I have been struck recently by how easy it is to buy into the consumerist mentality that this world offers to make us happy. When I first became pregnant with my daughter, I was amazed at all the fancy gadgets that were available to satisfy every need that your child might have. Everything was so colorful, and fancy! Deluxe toys for your tiny baby…is that necessary? What is this encouraging? I thought to myself, why do we need all these fancy items for our children? Why do we feel like we have to entertain them? Do we not know that God has given them creative instincts to creative, think and develop their own entertainment without the need of computers, televisions, etc?
I have been surprised at how far I have slipped from this belief I held during my pregnancy. I bought or was given so many different little toys for my girl to play with. I thought since I was always buying the items used, we were being wise and frugal. What she really needs is relationship! She needs my love and attention. She is so happy to be doing what mommy’s doing in the ergo or just watching me from the laundry basket (thanks to Stephanie over at Keeper the Home for that idea!). The things I bought didn’t make her happy. She preferred just sitting up on her own with daddy’s water bottle, or my watch, or a little book. Wow! How eye opening!
I remember while growing up, my brothers would thrive in making up games of their own. They would build board games, etc. and be entertained for hours. They were so much fun! Building wise habits now in our entertainment decisions for my daughter will help greatly as she grows older.
My eyes have been opened to how easily these purchases have been increasing this worldly materialist idea in my head that we need an abundance of possessions in order to be happy or make our children happy. It’s a false hope! Only Christ Jesus can satisfy that deep desire for happiness. Not sucumming to this mindset also saves money and builds up the family life as we spend more time together!
Well, I am clearing things out today! That is my step for today in making my home a haven! I am returning to a simpler lifestyle!
And no, that picture does not come from my house, thank goodness!
What steps can you take to simplify your home? Here are a few ideas:
- We are only doing stockings for Christmas this year. So all the gifts will be small and practical. It has to fit in the stocking! This has really simplified my shopping and kept our focus on the true meaning of Christmas…we don’t need a lot of stuff that is going to take up room and come between us and the Savior whose birthday it really is!
- I have a friend with boys that only allows them to pick out 2-3 cars to play with for a certain period of time. The rest are stored away. When the end of the time comes they are excited to pick out 2-3 other cars to trade them in for. This keeps them with something new and fresh and yet not overloaded with too much toys at one time. Keeps the house more clean and organized as well. I was amazed at how content they were. I thought this was a great idea and can be used for any number of items in your home or your children’s toys!
- Clear out your stuff and donate to charity or another family. When we were first married another family gave us a collection of toys they were clearing out. It was definitely a random collection but it was very useful to have on hand for our hospitality.