Editor's Note: Today, we welcome Jen Steed to our family of CatholicMom.com contributors. Jen blogs regularly at her site Happy Little Homemaker and will be joining us here to share her thoughts on family life and book reviews. Welcome Jen! LMH

Make a Simple House in Order to Simply Live

We live in a huge house.   It’s an average house for the current times (about 2200 sq. ft.).   But historically speaking and throughout the world, it’s a huge house.   Over the years (we only built it 6 years ago), we’ve talked about moving several times.   Each time we’ve listed the house, we’ve sold hundreds of dollars worth of stuff on CraigsList and donated & given away just as much, if not more.  And we still have more stuff left than I can possibly fit into a 900 sq. ft. apartment.

But I’ve noticed several things in this most frequent purge.  We are getting down to the nitty gritty now & tough decisions need to be made.  The last three times we’ve only missed 2 things – a book case and a garment bag.  And the garment bag barely counts since we haven’t actually replaced it.  We’ve been asking ourselves:  Do we REALLY need this?   Are we ever going to get into this expensive hobby again?   What do we REALLY use and love?

But more importantly, I am finding that the less stuff I have, the more time I have for the people I love.   I can make time for prayer and not feel stressed.  I have more time to read books with my 3 year old and play with the baby on the floor.  Picking up the whole house when it’s an unmitigated disaster because we have another showing or open house, takes an hour.   Four months ago, it took 12 hours.  Not the cleaning, mind you, just picking up the stuff J.

Today, I’d like to invite you to simplify YOUR house in order that you may simply live.  Pretend that you are moving to a house half the size.  What would you not move because it’s too old, worn, ugly and otherwise not worth it?  What could you gift to someone that you haven’t used?  What could you sell to be able to purchase something you need?  Start small.  Pick a drawer. Or a bookshelf.  Or even a pile of papers on the table. Be ruthless—you are fighting for your spiritual life!

When we are not tied to things (especially those physical things) of this world, we are free to be able to do God’s work.  We can drop everything to help those in need.   We can save our money to be able to give like God calls us.   We can live and teach and be an example to the little sponges that God has entrusted to our care while they are on Earth.

What is God calling you to do?

Copyright 2011 Jen Steed