So it has been a couple of weeks since I decluttered my kids room and I wanted to report that it has went amazingly well. They get along better, their room and my house is cleaner for sure, and I have seen them engage their imaginations more than ever! For instance, we had a rain day the other day. However, instead of whinning to watch a movie all day, they played pretend that they were behind a huge waterfall as the water poured over the roof and their window. It entertained them for more than an hour. So, yes, I am seeing results for sure!
Well in my process of minimizing, I soon came to what every minimalist parent dreads...The kids. .. Can a parent be a minimalist with children? Especially young ones like mine? I didn't know but I was going to put it to the test! So i went into their room and drug out all of their toys boxes and dumped them into a huge pile in my spacious living room floor. I then told them that we were going to sale some of the toys in the garage sale and I would in turn give them the money to add to their savings jar. They more than surprised me. Without any urging from me we had two 13 gallon bags of toys for garage sale! When I was done I was able to fit all of their belongings in their closet. And you know what? The kids love the extra space and have not missed any toys.
I will not deny that even though it is late, embarrassment is tinging my cheek's pink. My incident happened earlier this afternoon when I, two friends, and my children walked to the grocery store not but 10 minutes away. I picked out a juicy watermelon, then our group walked to the beef section where I began to look for roast. It was then that I noticed Richard feeling the meat beneath the plastic.
"Richard, no. You are going to poke a hole through it," I rebuked my three year old firmly. He obediently removed his hand and I, satisfied, went back to comparing prices and sizes for the finest roast. Suddenly a deep, firm man voice spoke to Richard again.
"Don't poke holes in the meat please." His voice was not mean or rebuking. Just firm. Instantly, I felt admiration for this manly price cutter employee, as I watched my little boy drop his hand and step back for good this time. Richards embarrassment mirrored my own. But I felt my son justly deserved that embaressment and I for not watching him closer.
"Thank you." Again the deep voice resounded.
I honestly couldn't see the mans face in a sudden confusion of people. I had picked my roast and was headed back. One of the girls I was with commented how he was a little hard on a little boy, but I responded that Richard deserved it. I had already told him no and he reaped the consequences. I was startled when another man beside us kept saying, "Oh no he didn't. Don't leave. Don't leave."
Now to my jumbled blonde brain, I am not putting together what is going on. All I know now is some guy in a white suit is telling us not to leave. I was still confused when he took some lunches off the shelf and marked them free before handing them to my kids. I bit my tongue from saying Richard could not have one. I didn't want another embarrassing scene! So we went to the very long line of customers. Then I see a guy searching through the crowds until his eyes land on us.
"I can get you at the service desk." He said politely.
Again, startled. Still not understanding anything. But hey! There were long lines ahead of us. So my rather large group wandered over, eager to get home to devour the watermelon I had picked out. Until I see the manager standing behind the cashier....just standing there. I kind of knew him but didn't know why he was just standing there. So, I said hi and how are you? Keeping busy? His response was he was just standing there. Okay....lazy manager was still my first thought. So I thank them and we leave. . . Then it hits me. You see, my husband is a customer service manager at hobby lobby, so I know how this works. And why it took so long for me to see.....Ugh! I can be so blonde. They thought I was really mad and were covering their skin. It was embarrassing enough to have my son do that...but when I realized that they thought I was mad at them for rebuking Richard...I wanted the ground to swallow me. I am not one of those people that yell about stupid stuff and wanting to use two coupons even when their policy says only one. I am not a mother that gets mad if someone stops my son from doing something wrong. But somehow I was took for one. My main worry is for the man who rebuked Richard. I can only hope he didn't get in trouble! I thought about going back and explaining that I had not been upset...but decided to just leave it alone. Hopefully in our tiny town, they will all forget soon!!!!!!!!!
But in the end, my anger at my son faded as well although the embarrassment still lingers a bit. I was reminded in my heart that just as God is so patient with us, even when we do stupid things that should embarrass a child of God, he is still patient. He waits and teaches patiently. And I think he learned his lesson:)
Okay, so call me Patriotic because I Love my country!!!! Like a lot. I hope that if you live here, you do too! Or if you live in another country that you love it with the same passion I love mine. I am not ashamed of my flag nor to wave it! But as I have been decluttering, I have come to realize that most of my junk is made in china. And so became my thought. .. Could I buy only made in USA and support my country more? Well probably not. It is definitely more expensive. However, I could stop buying so much made in china and do my best to buy made in the USA! Couldn't I? Yes, I could. I could do the best that I could in that area. And so, Fathers Day came and hubby got a homemade card and a shirt made in my beautiful USA! Even the cotton was made here. I felt so good realizing that I purchased my husband something he needed, something he wanted, and at the same time, I helped a family in America thrive.
Then our table lamp broke. Minimalist or not, we needed that table lamp. We use that table lamp. Thus began my search for a made in the USA cheap table lamp. Yeah. So not easy. I posted on yahoo answers asking around, and searched on the internet for days. Nothing $20 and under. They were all very expensive and very expensive we could not do right now. Rethinking my plan became mandatory. Finally I decided. I would buy made in china if I had to, but why not buy used first. In a way we would still be supporting an American family. So Craigslist here I come. It didn't take long to find one for 5.00 and i was very pleased. In the end however, my mom had an extra and blessed me by giving it to me. It helped me remember what a blessing we can be by giving things to those in need as I continued my decluttering process.
Well the garage was a mess. Tubs everywhere! Junk everywhere. Grass from the mower rotting on the cement floor and smelling of cat pee where the stray cats next door had left their mark. My garage left nothing to complement a homemaker. I was reminded of the proverbs that says a wise woman builds her house but the foolish plucks it down. So I set to work. Sorting through children's clothes, books, and treasures saved for a rainy day. Finally three days later....I was starring at a much more organized garage! Howbeit still full due to the garage sale mound on one side! But I was so happy as was my husband. The garage had been a great source of stress for him and now he could breathe just a bit easier! His stress levels and that of my children were going down. I could already see the benefits of the life I was pursuing!
Well, the first thing I decided to do was start throwing the things I knew weren't keepers in bags and boxes. That was the easy and fun part. It wasn't hard for me! I began to mound a section of my very full garage with just garage sale items and also began to enjoy the benefits of a clean home!!! Even with three small children at home. We are trying to build our emergency fund right now, so instead of donating everything right away, I decided to sell it very cheap. Doing it this way would not only allow me to help build that fund but also be a blessing to the people in my tiny town! so prepping for a garage sale I began!
Minimalism is picking up speed in America. No one will argue that. But I had never heard of it and you probably certainly would not have convinced me that in a very short amount of time, I would be striving to become one! I mean, I had things in life I wanted. Things I was sure I needed! And for my kids. All my friend's kids had a lot of toys and perfect bedrooms. I wanted that for mine too. So the covetous neighbor came calling, filling me and sometimes even consuming me with a desire for possessions. Possessions that I could not afford, nor that would ever make me happy. It seemed the more I bought, the more I wanted. I never was just content. Content with what I owned. Content with where I was. Content with what I did not have. I always wanted more. I always wanted better. ...
Until one day, I was trying to pick up all the toys scattered through the living room, cook dinner, and stressing inwardly on all that I had left to do before the day was out! I was annoyed to say the least. Some women don't stress about a clean house. Good for them! But I do! I have a husband who loves a clean home. It means the world to him! I never want my children to take higher priority than hubby. But I was still even more stressed because all though I wanted a clean home (that never seemed to happen), I also was not getting to do much with my children. I believe in work; It is good for you. But never getting on top can be a rough problem as a house wife. Then the Lord brought a revelation to me, hitting me like a rocket falling from space. I am not a cleany. I sometimes don't see the dirt right in front of me! So having a lot of possessions, well it wasn't going to work. I needed to get rid of possessions to keep up and have more time for my three little darlings and the man of the house. I immediately began researching simple living and in a matter of seconds came to minimalism. It didn't take long for me to decide...that this is what I have been looking for. And so my journey started.