Wednesday, 28 September 2011

My New Favorite Words

I have decided that my two new favorite words are FRUGAL and MINIMALIST. I'm not sure if it's the meaning behind them or what but something about those words just draws me to them. And I think they can go hand in hand.

I had heard of the word before but never really gave it much thought until a couple of years ago a new friend described herself as a minimalist. Since then it has really stuck with me and something is really tugging on me to actually try this 'minimal' thing out. So, over the past year or so I have been cleaning house and getting rid of things but to no avail it seems. Are we just collecting more stuff or is the current stuff we have just coming out of hiding? Maybe a bit of both. I think part of me really doesn't want to let this stuff go. I get a little possessive when it comes down to actually parting with things. And why? It's just 'stuff' after all.

Maybe it's my "Scottish blood" as my Grandma would say (I think that's just her way of saying frugal!) What if I have a need for it someday? If I get rid of it now then I will just have to spend money on it in the future. And we all know that money is not something we have growing out back. I think this is where organizing comes into play. If I'm not organized, then I won't use it because I don't see it. (I'm thinking specifically about my craft supplies right now.)

So, this is the challenge I am posing to myself and to you for the month of October: Choose one area of your home or your life that you want to organize and make less chaotic. It could be a craft closet/room like myself, your kitchen, your bedroom, or even your body/mind.

I am choosing my crafting area(s) because
1. I don't actually have a specific area. It's just kind of scattered throughout the house wherever there is available space.
2. I have too much stuff that I haven't used in who knows how long.
3. It is taking up valuable space and time when I do go to do something, and
4. I would like to be able to sell some of my creations to help with our debt situation.

In the mean time, look up FRUGAL and MINIMALIST in the dictionary and on Google. You'll find some great articles here about others that have embraced the minimalist lifestyle. (I'm not saying that if you like to have lots of knick knacks and doodads that you are not living life appropriately. This is just something that I need in my life right now and something that sounds really freeing and wonderful to me.)

I look forward to updates this next month! Keep me accountable!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

It's never too late to start... I have gotten nowhere since last week. I came down with a bad head cold last week that just knocked me right out. I took 3 "sick days" while hubby was off work and then was forced right back into the swing of things when he had to go back. And then he left me for a week to go hunting. (I hope you are having a great time, honey!...seriously!!) I am feeling pretty much 100% now though. I say pretty much because even though I am single parenting this week I have decided to take on as many jobs as if there were 3 of us here! 

What was/am I thinking!?!? 

First, I have three kids ages 5, 3 and 18 months. That alone should keep me busy enough. But, no. 

Second, I volunteered to organize our church fundraiser of a garage and bake sale. Really, this is doable. I considered carefully before volunteering for this job. A lot of work, yes, but very manageable for my schedule.

Third,  I am trying to start up a small cake making business out of my home (Check out these goodies here) so when the opportunity to make one for the Monday following the weekend he left came up, of course I jumped right on it! I am so thankful for the opportunity but that took up about two days or so.

Fourth, I decided that since hubby really dislikes painting and I really enjoy it (just makes the house feel like home, I think) I would take on the task of finally painting our daughter's room this week. And not just slapping up some paint, oh no. Painting it a bright, coral pink with lime green stripes AND sewing a couple of new throw pillows for her bed to match. (There will be pictures to follow as I'm sure it is going to look so fun when/if I finally finish it!) 

Fifth (oh yes, there is a fifth) there is also a bake sale fundraiser going on at daughter's school in two days so that means that I have to really get my butt in gear and get baking so that I have something to contribute to both her and the church bake sale.

I made up a list of all the things I wanted to accomplish while he was gone and I am nowhere near coming close to half done all of the jobs I put on there. Were my expectations a little high? Um...yes. But it's the effort that counts, right?

So, now that I am no farther ahead than I was 10 days ago, I am going to begin simplifying my life. (Ha it's pretty humorous to say that looking at my list and my week still ahead of me!!)

Step one: I need to come up with a way to organize my days so that weeks like this don't faze me (or at least don't make me want run home to my mom and dad's until hubby returns!) To do this I need to establish routines. So this is what I came up with:

6:30am - Wake up, get ready for the day, begin fellowship with the Lord
7:00am - Wake up kids and get them ready for school (They each have their own routines but I won't put them up here today.)
8:00am - Leave for school
9:00 - 10:00am - Tidy kitchen from breakfast and play with boys
10:00 - 11:00am - Devotions
11:00 - Noon - Housework
Noon - 1:00 - Lunch time
1:00 - 2:15 - Play/Learning time
2:15 - Leave for school
3:00 - Housework
4:00 - Homework time & start supper
5:00 - Supper time
6:00 - Bath and story time
7:00 - Bedtime(!) and exercise
8:30 - Devotions & Blog
9:00 - 10:00 - Quiet time with hubby and then bed!

Pretty detailed, time wise. This is pretty much how my day goes anyways but by scheduling in play time and housework and devotions this should make things go more smoothly. That's the plan anyways :) And it's NEVER too late to start! 

Sunday, 18 September 2011

The End of My Rope

I have officially reached the end of my rope. I am tired of all the clutter in our life - cluttered house, cluttered bodies, cluttered debt. TOO MUCH CLUTTER!! And it is causing me too much stress. My house never seems clean because there just always seems to be too much stuff lying around (and I already like to get rid of things.) My husband and I have weight to lose, but we also need to start getting rid of the junk that we put into our bodies. Not just our bodies, our kids bodies as well. I want them to love the good stuff and not think of eating healthy as a chore. And last but certainly not least, the debt. Oh, the debt. This is something we have been fighting against for years now. But, as most people in debt probably already know, it seems to be a never-ending, rarely won battle. However, we will persevere because we know that all of these things are a part of God's plan for our lives.  He desires for us to live a simple, clutter-free life because all this "stuff" just ends up taking up our valuable time and money and energy - time that could and should be better spent.* He desires for us to be healthy because our bodies are His Temple. And finally He desires us to be debt free because His Word says to owe no man anything except love. We had a big life change a couple of years ago by moving to a new province far away from everyone we know (and love), from a bigger city to a very small town, and also a career change for my husband. We are scheduled to be here for four years, which means only two years left until we have the opportunity to move closer to home again. Our goal for this remaining time here is to become completely debt free (or at least well on our way out). Might sound doable to most people with a reasonable amount of debt. We are not most people. We do not have a reasonable amount of debt. We have a large, Mount Everest amount of debt. But we also know that with God, all things are possible. We have hope that if we put our faith in Him and remain faithful to Him, He will be faithful to us. We know that there is no possible way that we can do any of this without His assistance. This blog is a way for us to be kept accountable, even if nobody reads this. Just by typing it out day after day will be a visual reminder of exactly what we are called to do. Your comments are welcome and wanted as we go through this journey. This is us...simply living.