Is Minimalism a New Trend?
If you haven’t noticed there is a movement making waves within the lifestyle community. People are cleaning up their lives and re-evaluating their priorities and questioning their ideals. Although not a new concept, the minimalist lifestyle is definitely a force to be reckon with at the present moment.
Could it possibly segueway into a new generation of people who actually believe that less is more? Or is this just a trend? No one knows for sure what will become of this lifestyle, but I can confidently say it has strengthened my relationship with God. Keeping reading to find out how.
What Is Minimalism to Me?
If you ask a group of minimalists what that term means to them you will most likely get varied answers. At the core it’s basically living a lifestyle of simplicity. That can mean decluttering your home, eating foods that are minimally processed or whole, eliminating life’s distractions, or letting go of toxic relationships. It may even be a combination of all the above.
As a Christian, for me minimalism involves showing gratitude towards the things I already own without coveting more and most importantly, making quality time for God by reducing the amount of daily distractions.
I know my idea of minimalism is a bit unique, but after transitioning over a 3 year period this is what I’ve come to realize.
My Pre-minimalism Past
There was a time I got pleasure in counting the number of shoes and hand bags I owned. I would hold on to sentimental items that were stored out of sight out of mind for the sake of keeping them.
I also boasted about shopping at certain high end stores. I was deceived by the concept the more you pay for something the better quality it is. Thank God I no longer believe in that generalization.
I’m embarrassed to say when I grocery shopped and put all the items away I would open up the fridge and pantry impressed with all the goodies I came home with. I felt a sense of pride having a fully stocked kitchen. How disturbing is that?
I was also prideful in-regards to the car I drove.
Let me tell you God humbled me over the years. There were times in my adult life where I had to make the choice between groceries or paying my bills.
Needless to say I no longer ogle the food in my kitchen or obsess over the Make of my vehicle.
I went through a season where I lusted over homes perfectly decorated with the latest interior design trends. I mean, I spent hours upon hours watching HGTV and room tour videos on YouTube fantasizing on how wonderful it must be to live in a perfectly decorated home.
Don’t misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with creating a homey, well put together space, but when you place that as a priority over spending quality time with God, it has become an idol in your life. Lets not forget what the bible says in Matthew 6:19,
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.
It really sunk into my soul that ALL of our earthly possessions will one day be no more. When we go into the dirt we are unable to take our prized personal items with us. Therefore, why place them on pedestals?
When you’re on the verge of losing everything you own your priorities begin to change and you no longer become seduced by the material things of this world.
Nothing truly matters at this point other than God, food, good health, clothing, and shelter. It’s a very humbling place to arrive and one that I will never discount or forget.
I make it a point to show gratitude throughout my day. Whether it’s a banana I’m snacking on or having the means to pay a bill I thank God for everything. I never want to take Him for granted again.
What Major Changes Did I Make?
I find I’m more relaxed at home when it’s decluttered. By completing a major purge of items to include papers and files, clothes, books, office materials, kitchenware, jewelry, hair products, make-up, furniture, home accents, and household goods I’m less stressed and frantic.
Cleaning the home takes less time when there isn’t furniture in every corner or closets stuffed with items.
My husband and I don’t own a dresser or a chest of drawers. All of our clothes are neatly organized in our closet.
I refuse to purchase traditional night stands with drawers because often times they turn into junk drawers. Instead we have pedestal side tables.
If a piece of furniture doesn’t serve a purpose then it has to go.
Rather than purchasing a bunch of home accent pieces that go in and out of season I only have a few, mainly lamps. I prefer to add a personal touch to our home by displaying framed photos of family and close friends.
No More Impulse Purchases
Before I decide to make a purchase, regardless of how insignificant I ask myself do I really need it? And if it’s a want am I willing to trade it out with something I already own?
So basically when it comes to clothing, if I purchase a new shirt I must remove a shirt from my closet and pass it on to someone else. I no longer collect clothes and accessories which keeps more money in my pocket. Cha Ching!
I Eat a Cleaner Diet
If you’ve read my blog post: How I Cured My Infertility Naturally, you’ll know why it is imperative I eat a plant based diet. With that being said, maintaining a minimalist lifestyle also encouraged me to eat foods that benefit my body and to avoid foods that don’t.
My diet is full of fresh veggies, fruits, and whole grains and less of processed food even if it is targeting vegetarians or vegans.
If I continue to put garbage into my body then I can’t achieve optimal health to oversee Grace with Humility. Minimally processed is always best hands down, but it's okay to treat yourself in moderation.
I Focus on the Bigger Picture
At the end of the day it’s all about the bigger picture for me and that’s growing closer to God. When my life is filled with never ending to do lists or I’m feeling sluggish, sick or sleepy because I didn’t eat clean God gets placed on the back burner.
When I’m trying to keep up with the Jones – let me tell you a lil secret, the Joneses are actually broke, my relationship with my Heavenly Father suffers.
I’ll make all the excuses in the world not to open my bible, pray, or involve myself in activities that glorify the Lord. It was only when I become a minimalist did I comprehend that there is more to life than whats here on earth.
There is an entire kingdom God has prepared waiting for me and how dare I not give God my very best each and everyday.
How can I justify choosing to live a life of chaos, disorder, and idolatry and maintain a disconnect from Yahweh while saying I’m worthy of spending all eternity with Him?
In a society that is consumed with materialism we are drowning in idolatry, lust, and coveting. What I hope is that this movement fails to become a trend and morphs into a lifestyle where we all take personal inventory of our lives.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, flustered, out of order, or just have a feeling of heaviness perhaps downsizing and simplifying your lifestyle can do you some good. It's when we turn off the noise we can connect most to God.
I challenge you to apply minimalism somewhere your life to see if it makes a difference in your spiritual walk. I’m sure it will.
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What are your thoughts on the minimalist lifestyle? Please share in the comments section.
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Freeing Yourself From Clutter to Make More Time for God