Can you hear it? Are you listening?
Biblical Minimalism© is not just about having fewer material possessions, sparse décor, or a specific number of outfits. It is a complete, whole-person release of anything unlike Jesus, a letting go of everything that hinders us from following Him wholeheartedly and single-mindedly, and a relinquishing of all that brings us under bondage to this earthly, very temporary, life.
Is there anything greater or nobler than laying it all down to follow Christ?
For years, my family and I struggled with overloaded schedules, overwhelming debt, and being far too enslaved to our 4 bedroom, 3 bath home and excess physical possessions. The things we thought we "owned", really owned us, and living in bondage to them rendered us physically ill, mentally exhausted, and existing from day to day in an underlying state of misery. Through a sobering wake-up call, God made it clear that life-changes must be made, and what followed was a minimizing journey filled with physical and emotional sacrifice, but abundant with spiritual reward. He has led and continues to lead us from a life of abundance to a more abundant life.
After living in extreme bondage to debt for many years, through God's miraculous guidance, we are now 100% debt-free. We sold our home, have released about 90% of our physical possessions, cleared our lives of what conflicted with His plans for us, and we stand ready and free to follow His call, wherever He leads.
I say all of this with a heart that is humbled before Him taking NO credit or glory for any of the miraculous deliverance He has wrought in our lives. ALL glory to Jesus for loving us enough to call us out to "waters to swim in." (Ezekiel 47:5)
I love to spend time with my husband and son in the mountains, sing and play Bluegrass music, and write.
Intense! Just like Jesus himself!ReplyDelete
I am very humbled by your precious, encouraging words, my friend. God bless you always!Delete
This is so good for me. TyDelete
I am enjoying your sidebar writings. For a few years, I/we have been trying to recover from debilitating debt, due to terrible financial trauma. We are on our way! As we have raised our family, and more recently have also tried to help our parents through many life changes, I have become convinced that I can do more with less. I am on a journey to set a new example of a life free of physical and emotional clutter. Thanks for the ongoing inspiration.ReplyDelete
It was so nice to get your kind comment and hear about your story! I am so thankful for your support and encouragement, and I pray that God will continue to bless and guide you on your journey. You are doing an amazing job! Thank you so much for faithfully following along. :)Delete
We share much in common! I cleared out 3 truckloads of "stuff" along with 117 garbage bags of give away, Goodwill and trash. The biggest lesson I've learned is that by getting rid of the clutter I have more room for what's really important! This same theory applies exponentially to our Spiritual lives as well!Delete
You are so right, Roger! Wow, that is a HUGE accomplishment! I wish I had kept a running total of the number of items/bags/boxes we have let go. It sounds like you have been on an amazing journey, and it is so wonderful to hear your story. May the Lord continue to bless you. It was such an encouragement to hear from you today! Have a very Merry Christmas!Delete
I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and that you have a blessed 2019. I'm very excited about goals, not resolutions, I am setting for myself in the new year.
I read your post, "What A Hurricane and Two French Doors Taught Me About Minimalism" on No Sidebar and did not realize we had that in common! I also had a post called "Balance" dealing with what you learn when faced with a natural disaster and have to leave your "stuff" behind. I am excited to start writing again. After I start to clear out the "stuff" that snuck in during the holidays! Looking forward to reading more of your inspiring posts.
Thank you so much for your sweet visit and kind words, Lori! It was so nice to hear from you! I loved your story about what you went through in the hurricane. It was very inspirational and such a blessing. God is so faithful to care for His children, and the sharing of our testimonies is so important and encouraging. May He continue to bless you in the new year!Delete
I read two articles from sidebar emails that completely connected with me, especially on a spiritual level. Then I determined they were written by the same person...you! I told my husband that this writer could be a very dear friend. So, I sent the article about a “Little House on the Prairie kind of life to my two sons and daughter-in-laws who are raising their babies and and somewhat caught up in the myth of materialism and, unfortunately, relative secularism. I pray for them constantly. I have a recommendation of an excellent book about our noisy world that I think you would appreciate. I’ll preface it by saying I am a devout Catholic and the book is written by Cardinal Robert Sarah. It’s called, “The Power of Silence Against the Dictatorship of Noise. Your blog about noise made me think to send this to you. Please keep writing and sharing your thoughts and insights. It is affirming and uplifting to find other like souls. God bless you and your family!ReplyDelete
Oh, wow, Judith! Your comment touched my heart so deeply! I am SO thankful to know my writing connects with you, and how neat it was that you were able to identify the two articles as being written by the same person - me! It is so wonderful that you pray for your sons and daughter-in-laws. I think that is the most powerful thing we can do for anyone, and also, by our own example lead. I would LOVE to read the book you mentioned. I will definitely try to find it and read it. It sounds like Cardinal Sarah is surely of like mind, and I would greatly benefit from his words. I cannot even begin to tell you how much your comment meant to me today. It just lifted my spirits like you wouldn't believe, and I know God laid it on your heart to write and share. I needed this so much! May the Lord richly bless you and your family, also, and please do keep in touch!Delete
I was so happy to find you again, Cheryl! I was a bit challenged navigating my way back to the blog I had originally written to you on. Lol! Your response was a perfect way to start my day. Thank you! I’ll share that my husband and I are in the middle of purging and packing for a move to CA from MD. The pull of our sons and grand babies who live so far away is just too strong not to take this somewhat daunting and emotionally draining step. I am leaving other family in MD, mom and sisters and brothers, and dear friends, but one of the hardest things is leaving my wonderful church community. I pray for God’s will to be done in this move of the heart, and that He will bless us with a spirit-filled new parish. I re-read your introduction about your journey to live an abundant life and was inspired once more to let go of possessions and all things that interfere with joy. No matter where we move in this world, we have yet to reach our true home. This thought always brings me comfort and peace. Sort of like reading a blog (yours!) where the writer understands what you already know in faith and love. Have a wonderful day, and revel in the magnificence of a Creator who knows everything about us and loves us perfectly. God bless!Delete
Oh, I am so thankful you persevered and found your way back here! Wow! That is a LONG move! I know it will be so hard to leave your Mom, sisters, brothers, and dear friends behind, and oh, my, especially your church. God will give you the courage you need, my friend. Trust Him with your whole heart, and He will make a way for you to be able to bear this parting and separation. I am SO thankful you found inspiration here to let go of your possessions and everything that hinders you. I was, once again, SO much encouraged by your precious words, and I am forever grateful that you took the time to write. If you ever want to keep in touch via email, please feel free to go to our other blog at www.homespundevotions.com and click on the "about" by my picture, and it will take you to a link where you can click on email and write to me directly from there. I would love to hear how your move went and how the Lord is blessing you and seeing you through! Many blessings to you!Delete
Thank you for sharing part of your story! My husband and I have been working on minimalizing for the last year or so and really appreciated your writing. Since you sold your home, we wondered where you are living? Are you in an apartment/renting? Thank you again and blessings to you and your family!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for your kind words! They were such an encouragement to me today. Yes, we are renting a 2 bedroom, 2 bath townhouse. It has brought an enormous sense of relief and freedom to not have the burden of debt and also to not have the weight of all the upkeep, maintenance, and repairs. It feels wonderful to be able to just call the landlady when we need something done! LOL! I realize this may not be for everyone, but it is so perfect for us. If we are ever able to buy a place with zero mortgage, we would consider owning a place again, but we have decided it would have to be a place with very low maintenance that would never enslave us or cause us to become so encumbered again. This freedom is worth everything we have walked through to get here, and if acquiring something would require it of us, then it is not for us. It was so wonderful to "meet" you! Many blessings to you, too!Delete
Hello Cheryl! I hope you're well! Thank you SO much for your nosidebar.com article "5 Steps to Overcoming Regret"!! It was extremely helpful to me. I really appreciate all of the great perspective, and I love how you broke things down into simple, easy-to-remember steps. Thank you!!ReplyDelete
Hi Rob! So very grateful to hear from you today and to know that article was a blessing to you. I so appreciate your encouragement and kind words! May the Lord richly bless you on your journey!Delete
I found your blog from the article you wrote in the Epoch Times. It resonated with me as it has with many other people. I've never been particularly materialistic, but that didn't mean I didn't have too much stuff, activities and a struggle to keep up with them. I got divorced about 11 years ago and the turmoil that followed the separation made pause and consider where I was, what I 'actually' needed, how I wanted to live and who I wanted to be.
I had been distant from God for a long time, even though I went to church several times a week. The first decision I made was to start hiking. On Sundays, I felt closer to God and more intune with his spirit in the wilderness than in a fancy building where worship was scripted. Mountains, rivers, flowers, trees, wildlife showed me his creation and brought about a sense of worship that had long been absent.
Through a rather odd turn-of-events I met someone. We connected on many levels, but the most important was our faith. We prompted each other to do better and draw closer to God. I eventually, felt God prompting me to move from the big city to a much smaller city. I asked to work remote and it was granted. I left everything and all the people I knew. It turned out to be my wilderness. There were several events that were devastating. I had always been self-sufficient and now for the first time I had to be God sufficient. It was both the worst and best time of my life. I connected to God on a personal level that not existed before.
Backing up a bit - I had decided that even though I was allowed to work remote, that it was God who sustains me. It doesn't matter where I am in the world, He is there, I am His child and He will take care of me. This revelation spurred me to make another move. I had dreamed of living in the country and having a little farm from high school. Yes, I was probably the only high school student in the 80s that wanted to grow up to be a farmer.
I followed 'The Wild Goose' as in the book and the Gaelic term for the Holy Spirit. I bought a house on 5 acres in the county and even better, the mountains. I would like to report that it's been all roses, but it hasn't. However, I fall in love with where I live more each day. God has given me the desires of my heart. And, I stand amazed, not that He could, but that He did, for me, when I didn't deserve it. I deserved none of it.
In the process of all of this I paid-off all my debt, except for the house. I got married to the love of my life a partner in the truest sense of the word. We are now on another journey. Five acres wasn't enough for a farm, especially in the mountains, where the land is at a 45 degree angle. We bought a 19 acre farm with ideas about how to use it for people to experience a simpler way of life and eventually a ministry for those who have been caught in life's turmoil.
Thank you for your perspective on God and life,
Joelle, I can't thank you enough for reaching out to me and sharing your beautiful testimony! What a blessing it was to read and learn more about you. It sounds like God has really had you on a journey of faith and has rewarded your faith by giving you the desires of your heart. He is SO faithful! May He continually bless and enrich your life with His love and grace!Delete