Recently I was describing our post-Christmas home as 'wonderfully bare.' I really do enjoy the holidays with all the lights and garland and decorations, but then by the time the new year gets here, I am ready for simplicity.
It is a funny thing. In our materialistic-driven society where accumulating more stuff, running out of places to put the old stuff when the new arrives, buying a bigger house because we have more stuff and then renting a cubicle down the road for the excess stuff only to sell the old stuff in the spring yard sale...
Simplicity. Less really is more.
I think back to our RV days. Craig and I traveled for 9 years with a van and trailer evangelizing all over the U.S. Our lives were simple. We started out with just Tiffani. Our little home was just that--little, but it was home, and so cozy. We could only carry the essentials. We had 6 Corelle plates, bowls and saucers. We had just one set of sheets for each bed, and 4 towels. When they were dirty, we washed them and put them back. Our wardrobe was simple, we were rarely in one place for more than a week, so it wasn't a problem. Our lives were simple, and we had more time.
A few years later, we were blessed with Jeremi, and we got a trailer that was a little bigger. Four years after that, God sent us Bethani and we got yet a bigger trailer, but, our lives remained simple. Uncluttered.
Looking back, we have fond memories. Today, I am wishing for that same familiar feeling. I want my surroundings to be simple. I want my heart to be uncluttered. Oh, I'm not talking about moving back into an RV. Rather, I want to free myself of the things that don't really matter. It seems that I can get so caught up in maintaining my life that the things that are really important somehow slip past me. I can get so focused on taking care of stuff that I lose sight of my real priorities.
I will never forget what a Bro. Smith in the Carolina's said while we were evangelizing. We happened to be at their house, and one of his children came running to him with tears coming down her face. Apparently a toy or something had been broken by another child, and she was very upset. His wise words to her were: "Remember, honey, we love people and use things." He was saying to her in not so many words, 'I know that you really liked that toy, but you love your friend, and your relationship with her is more important than things.' That thought has never left me.
There are many goals that I have for myself in this coming year, as we all do, but one of them is to simplify my surroundings, keep only the things I use, and love people.