Today is a new day and another fresh start. I just came of a month straight of taking part in the Minimalism Game, the Minimalists 30 Day (or in my case, 31 day) Challenge. #MinsGame
Here's how it works, you "get rid of one thing on the first day. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on."
It's starts off easy, but I tell you, finding 20+ things to get rid for days in a row can prove to be quite the challenge.
But, I did it. Some days I struggled to let go, and dreaded what was to come. I became anxious about the impending reality of opening the drawer of treasured VHS tapes, you know the ones I was saving for my grandchildren... the grandchildren that will have no idea what a VHS tape is...Yep, those grandkids that don't even exist yet.
Going through the process of letting go, although stressful at times, proved to be exhilarating. I found such freedom in loosening the grasp I had on things that I had not looked at for years, things that I didn't need, and things that I realized actually had their grasp on me. Less was becoming more in my life.
By the last day, I found myself sad that it was over, because I still had "stuff" that I didn't need, things that just took up space and served no purpose.
These past 31 days, as I see it, are just the beginning. Letting go has also curbed my appetite to accumulate more. I think more deeply about why I am buying "things" and as I process these decisions, I find that most of the time, whether in the store or browsing online, I simply pass and walk on by the extra stuff.
My home is happy and my bank account is not sacrificed because of my shopping impulses.
And really, it's not about the "stuff." It's deeper than that. As I tossed the objects, the weight on my heart became lighter as well. It was a great mental discipline and a freeing exercise for my soul.
Letting go! What a workout!
Here is a link to the the challenge if you are up for the task. If you do it, let me know how it goes! I'd love to hear! http://www.theminimalists.com/game/
In the meantime, Enjoy the snapshots of my past 31 days of Letting go!
Have you ever gotten your "praise on" a little bit to early?
For the last three days we have had to move out of our house because our plumbing was revolting against us. I won't get too descriptive, but when you hear the gurgle gurgle in the pipes and then "stuff" comes backing up through your tub, shower and toilets, you know your in for a battle.
After the plumber came out and said "it's bad", beyond the inconvenience of not being able to use any water, was the flash of $$$, of which we don't have much. My prayers began. The prayer of "Lord, please let the damage be on the city property side of our fence and not on ours, so that we don't have to pay for it.
After the locating service went down with their camera and located the damage 1 foot over on city property, I was relived. I thanked the Lord, I rejoiced. I was reminded how God cares about all aspects of my life. I called the city and within 1 hour a city worker was at my door confirming the camera footage and scrambling to get a crew together immediately. A mere hour after that the trucks arrived, the workers came and they dug a hole 7 feet deep in the alley to get to the broken pipe.
I was estacic, I continued to thank God for the placement of the break and the quick response from the city. As time went on, I peaked over my wall and then it happened.
I got the news that they cleared the mud and discovered that the problem was on my property!
My heart sunk, my rejoicing ceased, dollar signs flashed before me…..for a moment. And in THAT moment I caught myself and reminded myself of what I know to be true. I quickly stood firm in the circumstance and the truth that he is still faithful and my rejoicing does not need to cease even when things don't go "my way."
So hear I am sitting in my house this evening, now able to run minimal amounts of water as the city cleared out the great clog of mud that was there. Tomorrow, my plumber has gathered some workers to come and take care of the rest. So hopefully, We will be functioning at 100% very soon.
But either way, I rejoice. I rejoice that we have friends that have opened their home to us while we had to move out. I rejoice that we both have gym memberships that have running water, showers and toilets that flush. I rejoice that the grocery store has public restrooms. I rejoice for sweet neighbors that come to our aid time and time again and help us take care of our dogs. I rejoice for neighbors who don't mind if I knock on their door and ask to use their bathroom. And one day soon, I will rejoice because it will all be better and in the past. But until then, I still rejoice.
So when things are not going your way, when the answers to your prayers don't come the way you had hoped, when all the crap in your life seems to be backing up (literally and figuratively) REMEMBER…God is FAITHFUL, He is FAITHFUL, STILL.
Friends, Be quick to remember, Be quick to rejoice. In any circumstance, be quick!
UPDATE: Today, I sit working and looking out my back window at what I hope will be a job well done! But, if not,God is faithful, still.
By the grace of God my husband and I own (ok, lease) two new cars. One for him and one for me...... and by me, I mean, the three other adult drivers (my babies) in my house who eat my food, have jobs they need to get to (so that they can pay for college), have weekly servant events, go to mid week worship and love to socialize.
What does that mean for me, a stay at home mom who works from home? It means I'M STUCK AT HOME WITH NO CAR. My new car ..... I can't even remember the last time I filled it up with gas. I do however know that it is being filled every few days as evidenced by my bank records.
I'm stuck.... at home..... ALL THE TIME. I have to submit in advance and work around others schedules if I want to use a car or even take my son to the ER. It all requires strategic planning. Thankfully, my husband, Bob, has a Doctorate in "Family Logistics." All requests and scheduling go through him. He's amazing, what can I say!
Today, as I made breakfast for my son, who tends to also be confined to the house due to transportation issues, I prayed this as we sat down together... "Dear Lord help us today as we remain in this home, to be lights in all we do. Help us, even in are stuck-ness, to do your will and your work. May being stuck not stop us from being a light and bringing glory to your name. Amen"
After I prayed this, it dawned on me that there IS so much I can do in my stuck-ness that I couldn't do if I were out and about. So much!!
So today, I re-dedicate my time bound in this house to love, to serve, to clean, prepare meals (we are having pot roast tonight), to plan, to pray and to give glory to God in all I do. May this offering be an act of worship, may I be a living sacrifice right where I am.
Wherever you are, even if you feel like you are stuck..in that job, in the kitchen, wherever you are, remember that God is sovereign, He is in control and He cares about where you are and what you are doing.
May you fix your eyes on Him, the author and perfector of your faith and run a good race right where you are even if that means doing laps around the kitchen. Give glory to him in what you are being called to do today in preparation for what He may call you to do tomorrow.
"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31
Bloom where you are planted!
A hair cut.....My husband told me he is going to get a hair cut today......a hair cut that is, unless I wanted to do it myself. I said "No, honey have fun at the Barber shop."
You see, this is the first year in our 20 years of marriage where we can comfortably afford a luxury like having my husband go to the Barber-shop whenever he needs to. A little thing, I know, but I thank God that He has always provided a roof over our head, food on our table and now, He has provided a little extra!
This is what happened one day in 2007 when I told my son we cannot afford to send you to the barber shop every week to keep your hair looking good, I'm happy to cut it for you, but otherwise you will have to pay for it yourself." Well, my high school son didn't really want his mom to cut his hair anymore and he didn't want to spend money, so he went on a boycott....this was the result...and that lasted until 2012
If people wonder why my son grew his hair out, it was because we didn't have money to cut it and Mom, the Barber, didn't carry the skills to do a sweet fade.
I am thankful for my husband who works diligently and tirelessly to provide for our family. I am thankful to God for providing work for him to do and the blessings and provisions that comes out of it. We may not have much, but we have way more than we will ever need.
A haircut may not seem like a big thing, but really..it is!
Time to leave it to the professionals, by the grace and through the blessings of God.
PS....you don't even want to know the last time I was at a hair Solon...10 years, maybe, and I think it was because I got a gift certificate LOL... relaxer in a box and a pair of scissors, maybe an occasional trip to Fantastic Sams....You can take the girl out of the cheap, but you can't take the cheap out of the girl!
I have said many times "This was the best Christmas ever", but this year, I really mean it. This was the best Christmas ever!!
My husband and I are not big on shopping or getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season. We try to take it slow, lay back and try to keep things in perspective. This year turned out much differently than other years in that no one made it to a store to do ANY shopping and the amazing part of it was that none of us felt any pressure to either.
So where does this leave us? Let's see, Christmas Eve we attended church, came home and had a wonderful family dinner and then gathered around the tree where there were a few cards from some extended family members. Now feeling a bit of the pressure, unbeknownst to the others, everyone quietly proceeded to go wrap their "gifts."
Well, it turned out that we all had the same idea...lets sneak into peoples room, find things that belong to them and wrap them up! And that's just what happened.
As the kids began to open there frantically wrapped presents we all quickly realized that each gift was a joke waiting to happen. My daughter laughed as she opened a box with one of her slippers in it, a half eaten candy bar, an empty CD case and some clothes pins.
As the gift giving event went on, each present opening was tuned into an opportunity to laugh, each laugh bigger than the one before.
Being a competitive family, it became a sort of competition to see who gave the best "Worst" gift. Even the gifts that we gave our kids (which was a envelope with some cash) had a used item from their own room and was met with tons of laughter.
I guess what made that Christmas Eve so special, obviously, was not the gifts, but truly the time together laughing and loving each other. While we didn't plan to do a gift-less Christmas, I tell you, it couldn't have gotten much better.
So we already have plans for next year.....The gift giving competition. Find the best worst gift from Goodwill and carry the title for a year of "The Best Worst Giver". Granted, this may not work in most families, but for us, Koehne's, it works just fine!!
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.