Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The Power of Less

It seems like every day we are bombarded with the message of more.  You need more money to be successful, you need more belongings to be happy, your kids need more and more activities and stuff in their lives to turn out normal.

What if we have been falling into this trap that tells us every time we turn around that what we are and the things we own are never going to be enough?

But maybe that's the wrong way to think about it.  Perhaps the best way to have more is actually to pursue less.

I've found this out kind of the hard way.  It's been a cold winter in Canada, and apparently the mice decided that my children always leaving the door open was a wonderful invitation for them to use our humble abode as theirs.

In less than 30 days we managed to trap/evict 26 of the darling little critters.

I actually woke up to the sound of scratching under my nightstand one morning.  I have this addiction to books, and I have an overflow basket under my nightstand.  I also had a home-made Magic bag in the bottom of this basket.  Which, just in case you are curious, is apparently both comfy and tasty to those rodents.  I heard the scratching after my husband had left for work, which meant that I had to figure out what to do myself.  I slid out the basket, and a furry little head popped up.  I yelped and slid it back under.  I weighed my options.  I could phone my husband... but that didn't seem very fair.  And to be perfectly honest, I had already called him several times to rescue me and thought maybe I should do this one myself.  Not wanting to waste time (since I feared this mouse making a different nest somewhere else) I quickly put on my housecoat, shut the other bedroom doors so my new little friend couldn't make a run for it, and grabbed the basket.  I made it into the living room when the little head popped up again.  So I did the mature thing and screamed, dropping my basket.  My 5 year old son was woken up by my stealthy eviction skills and came out to ask what on earth was going on.  I told him that nothing was going on, so go back to bed and shut the door.  I quickly glanced around and didn't see my little friend running around, so off we went again.  I got outside the door, took a few steps to make sure that it couldn't run back inside, shut the door and then dropped it all on the ground.   The poor little mouse took off along the bottom of our fence and ran.

Figuring all was okay, I started taking things out to see what needed to be thrown in the garbage and what needed to be cleaned.  Now, I'm in my bathrobe, at 7 in the morning and we live on a very busy street.  And as 2 more little fuzzier come flying out, now I'm in my bathrobe, at 7 in the morning, running around and screaming because a mouse touched me!  I phoned my husband after I had a shower (after being emotionally scarred and thoroughly disgusted that a mouse touched me), and relayed the story to him.  It turned out, he wasn't at work yet, he was at breakfast with his Dad and was telling his Dad the story as I told him.   The entire restaurant heard my story!

I told him I wanted him to go pick up more traps, as many as he could get because I was going to go all Home Alone on our house until I was sure I had gotten all of them!

Now, other than giving you a good laugh at my expense, what is the point of my story?

Well, having all those creatures in my house has taught me that if its not important enough to me that I want to sanitize it after having mice in my house, then why would I keep it?  I have gotten rid of over 20 garbage bags of STUFF from my house since that exhausting morning. 

My kids don't even notice that I cleaned out their toys and donated all their McDonalds toys.  They can actually find the toys they want to play with.  And rather than tell me that they're bored and have nothing to do, they can go play with their toys!  Now that there is room in the toys bins, they can also put them all away!

All those clothes that I was saving for who knows what occasion?  Gone.  I already want to get rid of more.

And it's bliss.  I now have much less to clean.  Which means I can spend my time doing other things.  I get MORE by having less.  More time with my kids.  More time cuddle with my Hubby.  I have actually had time to start reading again.  I'm teaching myself to crochet.

I am being more intentional with my purchases, since it seems such a waste to spend hard earned money on something if it's just going to create clutter.  And since I no longer waste my money on things I can either now find since my house is clean, or if I'm just buying it for the sake of something to do, I actually have more money.  And I don't feel that I have to go out and get the latest thing.  I'd rather spend that time making memories.

All because less stuff has actually made me happier.

Heavenly Father, I am so grateful for all you have given me.  You have blessed me with 3 healthy children, and I have one that you hold in your arms, who never had to struggle in this world.  I am sitting inside a warm house, with all the amenities that can all too often be taken for granted.  I have freedom.  I thank you for all the blessing I don't see, all the paths you blocked because they were what I wanted, but not what I needed.  I ask that you help us to see the beauty in the people around us, not the things we surround ourselves with.  In your name I pray.  Amen.