Its been a busy few weeks since my last blog post. June has already arrived, and I feel as though New Years was just a couple of weeks ago. This year is FLYING by, even faster than years in the past.
Recently, I was talking with someone about a cruise my mom, sister and I took back in 2013 and it brought so many wonderful memories to mind. I knew I had written about it either in my journal or my previous blog, so after some digging I found it, and wanted to share some of it here. So much of it still rings true, today…
After a lovely cruise to the Western Caribbean, with stops in Barbados, Antigua, St. Thomas, St. Maarten and St. Lucia, where the weather was upper 80’s everyday…lets just say my return to Tennessee was NOT that exciting and I was NOT thrilled to be home. I think I’m meant to live in the Caribbean!
God has interesting ways of reminding us of His provision, unconditional love and never failing grace, even when we are undeserving of them all. While laying out by the pool on the cruise ship reading “Forgotten God” by Francis Chan, I was struck by how self-consumed we are, as a society. Everywhere you look there are advertisements for faster internet service, more TV channels, luxury cars, bigger houses…It’s all about “More, More, More”. As we walked the streets of the towns we visited, and talked to the locals, they were SO thrilled that this monstrous cruise ship and all of it’s inhabitants took over their town for the day. They survive on tourism. They all said the same thing – they work 4-6 months a year, 17-20 hour days, making enough money to get by the rest of the time, when they had no work. They had barely anything, lived in tiny huts – some with roofs and some without, dirt floors, drove old, beat up cars and wore local Wal-Mart-ish type brands of clothes. I didn’t see a single piece of designer clothing on any locals in the entire week. I only saw a hand full of “nice” cars, and almost no mansions or super large houses. AND THEY WERE SO HAPPY. Everywhere you looked, people were smiling, offering help or begging you to buy their handmade goodies – for almost nothing. “$1” we would hear, almost constantly.
It broke my heart and took me back to the summer of 2011 when my family went on a mission trip to Honduras. We saw tons of barefooted children, who had not a single toy, and wore the same clothes everyday. They had no real bed, no pillow and only a few, worn out blankets. But one thing was the same as what I saw last week. EVERYONE WAS ALWAYS HAPPY. Smiles, hugs and appreciation abounded everywhere you looked.
If only we could get back to simpler times. LESS truly is more.
My husband and I were talking last night about the “rat race” called life and about how many people are caught up in it. Faster cars, more cars, bigger homes, MORE homes, more kids, more demands, more camps for kids, more running around, less time spent with others…and for what?
Who exactly are we spending time with to share all of this “success” with?
How many dinner parties, or cookouts, bonfires, and socialization are we really doing (not counting Covid times, obviously) to share all that we have accomplished?
Or is it all just to say we have, but not really enjoy? Less TV’s, less interruption, zero “connectivity” (which really just DISconnects us from those we care for, most) – the way things were back when I was a kid and you know what? Everyone seemed happier.
There were less suicides, zero road rage, less murders, less anxiety/ADD/depression and various other disorders that are suddenly everywhere, now. Maybe I am crazy but I truly think it’s because things were simpler, then, and people were more loving. Impressing others with flashy cars and huge homes does not truly satisfy, and none of it lasts forever. Hopefully, relationships – the ones that truly matter anyway – will last.
All of us, myself included, are guilty of splurging or having excessive __________ (fill in the blank) – it’s only natural. Sometimes we need a day of relaxation, or a new pair of shoes, or whatever – but the overwhelming majority of the time, we are all guilty of having much more of everything, than we need. Seeing the simplicity of the way people live in other countries just made me long for a simpler life. My mission trip in 2011 to Honduras changed my life in bigger ways than I can truly convey, but it was when I got serious about minimalism and being content with less. I will share more about what that trip meant to me in blog posts to come but that is truly where my desire for Neatly-Balanced, closet organization, cleanouts, purging, etc began and it has only grown, since.
I would love to help you begin your minimalism journey, so if you have any questions, or want help downsizing and purging, let me know! I have lots of tips and tricks to help you!