In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Do we really need all the stuff we have?

This has long been a question on my mind.

My husband John and I committed to simplification in terms of our finances before we married (that will be 5 years ago as of tomorrow!). When we purchased the home where we currently reside, we could have purchased a much nicer/more luxurious/newer/more prestigious home, but agreed to this home so that we could outright own it and not carry any mortgage. Living without debt has gone quite a way toward helping us simplify our lives and focus on what really matters.

Today John showed me the following video that totally captivated my attention:

Is this a cool idea or what?!

Don't get me wrong, I don't, at this point right now, see us selling all we have and purchasing land and going to a tiny home. But I do see this as an awesome life simplification.

John & I are currently seeking to live a simple lifestyle and are incorporating ways to do this on an on-going basis. So, instead of going after the "good life", we're living and constantly incorporating ways to live with more joy and less stuff. Or to buy stuff we think we need second hand so we have more money to give.

What are some practical ways you've found effective for simplifying your life?


Victor S E Moubarak said...

Happy Anniversary. Many happy returns.

Sadly, many of us are caught in consumerism, and purchasing things just in case we'll need them some day, or to keep up with neighbours and families and to show off our wealth.

Real wealth comes from happiness and a peace of mind.

God bless.

David-FireAndGrace said...

Life is not simple in the city. Just to go and get hot dog rolls can take 45 or 50 minutes.

We have a house that we hoped to retire in. It was the cheapest thing that we could find that didn't need major work.

We have two cars, a house that fits 3 kids, and 1 full bath.

I am gone 55 hours a week between work and commuting.

Life is still not simple. I long for shorter hours, more time with family, time to take a walk, and a few minutes to relax.

I saw an old friend today, and I was joking how I have not been able to use my cruise control in the 4 years I have lived here.

We had a real estate agent come to appraise our home, I am pretty sure we might sell and look elsewhere.

RCUBEs said...

Today's housing market that crashed down is a result of irresponsible way of living. I wouldn't mind living in that small house. If we really think about it, the Lord is right that nothing here lasts. So, we can have the biggest house, when we die, then what?

Now, when I go out even to go grocery shopping, I only buy what I need. My friend does not enjoy my presence when shopping because she sees me with no interest to browse in the clothing racks. She knows if I don't need any, I'd be the one to impatiently get out of the store :)

God bless you sister and protect you always.

The Maryland Crustacean said...

Happy Anniversary!

Big house or small, it is great to be able to live within your means and not go into debt. It is so liberating in so many ways.

Tracy said...

Rcubes - I so relate about the shopping thing. Many women enjoy shopping as a past time and going to malls. I don't. I buy what we need, which is very little. Malls seem to display all kinds of cool stuff I don't need or even really want. We're fine without all that.

Anonymous said...

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JD Curtis said...

I agree MDC.

Me and the Mrs are going to start looking for something with a little more square footage soon.

But we both agree that the word minimalist will carry the day insofar as living lives less cluttered.

You don't really need THAT much stuff.

Michelle said...

I love this idea, Tracy! I saw a special on one of the news shows awhile back. We, too, have talked about "simplifying" in later life. (Not sure how simple I could get with 2.5 kids, 3 cats, and a dog.)

Right now my way of simplifying is to TRY to focus on decluttering. (Which I actually need to do right now. BAD!) Usually if I haven't used something or worn it during a season...I ditch it.

I actually see ads in our local paper for classes and seminars to help folks simplify. I would love to go but they're at a pagan church and I just can't bring myself to go.

Love it! And good luck with that...what a great life!

Michelle said...

Oh.. and Happy Anniversary!

May said...

Happy Anniversary!
Just love the video...I saw it earlier today over at yahoo and it got my attention.....Bigger doesn't mean better.

Tracy said...

Victor-I'm so with you on consumerism NOT being the source of happiness

MDC & JD - Although I found this video quite fascinating, I agree that size is not the real issue. Like you guys, I think living beyond one's means is a huge source of stress for many Americans and am grateful for a husband like John who sees this the same way I do.

David - Although 55 hours is a lot, it's not non-do-able. There was a time when I spent about 50 hours a week on my job, took 1 1/2 hrs each way to commute, and then was still on call 24/7. I made great money but am certainly glad that I'm not still in that rat race. I'm grateful that God gives us the grace we need to do what we need to do when we have to do it.

I'll be praying that God will bless the time you have with your family that it will be rich, good, quality time.

Michelle - Sounds like we may be in the same boat in terms of constantly employing new ways to continue to simplify.

May - You're right: bigger does not mean better. I think John found the vido on Yahoo too.

photogr said...

The more junk you have, the bigger house you need. One of the reasons we went with a mobile home when I retired. Small, compact, but spacious and cheap.

Now we are looking at an RV for living in while in Florida for the winter and in Ohio for the summer. Much smaller, compact, and easily movable with a 1 ton pickup truck.

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