These past few years God has been re-ordering my life. Rather than bigger is better attitude, He has asked me to stop all the chaos, hand him over my crumpled-up mess I'd made, and start again. Smaller this time.
A smaller list of ingredients in the foods we eat.
Gradually we have implemented the smaller is better mentality throughout our home and lives. The first most notable change was with the foods we eat. We rejected foods for our family that have expansive lists of ingrediants and longer shelf lives for say, an apple, or home made treats that only call for natural ingredients. You've probably heard the saying, "If it grows on a plant, eat it. If it is made in a plant, dismiss it." That's where we started.
After about a year of making gradual and drastic changes to what we put in our bodies, we began to turn our attention to what leaves our wallet. There's such demand to keep up with the Jones' as they say. We're just over it. We have been diligent over the years to make it on one income while the kids are small so we have to prioritize where our money goes.
Supporting small business.
We decided as important as it is to live frugally, we also want to spend responsibly. We developed a deep desire to invest back into our community. By shifting our spending towards small and local businesses, we know that we are investing back into the community where we live, work and raise our kids.
This next one is hard for me and I am still working on it. I am reading The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst and I hope that helps me! As busy as I already am as mom of three with a part time business and kids in school and activities, how do I minimize my schedule? By pausing before I spit the word yes out of my mouth every time someone asks me to do something. As I said, I am working on this one, but I know God would have me slow down and enjoy quiet; Enjoy Him, and not rush through the season I am in. Long walks outside, messy days in the kitchen with the kids, taking time to enjoy hot tea and a book that feeds my soul. A smaller schedule allows for bigger moments. I've found, anyways.
This one I am so excited about. We bought a small patch of farm land and we are in the beginning stages of building our future home. We want to live cozy within our means. We desire simplicity over clutter, functionality over excess. God has provided the perfect backdrop of green trees, fresh country air, and changing seasons. The less disturbed by us, the better.
We'll build out of American-made, sometimes recycled materials and lean toward energy efficient designs and environmentally sound material. I am so excited to unveal how we plan to pull this off, but I'm saving that for another post. Stay tuned!
Our journey to become smaller reminds me of John 3:3 "He must become greater, I must become less." I used to translate this verse as me kneeling down, in a posture of literally less; Positioning myself to look physically smaller.
But this life of simplicity, without being bombarded by constant noisy chaos, hurried schedules, suffocating debt, and a healthier body = clarity of mind. Maybe it's all these things? I continue in this process of smaller things....and I feel that greater things are yet to come.
**If you do have time for quiet reading and are interested in slowing down and becoming smaller I recommend Seven: an experimental mutiny against excess by Jen Hatmaker and The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst.