Minimalism: Uncluttered Course Week One

Photo from Penguin Random House
Minimalism. I've talked about it several times in the past. [Scroll down to the bottom and search "minimalism" to see how many times.] I have counted how many items leave my house. I have experimented with self challenges to see how "low" can I go. As a family we have lived this intentional live for almost 5 years. But now... Everything changes.

Joshua Becker, one of the strongest and most honestly practical voices within the minimalist movement, released his first book through a major publisher last week. The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own is nothing short of life-challenging, life-changing, life-giving. Many of you are reading it and taking Joshua's course Uncluttered with me. And those that aren't, well, you're missing out. Honest.

This phenomenal new resource is pushing me to give and do and be more. As I type, I'm staring at an amazingly high pile of unwanted objects. I thought I had pretty much cleared out the clutter. In fact, I am content with the level of minimalism in our home. What we have works for us. Yet, when I opened a cabinet I noticed several things we no longer used. When I hung up the rain jacket, I saw the under-worn jacket hanging limply in the closet. These items are fine living in my home, but truly someone else could use them more. My heart has started to follow my hands in how it holds onto our possessions - loosely, very loosely.

In week one of the Uncluttered course, Joshua asks us to declare our "why" for minimalism. Since David and I have been journeying for a while, I kinda thought we had this assignment nailed. Our family motto still rings true yet I realized that my voice has been the loudest as we've walked this counter-cultural road. I wanted to hear David's voice, his dreams, his desires.

See, I am the dreamer in my family. I love goals and vision and brainstorming the seemingly impossible. I also love practical and easy to accomplish steps. David, practically turns green when I mention setting goals for our family. It's not that he doesn't want purpose or defined focus, he's just wired to go about them differently. Truthfully, sometimes I want to tell him to lighten up and don't get so hung up on the semantics of the thing. [smile]

When it comes to how our home is run, I lead the daily to do's. He keeps me in check, as a good husband should, but he trusts me. Still over the years, minimalism has changed David. He no longer buys items just to own them. He calculates if we have the space and if he has the time to properly care for whatever he desires. He has disowned many items because he recognizes that these items don't bring him happiness, healthy relationships do. But, I'm still the dreamer, the motivator. I enjoy this role, but we're reaching a point as a family where some of our "one day..." and "sometime..." could be realities. And while I love to dream, I really, really need David's insight and encouragement to risk. Funny that. I'm not the risk taker. He is.

So I'm learning to listen to his voice in our minimalist home and I'm pushing myself to risk. One of those "risks" has been to welcome several of you into my home. Not just for tea or a chat, but so you can physically see how we live. I try to answer your questions. I don't view this as a bragging game, but an idea generator. Sometimes it just helps to see how someone does something. So closets are opened, drawers are pulled, and my prayer is you leave filled with possibility for your own space. [I'm happy to have more visitors, so just holler if you want to see, but I'm also hoping to see some of your spaces. I'm still learning and growing too and you have ways of inspiring me.]

This whole mission of minimalism isn't about reaching a nirvana-like state where no clean-up is required. And it's certainly not about winning some prize for lowest number of possessions. What it has always been and always will be is a chance for us to live simply so Christ, in us, is made great through us.

Uncluttered, The More of Less, and the conversations I'm having with you and my husband are leading into a new phase of minimalism for my family. We are on the cusp of taking this to the next level. We cannot stay in the infant stage forever [how boring!]. It's time to start growing up, risking a little [or a lot] and trusting that where our treasure is there His heart will be. It's about walking with faith and not sight.

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