I Realized I Don’t Need a Dream Pinterest Pumpkin Porch
Seeking Minimalism in a World of Material Holiday Expectations
This is going to be a simple one.
BUT I think it’s something worth diving into here. For myself at least.
The other week I was doing what most moms of my age do- dreamily scrolling through Pinterest and kicking myself for not having my house all decked out in the fall décor that is fit for all the Martha Stewart-loving people’s eyes.
I opened up the Walmart app and starting clicking on different “fallish” décor for Walmart pick up, and then it hit me.
THIS IS IS ADDING UP TO BE A LITERAL GROCERY BILL (Granted, we don’t spend a lot on groceries because we REAL cheap.)
So, anyways, I clicked out of the app and just settled on eventually buying one single pumpkin to use to take some cute fall pictures of Gideon.
I truly don’t believe its wrong to treat yourself and buy things “just because it makes you/me happy,” I’ve just been treating myself so much the past 26 years that I think I’ve got a metaphorical tummy ache from too much metaphorical sugar. Also, I think it’s really important that we nail down the things that we want to treat ourselves with and make sure it’s not something we enjoy for a week and then throw away into a garage to collect dust. I think we’ll find a greater happiness in our stuff when we are more intentional about the stuff we bring into our lives.
There’s nothing wrong with having cute seasonal décor, but for me — -watching the total add up on the Walmart Pickup App sent me down a whole internal dialogue path of all MY “whys” — — “Why do *I* need this in my life?” “Why do *I* want these things?”
And when I stripped all my wants away and replaced them with my person why questions, I realized the only reason I wanted these things is because social media sold me the lie that I needed them.
- the Amazon ads I thumb past every day on Facebook
- the pins of super gorgeous front porches that show up on my Pinterest newsfeed when I’m just looking for recipes for dinner… or just mindlessly scrolling.
- the YouTube videos I watch with links to all the “Fall MUST Haves” in the bios. (And the reality is that if most of us actually bought every “Fall Must Have” in all the YouTube bios, we’d have to take out another loan.)
- etc. (There’s a LOT online. Have I mentioned Instagram?)
It just got me thinking. Do I really want these things? Do I need them? Are they necessary for my family? Where would I prefer this money to go? Where do I NEED this money to go?
I’ve got such a limited time on earth and do I really want to spend any ounce of my precious time chasing down the perfect porch décor?
Is this the legacy I want?
Maybe I’ve watched too much Marie Kondo. Maybe I’ve been social distancing too long. Maybe I need to stop from trying to fabricate a deeper meaning behind everything.
But regardless, it got me thinking about a whole lot of things on my house “wish list” and how much money and time I would save if I just let go of those wants.
- Do all the sheets in my house have to match their respective quilt/comforter/pillowcase? Or is it okay if the beds are just simply functional?
- Do our plates need to match? Or is it okay if they are just simply able to hold food for when Luke and I eat off them?
- Do I need a new shower curtain that doesn’t look dated? Or is okay if I just clean it when it needs to be cleaned and only replace it when it can’t serve it’s purpose any more?
- Do we need a new couch that isn’t hard to push the foot rest back in to, or is this couch going to be perfect for our kids to jump on because it’s already a little bit broken?
I’ve always been a penny pincher, but watching how quickly that number grew on the Walmart Pickup app made want to penny pinch even harder.
Not because I want to be a stingy person and horde money in my savings account (Silly me, being in your 20s with a baby means that money goes towards bills NOT a savings account.)
But because I don’t want to be a stingy person who hordes STUFF that serves no value to my family.
Random stuff won’t help my son grow into a kind man.
Random stuff won’t strengthen my marriage.
Random stuff won’t give me any satisfaction in the deep parts of my heart that are longing to be nurtured into something greater.
I’ve been slowly falling more and more in line with the Minimalist mindset over the past two years, and the one thing I have gleaned from it is that it will free up more time and money to put towards quality conversations and everyday experiences with Luke and Gideon… and honestly, more money to put towards bills so we can achieve some sense of financial security and be able to enjoy our time without worries.
I’m 26 years old, and while it’s little young to be going through a mid life crises, here I am “crises-ing” it up. I’m assessing (and maybe even obsessing) about what I want my life to mean. How I want my time to be spent.
And because it seems as though I love bullet points, and I’m a huge believer in the rule of 3, let me sum up this blog with my 3rd bulleted list of a few tiny things that I want my legacy to hold:
- Deep conversations with my husband about life, God and how we can best minister
- Ministering to children without families of their own
- A constant nurturing of the emotional intimacy I share with my husband
- Spending all the quality time I can possible carve out with my husband
- Helping my son and all my children find and cultivate a wild imagination of his own
- Experiencing and representing the joy and love of Jesus
- Teaching that joy and love to my son and all my future children
- Reading piles and piles of books to my children in silly voices
- Growing food and reducing our waste like our climate depends on it
- Making forts with our mismatching, yet functional, sheets
These are a lot of huge goals, and I’m one of the most flawed people that I’ve ever met, so believe me when I say I’ve got a long ways to go.
But luckily, there are a lot of tiny choices and actions that I can make daily. It’s those tiny, daily choices and actions that are achieving the goal, because the goal is a constant cycle of daily choices and actions.
P.S. Listen to the song “Untiled #4” by The Avett Brothers. It’s goes along nicely with this blog post. Also, the Avett Brothers rock.
“I’m happier with nothing.”
The Avett Brothers