Monday, March 14, 2011

'Little House' Lessons

I treated myself a month ago to this Little House on the Prairie book set. I remember loving them when I was little and just wanted something fun and light to read.  And they are...but I ended up getting so much more out of them than I ever expected.

With the disaster in Japan this week, it's really got me thinking a lot of "What Ifs??"

What if we had to evacuate our home? What would we take? Where would we go? What is most valuable to me?

Those are pretty common thoughts, I think. But I had to go and take it a step further.....What if our entire way of life was destroyed...what if we lost our power system and had no electricity, fresh water...what if we lost access to our oil supplies and the stock market crashed or our whole economy collapsed??

Okay, took it a little too far, but this really isn't coming from a place of panic...just really got me thinking. What do we really need to survive?? Could we survive if we had nothing but what's in our home right now??

The Little House on the Prairie books have given me such an amazing insight into the human spirit.

They grew, built, cooked, sewed practically everything they needed. Would pack up the covered wagon, travel to the unknown, and build a new house and furniture from all materials from the land. Grew their own food, letting nothing go to waste. Helped out and depended on their neighbors. Children had such respect for their parents. And husbands and wives worked together as a perfect team.

And they were happy and so grateful for everything. Every little thing. No matter how bad things got, as long as they had each other, they felt blessed for their wonderful life.

I think this has a lot to do with knowing they were capable of providing for themselves and not dependant on anything but the land...which was often pretty cruel.  In our modern life we are so dependant on things of no real value, except to make our lives more comfortable. And yet, despite all we have, it still so hard for most of us to just be happy.  That it takes so much effort to think happy thoughts sometimes

I think this all is at the core of why I feel so moved to simplify my life lately....

Making my own baked goods and cooking almost all of our meals from scratch. Making my own baby food along with cloth diapering.

Getting into making simple crafts, like this wreath, to fill my home with beautiful things that I made and love.

Changing the way I use things (or don't use) around my house like paper towels and paper napkins.
paper towel dish towel photo

Switching to a lot of my own non-toxic cleaning supplies. Even making my own deodorant! (Which, I gotta far, is a TOTAL SUCCESS!)
I'm sure some people see me doing these things and think I'm some crazy Supermom/Martha Stewart wannabe.

But I honestly do these things because they bring me so much satisfaction and joy! And I love that all of these things are making me more self-dependant. And they really are things anyone can do, even though our old-mindsets sometimes tell us we can't.

I'm always on the lookout for new things, that I'll continue to share. My new project is growing a big garden from seeds this year and learning how to do my own canning. So excited!

My thoughts and prayers are constantly with everyone that has lost so much in Japan right now. I just thank God every second for my amazing life that I far too often take for granted!


Brittany Tally said...

This is a nice post, Tiff. I think that the living simply idea is the same as enjoying the little things in life. Which I often say are the best things! I think we all need to just slow down and take in all the blessings around us.

Stephanie said...

I really love this, Tiff. And it's so true. Sometimes when I want to start complaining about this or that (like our apartment being too small or having "nothing to wear" or "nothing to eat") I have to stop myself and realize just how very blessed I am. I have a roof over my head, plenty of clothes and I never go hungry. We have so much and I truly am happy. Having more "stuff" won't make me any happier. I think simplicity is really key. I want less stuff with more value and purpose than just having lots of things I don't really care much about. I want my home to be filled with meaning and not clutter. Thanks for reminding me of this!

Brittany Tally said...

Thanks a good way of putting it, Steph!

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