I found these Polaroids of myself hidden in our garage about a week ago. I couldn't help but laugh! How can you not laugh?! Clearly things have not changed with myself. I mean I still love modeling in front of the camera even at 30! 😉 My love for photography started at age 4 with my dad's Polaroid. You can read more about my Polaroid Story here.
I'm so glad I found these though. I used sheets as back drops and I guess I promoted black Nike's and Jean pants that were obviously way to baggy =P
Oh that Polaroid. A vintage camera now. That holds many memories. I love all things vintage, classic and "old". Things like that are such gems and most items have so many stories to tell.
Several months ago I came across a blog called becoming a Minimalist. I definitely came across it at the right time. About a year ago the Lord was really working on something within my heart. I've wanted to go back to the basics of life. While I knew for a very long time what he wanted to change in me I avoided it until now. One of my favorite country songs by Miranda Lambert-"Automatic" explains it perfectly.
"Hey, whatever happened to waitin' your turn.. Doing it all by hand,' Cause when everything is handed to you It's only worth as much as the time put in. It all just seemed so good the way we had it. Back before everything became automatic"
I think of my grandma when I hear this song. I picture her filling up her old fashioned washing machine with water, letting it run, letting the soapy water out, adding more fresh water then ringing the clothes through the ringer. Next hanging each item of clothing on the line outside. If your like me then you loathe doing laundry! In this day and age all we do is remove the clothes a few inches into the dryer and that's time consuming! Right?! ;) Anyone feel me on that? =P
I recently felt myself getting over stressed about things that could have easily been avoided. Our garage has been filled with so much stuff. We kept saying we would tackle it but we never did. We had 4 sets of dishware. 4 SETS! 4 sets of 6-10 plates, bowls and saucers! Plus all my great grandmother fine china. Why exactly do we need that many? The fine china would have served it's purpose all on its own for a dinner party. When my husband and I got married we both had tons of stuff to bring with us. Double of everything. While I tried to get rid of what we didn't "need" we still managed to hold onto stuff that we didn't really need. Not too mention things we got along the way. It has piled up and accumulated over the years thus causing stress.
I love talking with my grandma about when she was younger. She always puts things into perspective on the way her and my grandpa lived. The way she still lives. The things she has been telling me my whole life I now finally get. I finally want to do. I guess clarity hit me while turning 30 ;) I read an article awhile back that said, when we go on vacation for a weekend what do we take with us? Normally we take just the stuff we need packed in a suit case and a small bag to get us by for the weekend. We live on exactly what we need for that trip. So we can just live from a suitcase when we need too? ;) How eye opening that was for me. Excess has over taken this generation. The want for more. The want for bigger which is why half of America is in major debt. We get embarrassed over all the wrong things. We look at things and not our hearts. (My husband and I are also in the middle of taking Dave Ramsey's class at our church. So very convicting and eye opening) While I'm a firm believer in getting to enjoy life and all the nice things it comes with I also think I need to set myself boundaries and check my heart. Appreciate more of what I do have than what I don't have. It's no surprise how much I love fashion. I love getting creative with my outfits and accessories, I love sharing my ideas. I love getting to do collaborations with business's and share/review their products on Instagram. It's FUN for this girly girl ;)
But I do want simple. I want my kids to stay off their I-pad and go climb bean stalks in the sky. I want them to lay in the grass and make pictures out of clouds. I want to be able to do less cleaning and organizing because minimizing will allow me too. I want to make more memories with my family that doesn't require money all of the time. I want to use our imaginations more. Basically, I want to truly stop and smell the roses. Every time we leave the house my now 6 year old always stops before we get in the truck to find a lady bug, or she says, "look mom" let's make a wish! This was her several years ago.
She's so fascinated with stopping and seeing the beauty around her and I'm the one that is always rushing her. "Hurry let's get in the car, we don't have time. Let's go!, hurry up!". Boy, did I feel convicted about that! I love how the Lord speaks to us through our children. He was showing me not too get caught up in the busyness of life. Too look at it simply, too enjoy every single little moment. Too really stop and smell those beautiful roses or too make a wish. Life is here and gone tomorrow.
While I understand I don't live in my grandma's generation why can't I still have her mentality with me in this one? I would seriously love to live on an acre of land with a house, have chickens, (ok I just heard all the people I have grown up say, "Jenny wants chickens?!!!" Jenny and Chickens??!! " with their mouths wide open) By the way my friends used to call me Jenny when I was younger. Yes, I would like chickens. I would like to also grow my own fruits and veggies. I don't have a green thumb and I certainly haven't the slightest clue on raising chickens. I would love to learn though. SO much responsibility comes with all of that but so does appreciation. Back in the old days (and even now) I can just picture what families went through to get their food. They grew it all or went hunting. The kids even helped and were more hands on when it came to their food. When they sat at that table and prayed I can imagine how MUCH appreciation they had for all the hard work they did just to grow one tomato themselves. People then didn't have the luxuries we do now.
Now, I'm not saying I'm going to live back in the 20's by any means but it does have me thinking about it all. It makes me want to learn to do new things on my own.
Like making my own homemade cough syrup. Just 4 easy ingredients on the stove under 5 minuets.
So I'm not saying I'm going to go get chickens tomorrow or start growing my own food. I'm not saying I won't ever get fast food or stop in some where. Luckily though we have local farms close by that I can support ;) Oh and Bill Miller sweet tea =P
I just want simple in my life. The things that I can control. Just to show you what I've been clearing out:
" There is no need for junk drawers."- Grandma Jean
Being real means being honest. This is a piece of my honesty right here.
In hindsight, things will never go to heaven with me. SO why should I allow myself and my family to live stressed all the time? Nothing is wrong at all with having nice or big things, nice decor, nice fashion ( I love and enjoy ALL of that!) but when it becomes excess then yes it becomes a problem. When there's too much of anything to cause stress then it might be time to evaluate.
My husband and I recently did something to force us to purge. Actually the Lord opened a door for us to choose. It's been a hard blessing but a huge blessing none the less because He is purging so much more than just stuff. He is purging our hearts in the process. I mean really purging. Spiritual surgery on my heart is the best way to explain it.
One of my recent Instagram posts says: "I don't ever want to become stagnant in my walk with Him. I don't want to become hardened in any area of my life that I become not sensitive to the holy spirit."
I recently was so incredibly inspired by someone I don't even know. All I've ever seen are pictures of her. She recently went home to be with the Lord just at 26 years old but her story really made me examine my heart. She wrote a quote that says, "Things don't go to heaven people go to heaven so that's what I'm going to spend my life on". How amazing is that?! Our loved ones.....our friends. Making it more of a priority. Spending more of our time on just that. People. Loving un-conditionally in any circumstance. Flawed and all.
and just incase I get evaluated on my life and the decisions I make or things I do. It seems to happen when you open up on social media with people who don't truly know your heart.I have flaws. I'm not perfect. I never will be. I have struggles everyday and I will never ever deny that. All I know is that God is constantly working in my life. Constantly teaching me. I'm sharing the change He has been doing in my heart this last year and especially the last 2 weeks. You can read more about this here.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 New Life Version (NLV)
So comfort each other and make each other strong as you are already doing.
(This verse is 100% for myself too)
So this is what minimizing looks like to me. I know it's different for everyone. We all have different lives and different circumstances and this is the change I know is best for me and my family ;)
It really did start with my Polaroid. I had a genuine love for photos then and so much more now. Through the camera lens and through my eyes I want to see people the way God see's them. Close up and at a distance. I want to see my life being more simplistic such as an old vintage camera. I want to stop and smell the roses. I want to clean out junk that doesn't serve it's purpose in my life. I want to remove stuff I don't use or need and keep the things I do use and need. Physically and spiritually.
So there you go. A glimpse of my minimalistic journey ;) I can't wait to see where we are in a year.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. What does being minimalistic mean to you?