It’s been several years now since I started this process of clearing out. With a house and farm full of maybe-I’ll-use-someday’s and this-has-been-in-the-family-forever’s, we had the most radical (for me) experience of freeing us from the bondage of STUFF. We sold things. We gave things away. We all but stopped our thrift store shopping-for-a-good-deal.
A good deal is not a good deal if you don’t need it and won’t use it.
When we moved a year ago (can you believe it’s been a year?! Yet it feels like decades in some ways…), we realized we still had too much stuff. The move was manageable, but there was still more than plenty.
Last summer our finances were tight. Scott’s total hospital visit cost just over a million dollars but thankfully our deductible was quite manageable. Our church and family blessed us with financial gifts. We hosted garage sales with donated items. Scott’s co-workers were very generous.
We carried two house payments until the old farm sold, but we didn’t spend much otherwise. We stayed home a lot. My Dad and Chris practically lived here for 4 months, and paid for more than they should have – including a new engine for our Suburban when it went out.
I still can’t get over how financially straining it was even with the massive amounts of help.
In February, 9 months after it all began, we officially realized we are on the other side. We both agreed that we were “back to normal” with our regular financial inflow and outflow. What sweet relief! We are still very cautious with spending, which will benefit us in the long run, I’m sure.
This minimizing has continued even still, and now branched into more areas of our life, beyond physical STUFF:
- We bought a tiny house to learn with & ponder; paid cash with swapping out other things
- I spent a month getting rid of two things each day on social media (group, page, friends)
- I’ve compiled all of my tiny notes scattered everywhere to a single notebook
- We’re limiting our farming activities – maybe the most difficult exercise in self control this year
- We’ve let go of several weekly commitments to focus on home & hospitality
- And we finish a project before we start a new one – something we used to not do well
Anything distracting from a life with eternal purpose is up for grabs. Which is everything, isn’t it?
<3 more time with our family <3
It may not be The American Dream, but it sure is THIS American’s dream.
Ten years ago I would have never imagined I’d be okay with this. I’d also have never believed the mental clarify that it has brought. I used to scoff at people who were “so cold” that they didn’t cling to certain things (like family heirlooms, etc). Funny how time, experiences, and a bit of a nudge will change a person so completely.
Then it hit me. Continue Reading »