Friday, May 30, 2014

Minimalist Living

Have ya'll heard of Minimalist living?

Living with less but in reality you have more?  

Less clutter, more peace of mind. No stuff to hold you back? 

Getting rid of stuff to make room for what really matters and to start really living? 

I've been hovering over this way of life for a few months now. Scanning (lurking) blogs of people who live this way that are happy with this life and pouring over books trying to see what it's about. I'm not sure what pulled my heart strings in that direction (Could be happiness and contentment which are all things these individuals profess have occurred in unloading "stuff")  but that's the direction I'm walking. Quickly, I might add.
I've sensed for such a long time my attachments to material things or my stuff  is causing me to find myself empty on the inside. Looking for the material to fill the spiritual in me. 

“Our life is frittered away by detail… Simplify, simplify, simplify! … Simplicity of life and elevation of purpose.” - Henry David Thoreau 

 One of my problems with this stuff is I tend to get emotionally attached to it. A strong sentimental attachment that I've always had with things since I was a little kid. ( blankets, stuffed animals, rocks (yes, rocks) books , paper, things I would find etc..I think I have some deep issues there) But on a lighter example of sentimental attachment... I still have my wedding dress. I was married over 15 years ago, which to some may not be that big of a deal , but it's in a plastic storage bin in my garage. Why am I keeping it because I'll never wear it again. I don't think I could even squeeze into it for some kicks and giggles! Now, it's just taking up emotional and physical space and  I'm kinda over it. I have pictures of me in it and I look kinda cute so that's where it needs to stay, in the picture but the dress is outta here. 

I feel this way about a lot of stuff in my house.  
So I'm getting rid of it. 
Lots of it.
Not only will this be a clutter cleaning but I think it'll be a spiritual shake off as well. It'll be interesting to see where my heart will be at the end of this journey. Will I feel like a new person ready for a true spiritual awakening with nothing in the material to hold onto. Or... will I be left raw and wounded. Maybe that would be a good thing? I can then open my heart to Jesus. That's what this is really about anyway. Getting rid of the things that hold me back from Him and being able to focus on my passions and living. What I was created to be.

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” - Socrates

A loving, compassionate, creative and giving human being made to reflect God's glory. I have a lot of holes in those very traits that keep me from living to my fullest potential. Getting rid of the "stuff", I think, is a great way to start filling in those holes. Finding completeness. Finding wholeness. 
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” - Confucius 

 This stuff holds me back. One emotional hole is guilt. It's always on my mind to organize, shuffle and find ways of using things, you know, reuse renew recycle? Got to find some way to keep it out of the land fill and I don't have the heart to give it to charity because I'm attached to it! Good God man! I have issues. 
I won't even begin to tell you about my crap (craft) room that is filled with so much stuff that I thought I would do or had a bright idea or new hobby but it all now sits and collects dust. And the guilt because I spent money on it. Oh dear. So, I'm selling it. For crying out loud, I have three sewing machines and a serger that I have yet to use. The sewing machines...yes. The  I have issues. 
Too much stuff.
Too much clutter taking up valuable emotional and physical space. 

My goal is to get to a place, in a relatively short period of time (a month) to get clutter and stuff free. 
I'm taking the month of June to de-clutter and get rid of stuff. Keep only the things I use and if I don't use it? Get rid of it. Let someone else enjoy it. Or----stuff it in a plastic storage bin in their garage.
I'm starting in my kitchen. So the first week of June will be kitchen. Well, I've actually started now.
Wish me luck. 

 Not a pretty site. Gah!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Flowers everywhere..

It's been raining today. Weird thing about being a Northwest kinda gal. I get so sick of the rain come February and can't wait for a bit of sunshine. Then, when we have many days with nice weather, I start to miss the rain. I'm weird. Or moody. Or both. Just like the weather.
 I've been going through some tough stuff and to go into my garden and see the beauty there heals my soul. Talking about healing my soul for a minute. I started reading this book.

I follow a gal on Instagram that was starting a study group in her home with this book. Since I live on the other side of the country form her but the book sounded really intriguing, so I ordered it right then. I've been in such a bad state with my faith that this book seemed to pinpoint the feelings I'm having. I've just started it and so far it's grabbed me. Maybe God has grabbed me but I know I've been a bit lost. I feel lost. Maybe this will help point me in a good direction.
I hope so.

My garden is really blooming!
I have never loved petunias until last year when I took a chance and filled some pots. They were so beautiful all summer I had to do the same this year.

 This little pretty below was tucked inside the rose bush.

This little one was one it's last days but I loved how the light was on it as it's tucked in the shadows.  

I can't remember what this one below is called but it tripled in size this year. It's huge! But the flowers are cute little half dollar size petals of orangy goodness. I'll be moving it though. It's a bit of a monster. It's a pretty monster though. 

Like I said in the beginning of this post I've been going through some tough stuff. One of the things is my Mom ending up back in the hospital with an intestinal infection. Bad stuff. It's soooo hard to see my mom this way and I struggle with prayer as it seems my prayers are hitting the wall and bouncing back on the floor all around my feet. I know this is just a time in life and things will get better but I get tired of my heart hurting all the time.
Anyhoo, I made some really yummy blueberry muffins that I'm going to go sink my teeth in. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Going home..

My Mama is breaking out of this joint on Saturday and going home!

This is a nursing home/rehab facility she's been in for about a month after getting pretty sick.  Not sure if it will be a good thing or a bad thing, her going home, but I'm hoping for the best. My Mom has Congestive Heart Failure and dementia that is associated with the CHF.
Dementia sucks.
So does CHF.
 Some days are really good days though. She can remember lots of things. It's just the short term. Like real short short term she said two minutes ago short. That can be frustrating when you have to repeat things over and over to her like it's the first time you've said it. I have patience with her but the rest of my family gets pretty frustrated with her. Many years ago, I was a nursing assistant for around 6 years so  I have a bit of experience with this type of thing so I understand what's happening with her. I try to help out as much as I can. Since she's been at this facility, I've tried to visit as much as I can. I like to bring her a vanilla frappuccino with a scoop of protein in it. She loves those. She's been getting stronger and she's able to walk quite a bit and do many things that she couldn't do a month ago. I'm hoping for the best.

The weather has been beautiful this last week with temps in the high 70 to the mid 80's. This isn't typical weather for this area but I'll take it. The clouds have moved in today though with rain coming tonight.

My garden has been just beautiful!

It's not even in full bloom yet. This will be a really good bloom year, I think. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Life Changes

Hello. It's been a bit since I've been to my little space.
Around the first week of April my mom's health started to take a downturn and since then she's been in and out of hospital and a nursing home/rehab facility. 
It's been a pretty hard month to say the least. I've been trying to visit my mom every day as I can't imagine how it must feel to be in a place that's not your home for such a long time. We're hoping she'll recover enough to be able to go home again. With help. My Dad is looking into having someone come into the house to care for her when my Dad needs it it. It's been pretty hard to try to do what's best for Mom. The rest of us kids feel she should be in a place where she has 24 hours assistance, but my Dad feels he could do that. When my Dad wants to do something there's nothing that will change his mind. Even if it's not for the best. But who knows? Maybe it'll all be OK. 
Boy, have I learned a lot this last month and a half. 
About myself. 
I've learned that I won't live forever. Life passes so quickly and letting it pass you by and not living it is a tragedy. Watching TV is a waste of precious time. Being lazy is a life killer. Not only does it waste away precious life but life will pass you by with or without you in it. I want to keep my mind sharp and my body in shape. Running 5 miles a day? NO. But walking and moving and keeping busy. Yes.

I want to do all the things that I only dream about or say I'll do someday. Why wait?

I've learned when I fall into negativity and gossip it pollutes my soul. My family has got these two attributes down to a science. Oh boy.

Oh! and the biggest thing of all! I've finally discovered my purpose in this world. I've never been one to try and find it or think I need to have one but now that I know, it makes life a bit clearer and the path a bit straighter.

I'm a Christian. That's an important part of my life. I know when I fall down the slippery slope of negativity and anger, judgement and being critical of everything and everyone I"m NOT living my purpose. That's when my heart gets sidetracked. I get unhappy and filled with depression. That's a place I hate being. I do know that when I'm doing this....
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”  (Galatians 5:14)  (That would be anyone around me)

I'm happy. I'm peaceful and my heart is at rest.

But when I do this..
b 15If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. (Galatians 5:15)
I don't like myself very much.

I know when I live like this...
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control.
My life feels good. I'm more at peace than I've ever been. I sleep better and have more compassion for others. My mind is at rest. I see beauty in life and in the things around me. I feel more generous and compassionate.

Sometimes, I find it hard to keep my mind and actions in those places. To be good to others when I want to whack them in the head. (OK...not literally whack them in the head but in my mind. Lots of times) I have a lot of habits that need changing. A lot of knee jerk reactions to circumstances that would better serve me by taking a mental time out and think about it a sec. I do know that the path I've been on, isn't working. Not by a long shot and things have got to change. I'm not wanting to live this way any longer.


I do know, beyond any shadow of doubt, if I act in a kind, gentle and loving way to those around me. If I have patience and self control. If I believe the best in myself and others and have hope in the future and act with love in all circumstances. My heart is at peace. I have contentment. I think that's what Paul meant when he said he is content in all things whether he has much or little. Contentment is a HUGE thing for me. When your mind is in these places, the world seems just a little bit better and the future not so uncertain.

My purpose in life?
To know and have a deeper understanding of what love is and how I to live my life with love as the center and sole purpose for breathing.  It's all that matters anyway. In the end that's all that matters.

Isn't this a pretty little thing? Actually, it's about the size of my head!