Lessons In Simplicity & Gratitude


We have lived in this 1000 sq. ft. rental house since 2011. When we moved here, we had 4 living children (and had just lost our 5th child soon after his birth). We were moving from a 1400 sq. ft. home without a garage. We really didn’t have a lot of “stuff”. At least I didn’t think so.

When we moved here we got rid of a lot of stuff. And we still had many boxes that went directly into storage and were not even unpacked. Mostly decorations, fancy dishes, and mementos, but still “stuff” that simply was not needed.

Now, years and 3 more kids later and we still have boxes in our storage shed and garage that have been there since we moved in. A couple of years ago, I dragged out several boxes from our storage shed and either gave the items to family or donated them. There were very few items I decided to keep. I can almost guarantee the same would be true for the remaining boxes.

Not only that, but we’ve had to get rid of accumulated “stuff” almost monthly to keep any sort of an organized atmosphere. I dislike clutter, I dislike unnecessary “stuff”.

I like practical, useful, and meaningful things. I have very few items on display in my home that do not double as a useful product.

We still own more than we “need” and we are slowly learning to get rid of what we do not need or truly LOVE. In fact, our dream and goal is to live in a “small farmhouse” on some acreage with even less stuff!

A Simple Life - Our Journey Is Slow

Lessons In Simplicity

I understand sentimental value and I have items that mean a lot to me. But, the more things you own, the less meaningful they become. Less is more.

I’d rather my children own a few very meaningful and well-loved toys than many worthless and pointless toys that bring only brief entertainment. They take up space and lessen the value of truly valuable toys.

Instant gratification is a relatively new acceptable practice. What happened to treasuring a few items? What happened to appreciating what little you have? And taking care of what you have so that it lasts a lifetime?

Now, we are supposed to not only be angry at what little we have but spend our entire lives searching for something more. I’ve seen the result of being taught that instant gratification is better than long term fulfillment… it breeds selfishness, greed, anger, and a lifetime of “poor me” attitude.

A lesson on why long term fulfillment is better than instant gratification

Old-fashioned Gratitude

My mom told me a story from her childhood. (she was an amazing story-teller!) They were very poor growing up.
In her entire childhood (pre-teen years), she remembers getting one Christmas gift. The Salvation Army sent a box of items to my mom’s large family (12 children).
Inside there were toys labeled by gender and age. For my mom was a beautiful baby doll.
She had a hard face and limbs with a soft body. My mom named her “Annabelle Lynn”. She cherished that doll and cared for her like she was a real baby.
Her entire adulthood, my mom never forgot the kindness shown to her from the Salvation Army and that baby doll she loved. Every Christmas season, mom would tell us that story as she handed us a few dollars to put into the red donation bucket for the Salvation Army. I can still hear the emotion and love in her voice for their kindness and her Annabelle Lynn.

Though I do not wish a poor lifestyle on my children, I pray they are taught to truly appreciate what they have. I believe that is accomplished by setting an example that stuff is not what’s important. People and Jesus are. I hope and pray we can teach our children what old-fashioned gratitude is really all about!

5 thoughts on “Lessons In Simplicity & Gratitude

  1. What a great post. I too feel that I need to work on simplicity and gratitude in my life. I LOVE that story of your Mum. I know I'm going to think of it every time we donate to the Salvos. Have a lovely weekend!

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