Things like using candles and oil lamps, making my own soap, washing laundry by hand and cooking using old-fashioned simple food seems perfect for our family.
When I first started wearing dresses, I thought that the purpose was to wear a dress, that there wasn’t much rhyme or reason behind it. Sure, I read the arguments about being modest, but I thought pants and modesty weren’t mutually exclusive. Then I began to ponder feminine but again found that women can look feminine in pants. That is until I began to define feminine. I no longer think that women can look very feminine in pants. It is possible, but rare. Women these days confuse sexy with feminine and most of the time, I think that a woman will look feminine by wearing a nice blouse, but pairing it with jeans just kills it for me. What I began to discover is that the dress actually revealed the heart. It wasn’t used as a cover-up or a distraction, it was the outward displaying of the heart. What I like about wearing dresses isn’t their comfort but that they help me discover what is in my heart.
My household possessions do the same thing. I look around and I don’t see memories of my kids building a fort or reading a story, but watching TV or a movie. My almost three year old is in love with TV, to the point that he specifically asks for it and “needs” it each day. To wean him off TV is a loud process, but better to do it at 3 than 13! I long for the days where my children and I go through the house cleaning it and rewards ourselves with time spent in a good book. That life sounds idyllic and fanciful and also unattainable. I have daily proof through the blogs that I read that this life is possible. People do exist without a TV, people do manage to spend time together as a family without stress and arguing, women are able to get their chores done during the day. I acknowledge that people rarely put their worst foot forward on their blogs (though I have no problem doing it!) so what I am reading is the best possible scenario. However, these women are committed to it and they are happier because of it.
So the material effect from all this thinking is that my husband and I are preparing to move and we will be taking an extremely hard look at what to keep. Questions like, is this good for the family? Will this build us up together as a family of God? Is this item going to steal time from my family? Is there a strong emotional attachment to this item? Is it necessary? Do I love it? From these questions I hope to separate the wheat from the chaff and (while saving money on the move!) benefit my family. This is a hard process for us and it goes against conventional wisdom. We are hoping to sell quite a few of our household possessions and not replace them at all, instead choosing to do without until we can afford to purchase them. We will use the proceeds from the sale of our belongings to pay for our move and pay off some debt, if there is anything left.
Have I mentioned the move? We are moving from Washington to Colorado in January which will put us much closer to family. We are all very excited about this move, but the logistics of it are a source of constant confusion. This next year will definitely be “unconventional” as we try to get back on our feet! If anyone has specific tips on how to go about selling our household goods, how to begin to live a simple life (ie. what should we change first and/or how to go about changing it) or anything else that is appropriate, that would be great! I have yet to delete a comment and don’t have a problem posting (polite) dissenting opinions.