Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Comment worth Posting...

I love when I get good ideas on simplifying life! My sweet Grandma Ellee sent me an email in response to my first post on simplifying. With her permission to share, I have posted it below:

"Now, to comment about your desire to simplify. This is a good, God given desire. Grandpa and I are also working on this. Here are some of the things we are doing. I have promised myself that I will not buy a single piece of new clothing until I have sorted out my whole closet and all my drawers and gotten everything into 4 piles; (1) throw out; (2) keep for working in the garden and cleaning out the cellar/garage. etc. - total grub clothes; (3) give away - anything that does not fit, is not a good color for me, or that I don't like anymore but is in decent condition; (4) things I don't need anymore, such as fancy cocktail dresses I needed to go to Air Force receptions, etc. - I will keep one for each season in case I need a fancy outfit. I will still most likely have plenty of clothes!

Also, Grandpa and I have a big house. It is beautiful but much more than we need. We want to downsize but the housing market is such a disaster right now that we could not sell our home for anywhere near what it is worth. So, we are trying to economize any way we can until the market gets better. We have NO debt (God does not want us to have debt). We are slowly filling boxes of things to give away (we gave 13 boxes full of books to our church fair).

We are also trying to eat with more sensitivity to the world. There are many many people in the world who don't get anywhere enough to eat on any day. I am co-director of the Waldoboro Food Pantry and I see this whenever we are open - more and more people come because the economy is so bad that people have to choose between filling their cars with gas so they can get to work and buying groceries for their families. I am sure that Orlando has many people in the same situation. There is a wonderful cookbook series by the Mennonite Missionaries, which I am sure your Pastor could find. There are 3 cookbooks - Extending the Table, More with Less, and Simply in Season. I am trying to cook from them as much as I can and change our eating habits to be healthier and not waste resources. We also recycle as much as we can (newspapers, mixed paper, bottles and cans, etc).

Last winter in Maine was very cold with record amounts of snow. Grandpa and I closed off our third floor, set all the thermostats at 60 degrees, put fleece blankets on our chairs, and burnt wood (which is much cheaper in Maine than oil) in our two woodstoves. It was a lot of work lugging the wood upstairs from the basement and keeping the woodstoves going, but we saved mega bucks and were still plenty warm. The US as a whole needs to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, which you may not feel so much in Florida as we do in Maine, but it must be an issue with air conditioning.

The Lord gives us many messages about caring for His creation and they do not involve the excesses that our American (and generally Western) cultures have led us to believe are needs.

I love you and support everything you and Jarrett are doing to simplify your lives. - Grandma Ellee"


Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

What a sweet e-mail with tons of great advice!!
Thanks for sharing.

Joe said...

Thanks for sharing that strong and powerful message from your Grandmother. It's great to be inspired and led by people who have walked down the road a bit further than us. Carey and I have been challenging ourselves in many of the same ways and I feel a bit of inspiration to keep up the fight after reading that post. Keep sharing!
Joe Tessin

Brandi said...

how precious is that? I love that my Granny reads my blog and emails me all the time. What an encouragement!

Love her ideas too.

Love ya,
PS I've been catching up on your blog via googlereader so I'm staying up tonight to go and comment now!

Fran said...

Maybe it is the economy...But seems lots of people are trying to simplify. We just finished Financial Peace University - a great program. It is funny - when you are really thinking on that wave-length - how many things you really do not need. You also begin to want different things - less material - more spiritual. Remembering that God owns it all anyway - sure changes how we think.

Dearest Jessica said...

So sweet that she sent you that, I love it!

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