Circumstances moved our young family from a two-bedroom townhouse to a bigger house in another part of town. The extra storage, the bigger space and yard, and close proximity to church were all welcome addition. I finally got my windows in a bigger kitchen! We frequently read and watched movies by the fire.
I also noticed I spend substantial time cleaning and organizing rooms that are not even lived on. We are kitchen dwellers, after all. I’m home all day with the kids, yet I was longing to truly spend time with them. To be more involved, to be more present. The calling to simplify was very strong.
SO just when our family got bigger, we decided to give away a big chunk of our material possessions and moved to the city to a much smaller, older home we called the Cottage. We decluttered mercilessly! Loads after loads of the Stuff were taken to the thrift stores, or sold. We lived simpler, more intentional. Wouldn’t you know, the exercise continued even after we’ve settled in. We felt liberated! We didn’t miss the Stuff at all. Everyone adjusted quickly to urban dwelling. We particularly loved being able to walk to and around the lake and bike everywhere. We visited the farmers market more.
The kids and I pared their toys down to minimum. Because they were involved in the decision making, they had a good understanding and acceptance of the process, and better appreciation of what they kept. They became better stewards. It’s much, much easier cleaning up nowadays. (Though I still wish they would do it without prodding, heh.) Creativity flourished. Imagination soared.
Acquaintances seem shocked to find out we’ve moved to the big city. (And they have not even heard the rest of the story.) “What were you thinking?”
The Joneses, and the Smiths, are not our standard. You’ll find our Model in the Gospels. What that means to us is that we don’t have to go the way of culture.
We are still finding our way around. I mean, are we ever done? We might not see the whole picture yet, but what we have is a vision. One thing is sure, Stuff is not part of it.