Less is More…

Now…how can someone with hundreds of pairs of shoes say that?  I know…it sounds crazy…bear with me!  I’ve had this revelation lately…less is more!  In my mind I always used to think No…less is less!  (Especially when it comes to shoes!)  But the more babies I have and the more things seem to accumulate, I am feeling claustrophobic and this house that seemed like a castle when we moved into it is starting to feel smaller and smaller.  There are times I feel the way I do when I walk down the baking aisle at Meijer…you know how this time of year they stock up on EVERYTHING and the top shelves almost reach the ceiling and you think it all might topple over into a mountain of sugar & spice and everything not nice on top of you at any given second!?  I practically run down that aisle these days.  Yikes! 

It’s actually good I’m starting to feel this way.  Especially with the holidays coming up.  Our parents are asking for gift ideas for our kids because they HAVE to spoil them you know.  I’ve given up telling the grandma’s they can’t spoil our kiddos…it’s no use.  The “no toy rule”…yeah, right!  It is their right as grandparents!  Anyway…we personally as parents have a guideline for the gifts we give our children for Christmas.  As a celebration of Christ’s birth we happily give them Christmas gifts from us, NOT Santa.  (We’re too busy celebrating Jesus to worry about him!)  They each get 3 gifts because that is how many Jesus got when He was born.  They also get a few stocking stuffers.  We’ve done it for a few years now but last year I was a little worried that it wasn’t going to be “enough”.  But you know what?  It was more than enough.  It was perfect!  Less was in fact MORE!  Our celebration of Jesus could not have been better focused on the true reason for the season.

Another way that I’m finding that less is more is that now that Jackson is a little bit (sniffle) older I keep wondering if I should start working again to contribute to our family.  But it seems like every time I even start to think it I am reminded of how blessed I am to be able to be with my children each day and serve in ministries for the Lord.  Today Emalynn woke up and she wasn’t feeling well.  She said her tummy hurt and she was crying at breakfast :(.  When that happens to many other moms they are so torn because their child can’t go to daycare or school and they have to call their boss and miss a day of work and let their employer down…and many times STILL pay for daycare!  I didn’t even have to think about it.  I let my fellow bible study leaders know I wouldn’t make it to our meeting and was able to completely focus on taking care of Emalynn…no guilt, no worries, no anxiety, no wishing I could be somewhere else.  I may not get a paycheck, but the rewards are priceless!  When a little one are sick, they only want their mommy!  It is just another way of God telling me I am right where He wants me.

I guess the way I’ve been feeling is kind of  like when you go shopping for something you really need and when you find it on super clearance…a major steal…the reward is so much greater…and there is absolutely zero guilt.  Not at all like when you pay way too much for something you don’t need however you may justify it.  Less is more!  This is an area I really feel the Lord working in my heart to be good stewards of the resources He’s given us.  The less we have, the less we spend on the things we need…not the more we can save, not the more we can buy, not the more we can do…the more we can give back to Him…Who gave it to us in the first place.  Doesn’t it all belong to Him anyway?  And really…if I looked at myself now, even from a year ago, I wouldn’t even recognize myself because God has shown me how I don’t need so much of what I thought I used to.  All I really need is Him.

It is so easy in a world focused on stuff and things and more, more, more and bigger and better to get caught up in what I don’t have or what I wish we could do as a family…even in a closet like mine believe it or not where things have been known to topple over on me!  It’s so easy to forget what I do have…what I don’t deserve that I have been so richly blessed with.  It makes me think of a line from my speech from my high school graduation…Someone wise once told me that every man who has more than what he needs is considered rich.  Every day this month I am making a point, even on the bad days, to think of something I am thankful for…and not silly or frivolous things…things that matter to God.  It has really changed my perspective…and isn’t that what we all need at some point everyday?  It has made me realize that less is not less…it is immeasurably more than I could’ve ever asked or imagined.

“Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. ”  Matthew 10:9-10

“Give us today our daily bread.”  Matthew 6:11

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”   Matthew 6:19-21

He must become greater; I must become less.  John 3:30

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