Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A Year of Simplicity

This year our family is going to attempt to live more simply. We wanted to do more than just say that we are going to try to buy fewer things or order take-out less (we've said it before but not followed through), so we've decided to draw up a contract of sorts for ourselves. Here is what this year is going to look like:
We will not be purchasing any new things with these few exceptions:
-Necessary Toiletries (things like soap and toothpaste...not things like make-up or cologne)
-Home Care/Car Parts where it wouldn't make sense to purchase used (such as a water heater or an air filter)
-Underwear & Socks

Included with not purchasing new things, we will not be spending money on things like:
-Take-out food/eating at restaurants
-Convenience food/drinks (Wawa taking the main hit on this one)
-Entertainment (movies, concerts, amusement parks, etc.)

With that in mind, Brent (Being a Youth Pastor) may need to make some exceptions because of his job. This decision to live more simply is a family decision and we don't want it to affect how he does his job. Things such as high school play tickets, entrance fees for sports events, dining out for a meeting, buying a rubber chicken for a youth group game, etc. fall under this category.

Because we do need some time to spend together, we are allowing ourselves to use gift certificates that we already have. This will allow us to go out to eat every once in a while with the gift certificates people have so generously given us.

We have decided, finally, that we will suspend these rules if they may in any way hurt our Christian witness or offend someone. We're not sure how exactly that might happen, but we wanted to be open to the possibility. We don't want to be sticklers just for the sake of saying we held to our rules 100%.

This year is about teaching ourselves how to live a more simple life, to not buy into our materialistic culture, and to awaken our creativity. Ultimately we want to glorify God by trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle. In addition we will try to do other things to simplify such as buying local and organic when we can.

We are excited to face the challenges the year will bring. We have to keep reminding ourselves that even though this year will be hard for us in a lot of ways, we are still living an extravagant lifestyle by most of the world's standards. We will have plenty to eat, more clothes than we need, a warm home...in short we will not be suffering in any way. I do not want this blog to be a place where we boast about all the great things we are doing, but rather it be a place to journal our experience and dialogue with you, the reader.....where we can record the ups and downs of the year and also ask for advice when needed. We invite you to challenge and encourage us.

On this blog site, I (Missy) will write my entries in GREEN. (Like right now)

Brent (Hi!) will write in BLUE.

So when you see the blue, it is me (Brent). Not that anyone will read this anyway, but at least we will know who wrote what.

I will say that, though I am very excited about this year and the challenges and joys it holds, I feel that this experiment will be more difficult for me. Missy is more gifted at being generous and charitable than I am. And also I like stuff...a lot. But I am excited to begin this journey as a way to bring our lives into step with how Christ would want us to live. So pray for us!

We'll write more about ourselves later, but for now...wish us luck!

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