If you've read my blog for a little while, you'll remember last spring when I wrote a lot about simplifying and organizing our life; something that is an ongoing process.
I get into a kick, almost like "nesting" and go crazy for awhile purging, cleaning with a frenzy, rearranging and then things die down and we live life. Messy life.
And then something happens to jump start the urge to simplify and organize again. What is it that makes me want to have so much less clutter around me? To not have to clean all the time? To have a house that is more pleasing to the eye? A feeling of guilt for all of the material possessions we have and don't need?
I think, for me, it is a desire to lead a more peaceful life. One in which I am not caught up in all of the things I have to or need to do but one in which I am able to enjoy what I have, namely, my family.
For a long time now, like many other people, I have been fascinated with the Amish. What a unique lifestyle! There is something about their quiet, peaceful life that speaks to our hurried, harried, stressed culture. Something that makes us stop and go, "Huh."
I've often imagined, especially after reading a book about the Amish, what it would be like to live in a world without a television, without lights or my camera, without a dishwasher (my newfound joy!), without a car (no more expensive repairs!) or a microwave (is it possible??!). I've wondered what it would be like to wake up before dawn to milk the cows, bake the bread and do all of the little yet numerous chores that are required to run such a household.
I've often wondered if I could ever live such a life? I could if I'd been born into it!
The difference between a poor, underprivileged person in another country who lives in a world without electronics and material excess and an Amish person is choice. The choice to live a different life. One free of the hold of materialism and one that focuses on hard-work, living a moral, upright life, and taking care of one another and having deeply knit families and community.
While I'm not ready to sell off everything and join a strict sect of Plain People just to see what it's like, I am ready to look around at what I have and what I really need. (again.) I would like to walk in my home and feel comfortable and uncluttered and not stressed about what needs to be done or cleaned up. (oh, to imagine!!)
I want to enjoy my family in our peaceful haven. I want a Simpler Life. One that's a little more organized, a little less-cluttered, and a little more centered around our love for each other and for God.
An excerpt of something simple yet pround that I found written by an Amish person:
"The Greedy Heifer"
One evening when I was helping my husband do the chores, I decided to feed the heifers so that he would be done with his work sooner. After I had fed them all and they were eating contentedly, I walked past them with another shovel full to feed the dry cows. As I walked past, a young heifer tried to snatch a mouthful off the shovel, ignoring all the feed she had before herself.
"You silly, greedy heifer," I couldn't help but think. It was disgusting, really. She had all the feed in front of her that she could possibly eat, and yet she was trying to snatch away some of the other cows'.
But later on, after thinking it over, I had to wonder how often we are in the eyes of God like that greedy heifer. Blessed with plenty to eat, warm houses, good homes, family and friends, and all the material things we will ever be able to use and more, and yet we look about and lament when we see others who appear to have more than we do.
Are we in the habit of counting our many blessings and appreciating all we have, or are we often wishing for and wanting what others have?
I'm thankful that I have what I need today. I have a loving family, a warm home, my stomach is full of a homemade dinner, I have a soft bed calling my name. I have no need to worry about tomorrow. Just to be thankful for what I have today.