Simple Living Inspirations
With each day, we get closer and closer to the life we've always dreamed of. On paper, things don't look so hot, but spiritually? We're firing on all cylinders, baby! We've never been happier or more at peace. We are taking the necessary steps toward our future, allowing God to lead the way. We tried to chase after what we thought was The Dream. The problem was that it was never our dream. We knew in our hearts that the conventional model didn't feel right, but we figured that was sign of our immaturity. We endured the misery in an effort to satisfy the people around us, even though it didn't fit our family, values, or passions.
Now that we've begun our journey toward discovering what exactly will work for us, I've been drawn to the stories of others who have taken the plunge into a more nontraditional lifestyle. Below are a few of the most inspirational folks I've stumbled onto over the course of the past week or so. They have not only edified and motivated me, but have confirmed what I've always known to be true: There is no one-size-fits-all way to live a life.
After losing everything during the recession, the Rayones found themselves with very little to show for two decades of working toward the American Dream. So, the family of five moved to Wyoming and found the key to contentment in a 665 square foot cabin on rented land. It's one of the most gorgeous posts ever written.
My husband and I started this documentary a few years ago, but I think I fell asleep before it ended. We watched it again this past weekend and I couldn't stop talking about it hours later. It focuses on the movement toward living in tiny houses—many measuring less than 300 square feet!—and the freedom found in using only what is absolutely necessary. It's currently streaming on Netflix, so no excuses.
I've been a fan of Tsh's since her blog was called Simple Mom. I instantly fell in love with her writing style and breezy approach to living simply. I couldn't incorporate everything she did, but she (and her lovely contributors) made it seem like I could, whenever I was ready. Hello, Ready! Her words resonate with me even more now. Start with her About page and manifesto, then have fun exploring the entire site. When you're done with that, head to The Art of Travel to catch up on her family's epic round-the-world adventures!
Amid all the makeup and hair tutorials, shopping hauls, and other frivolous things (I love watching those videos, don't get me wrong!), I so appreciate when one of my favorite Youtubers get a little deeper. Based on the name of the video, I assumed it would focus on the outward appearance, but the message was so much more important. Bonus: It's well-edited and beautifully shot.
Oh, and just as a disclaimer, this transition does not mean we suddenly don't like any stuff! Because we do. Look no further than my Pinterest page for pins galore of beautiful, sparkly stuff. Also, our kids are rather attached to their Legos, DVDs, Netflix, etc. However, one of the benefits of being more intentional is that there is more room for the truly precious things we use, cherish, and enjoy on a regular basis. Instead of allowing our hard-earned money to trickle through our fingers, we will take the time to spend with awareness and clarity, rather than the high of instant-gratification.
Minimalist. Simple living. Frugality.
The words are different, but all describe a commitment to living with intention. The ways in which one can manifest this idea vary greatly, as you can see by all the different stories above. That's what I love about this concept! It's all about creating a life that works for each individual, couple, and/or family.
For my husband and I, it's not just about saving money. We want to be good stewards of this beautiful earth God has given us while also shrinking ourselves in order to better serve His people.