My journey to minimalism began shortly after I dropped out of community college. Since I was not spending 80% of my time away from my bedroom at school I was casted into my bedroom 5 days a week. By the way, I believe temporary solitude is crucial to building the person God wants you to be. The only excuse I had to leave my room was to go to the gym, spend time with family, or go to work for the other 2 days of the week. Because of this ‘solitary confinement’ I was constantly facing every feeling of stress and unfulfillment with my life due to some trials, then one day I had figured out a solution to my troubles. It was my room!!
The true root of my problems in life came from me not seeking God wholeheartedly and relying on materialistic things to supplement my unhappiness. Behind the cute button up and cheetah print purse I was insecure, unconfident, and lost. My mind convinced itself that I just liked fashion, but it was deeper than that. I saw myself as less than without my perfumes, clothes, or even my sexy lingerie.
Long story short God delivered me from my cluttered room which resulted in an abundance of weight being lifted off my shoulders. This gave me that little push to come before God wholeheartedly, gain confidence, and have clarity about my future without the distraction of materialism. Yes you can have over 16 purses, and 7 different pair of jeans, 30 pairs of underwear, and 10 jackets and still love God and seek His pleasure. Just keep in mind everyone has their own convictions, the clutter in my room was one of mine.
I knew I had to make drastic measures in order to receive drastic results. So I got rid of about 90% of the items in my room!
What I Kept: The Bare Necessities
- 1 raincoat
- 1 thick cardigan
- 1 hoodie
- 2 dresses (casual/formal)
- 7 different plain long sleeved t-shirts (winter)
- 7 different plain short sleeved t-shirts (summer)
- 2 camis/undershirts
- 2 t-shirt bras
- 7 pairs of underwear
- 5 pairs of socks
- 1 pair of black slacks
- 1 pairs of black jeans
- 1 pair of blue denim jeans
- 1 formal blouse
- 3 pairs of earring studs
- 1 perfume
- 1 body oil/lotion
- 1 clutch purse
AND TA DAH!!
What I Gained/Learned: Priceless Values
I knew my focus began to become better when I stopped worrying if I had enough money to buy my next outfit and started scheduling my time with the Lord and other things of more importance. Come on Christians let us be real now, “seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things should be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
I was battling with insecurities, daddy issues, issues from my past, strongholds, identity issues, and an undiscovered purpose. None of these issues became prominent into my life until I started cleaning out my room and decluttering. Once I was able to declutter my room that discipline transenced to me decluttering my own mind and life. I cared more about what was on the inside instead of the out and took time to study the Word, and other self help christian books. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;)” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).
- Personal Value
In today’s popular media there is not enough women who have a known platform who publicly embody the characteristics of a true Godly women who is virtuous. Yes Beyonce, Rihanna, Tyra Banks are all beautiful successful women but in the eyes of who? Men? Yourself? “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe” (Proverbs 29:25).
I had erroronically modeled these women as an important figure in my life. Which meant I mimicked the same brands, style, hair styles, make up, and wealth as them in order to prove to ‘myself’ but ultimately it was to show others that I am ‘cool’ and ‘valuable’.
As I studied the Word I discovered my value is solely based in Christ. Not in the material things I had or what I wore. Which is why I love God so much! Your value is non-tangible! Meaning it is what is inside of you (Christ) that makes you more valuable than buried treasure.
- Financial wisdom
Minimalism does not mean I have to stop buying clothes and use them until they tear apart, it means thinking about what I can buy that will have longevity so i will not have to buy as much items overtime. So i shifted out of buying from cheaper clothing stores and invested my money in better quality clothing which also allowed me to save and give more to others!
Here is my logic:
If the quality is low, the quantity will increase, longevity will decrease, potential to save/give back will decrease.
If the quality is high, the quantity will decrease, longevity will increase, potential to save/give back will increase.
“The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives” (Proverbs 37:21).
After decluttering my space, I began to appreciate and take better care of what I had. I took time to volunteer at a soup kitchen in Los Angeles were I fed some of the homeless. It opened my eyes to see how grateful I need to be for what I already have. I found joy in the Lord and contentment within Him because I was able to see how undeserving I am of His grace. I became more grateful for my relationship with Him, and the things he delivered me from once I got rid of unnecessary things in my room and eventually worked on my personal life ! “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” ( Philippians 4:11-12).
I was attending community college, I switched my major twice, my grades were below average, and I was unsure of what I wanted to do as a career. I was in the process of borrowing a hefty loan to attend an expensive private university. How unwise it was for me to take such a huge financial risk to attend a college and potentially waste time and money because I did not know who I wanted to be. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33). After being out of school for 4 months and focusing on building my relationship with God, the Lord has shown me my purpose as a christian. I am forever grateful because in this journey to minimalism and dropping out of college I discovered most importantly who God is. He is amazing!
From my focus to my purpose none of it would of been possible in perfecting if I had not developed discipline. Yes you can have discipline even if you are not in school or working a full time job! Surprise! I started setting my own schedule throughout the week to attend the gym, making time with God, wake up early, being mindful of my spending habits, monitoring how I treat others at work and at home. Decluttering my room showed how much control I can take over my flesh (myself). I was able to stay consistent with this minimalist mindset by seeking God first because I saw how the root of my clutter(vanity) contradicted the Word of God.
“Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun”(Ecclesiastes 2:11).