Guys, I'm so excited about Simplicity. When I felt like our "words" for this season were Simplicity+Abundance, I was all for Abundance. I mean who doesn't like THINGS? (more on how that's not at all what it's about later). But Simplicity, that carried a lot heavier weight for me. Turns out, though, that I love Simplicity. I mentioned earlier, Simplicity is basically the only thing that I can do. Abundance flows from the Lord, and requires space to fill. If we haven't simplified and cleared out room, how is Abundance going to come? Anyhow, as we're nearly a month and a half into the new year, we've finally gotten some clarity on what exactly Simplicity is going to look like for us.
Obviously this isn't a comprehensive list. We have no idea where the Lord is going to take us, but these are the areas that Kelley and I have identified as needing simplification the most.
Possessions - One of the easiest and most obvious (at least to us) is cutting back our huge amount of stuff. We have moved twice in the last nine months, and moving really highlights all of the things your family has decided are needed. Our mantra is this:
"Have nothing in you house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris
One of our goals with simplifying our possessions is to own less, but own better. Meaning, we ditch the low end, almost-but-not-quite stuff that we tolerate and replace it with things of higher value that we really, really love. We will also be rearranging, redecorating, and rethinking our space to make it open, breezey and free. We want our space and our stuff to feel good to us, to energize us, and to bring peace to our lives.
Wardrobe - Although this could fall under "possessions", it is such a huge project that we decided to separate it. Have you read this book yet? It's author Haley Morgan writes,
Every woman should be able to choose and outfit in less than 10 minutes regardless of the plans for the day, the state of the weather...or her laundry. Meaning, when your feet hit the floor in the morning - you should be thinking about the delicious cup of coffee that awaits than whether you will look cute in you clothes.
Kelley and I are both facing dressing challenges currently, he with a brand new job and I with a growing pregnant belly. We have a shared closet and separate dressers full of clothing, but we both constantly feel like we have nothing to wear. I'm so thankful for The No Brainer Wardrobe (it's only $7.99 right now!) and look forward to purging my non-pregnant clothing, as well as knowing what (few) key pieces I need to pick up!
Health - About a year-and-a-half ago we went through a complete health overhaul; food, diet, mental health. Everything was included. The stress of the last half a year have thrown our systems and commitment out of whack, and we just haven't found our groove again. We look forward to working with a nutritionist friend and smoothing out the wrinkles.
Schedule - Right now we are in flux, and we really have been for months and months. With the moves and three job changes, you can understand how we got all disjointed and unbalanced. We're going to be working on building in flexibility, better communication of our plans, giving each other personal (ahem...alone) space, making room for the things that excite and energize us, as well as quality family and couple time. For myself, sometimes the day gets away from me. Being a stay-at-home mom is really difficult, and I have a tendency to spend my day being very intentional. Simplifying my schedule at home means making time and space for the important things (toddler-care, self-care, and house-care), as well as fulfill my commitments to different groups I'm a part of.
Systems - Did I mention that my husband is an INTJ-super-system guy? Because he is. And I am a loosey-goosey, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-heart kind of person. Thankfully, he has brought a lot of potential of balance to my life, but it's hard for me. Together we are going to be working on clarifying and simplifying our systems. Some examples are communicating and keeping a schedule (see above), the budget, grocery shopping, meal plan, laundry, and others. This is going to be a challenge for me, but will definitely bring out the Judging side of my Judging/Perceiving split.
Spending - I realize this is a system, but it's so big it needed it's own category! Without getting into too many details, we are anticipating having more money coming in than we have in the last year or so. Because of this, we absolutely have to have confident and solid direction on how and what we spend our money on! We desperately want to be good stewards with our finances, and we also are aggressively going after our student debt so we can move to Ireland. Proper spending (and not spending) is critical.
Focus - Kelley and I both tend to over exert ourselves. Simplifying our focuses will help us be better time-and-energy-users. Our anticipated focuses are each other, Liam, Baby #2, paying off student loans (see above), and really investing in our town and our church community.
So there you have it. I have a binder sectioned off for each of these that is quickly filling with sheets and sheets of thoughts, prayers, and plans. We are excited what the future holds and we are making our plans and executing them (slowly). We are also anticipating and waiting with expectation for the Abundance that the Lord has promised us. We can't cause the Abundance, but we can make room for it!