christa shared her personal story of becoming minimalist on our “share your story” page. i found her story to be both challenging and encouraging as we continue to become minimalist ourselves. i wanted to give you an opportunity to read it as well. and so with christa’s permission, here it is:
30 years was the turning point in my life. I was an accountant turned stay at home mom with four small children, the two youngest being a surprising set of twins. My house was overrun with clutter and kids stuff on top of kids stuff. I was worn out from trying to keep up appearances, and I belonged to a religion that actually complicated my life more than words can tell.
I was seeking relief. I was needing a drastic 180 degree change. I started out reading the Zenhabits blog. Leo Balbuta talked about how Elaine St James’ books changed his life. I ordered all the Simplify Your Life books and soaked them in like a sponge to water.
I immediately started going through the house shedding off layers of clutter. I simplified my wardrobe down to basics and minimized my purse down to what can only be called a mini purse. I simplified the kids’ wardrobe getting rid of all the “fru fru” clothes that they only wore for pictures. I organized, I simplified but still it was not enough. Next, I read Inner Simplicity by the same Author. I eventually realized that not only the outside needed to be minimalized, but the inside needed some simplifying too or I would never have what it took to raise these 4 children.
The next step was simplifying my religion. I realized I had been raised in a works based religion that was way more complicated then my Christianity was supposed to be. The Jesus I read about in the Bible did not care how people dressed (as long as in moderation), so why should a religion insist on a standard of dress, or an earn-your-own-way to heaven policy. I found another church that let go of a lot of pretenses and allowed people to come as they are. I found a simple church with a preacher who had the same minimalistic, anti-consumeristic values, and taught Grace.
Now, having taken van loads off to the Goodwill, and having detoxed my head, making peace with God and religion, life is good! My parents still don’t know what to think about me, but my husband loves the person I have become. Now we have moved on to the physical, and hitting the gym 4 times a week. We feel good, we have room in our lives for taking care of ourselves. We aren’t weighed down with the cares of life, and the kids get better parents because of it!
thanks for sharing your story, christa. may it encourage others as it has encouraged me to continue living a simple life.
books mentioned in christa’s story: