why enough? {enough, day 7}

Hello, friends! Can you believe we’re already on Day 7 of the Enough Experiment?? (some of you are thinking, “Day 7?? Feels like Day 107!!”)

Maybe it’s time for a little pep talk.

When I first decided (on a whim) to do this Enough Experiment every day in May, I thought I’d just share my personal journey (with before-and-after photos! ha! right!), and you all could do whatever you wanted in the purging department.

But then I kept hearing, “Please give us assignments! We need direction!”

(You’re regretting that now, aren’t you?)

Two things I want to remind us of today (in addition to these two reassurances about guilt yesterday):
1. We are all different people. Simplicity will look different for each of us.
2. There is a higher purpose here. Bigger than a de-cluttered home and space to breathe.

I really truly believe that it all comes back to that sweet line of Mother Teresa’s: live simply that others might simply live.

When we buy less and consume less and are less consumed by our stuff, we free up space and time and energy and resources that can be shared with others.Β And the SKY IS SO THE LIMIT here, friends. You don’t have to just sell your stuff at a garage sale and send the money to Africa (great idea though!).

Living simply so others may simply live is a way of life. When you begin to see the world through that lens, it changes everything. EVERYTHING.

And here’s what’s so amazing and beautiful. You find greater joy in helping/loving/serving others than you ever, ever, ever found in all your stuff.

I’m not even kidding.

I want so desperately for others to see that joy oozing out of me, joy that only comes from giving stuff away, giving YOURSELF away.

THANK YOU for the glimpses you’ve given me into your lives these past 6 days. I can taste your freedom, can feel the winds of purpose filling your lungs with fresh air. I can see the pictures you’re painting of the life you want to live uncluttered, unfettered, FREE.

Clearing clutter out of your home is totally great in and of itself, but when it becomes a metaphor of focusing on others instead of yourself, of finding joy in giving more than receiving, of feeling more and more blessed the less you have, MAN ALIVE.

So, today is an unexpected mid-week take-a-breather day (if you’re on a roll, feel free to keep purging anything you want today!).

I’d love to hear two things from you:
1.) In 1-2 sentences, what does “live simply so others may simply live” mean to you personally?
2.) What areas would you like me to prioritize in the next few days? (books/craft supplies/desk/kitchen stuff/toys/DVDs/coats/memorabilia/gift-wrapping stash…)

I wish I could hug you people!! You bring me much much joy!

17 thoughts on “why enough? {enough, day 7}

  1. Jill Foley

    I read this post early this am but have thinking about my reply all day. I don’t think I’ve come up with anything eloquent to say, but my motivation to live with less definitely stems from my desire to give more generously to others – specifically to those living in extreme poverty. I just don’t know how Christians can live so extravagantly while their brothers and sisters are barely existing. I know my life is beyond extravagant compared to most and I’m not ok with that. I seem to be in a constant state of brokenness – but I think that’s exactly where God wants me so I don’t become too complacent.

    I named my blog (which started out as a way to record my journey towards a more simplistic, minimalist life) Daily Bread based on Proverbs 30:7-8. This is my prayer on this journey – that God would give me neither poverty nor riches – just enough.

    Shaun Groves has a great song based on the same verse – Enough from Third World Symphony.

  2. Allison

    I first head the quote “Live simply…” when I was a teenager. I was with my mom and expressed my instant identification with and love for it. My mom scoffed at the idea. She was disdainful and almost offended: why should we have to do with less? How can our suffering with less possibly give life to others? Even now, 24 years later, I remember how horrified I was at her reaction. So to me, that quote embodies the differences between my mother and I. She firmly believes that she deserves the best of everything, to have more than she has, to be able to afford to go/do/buy/travel as she pleases, and she feels a sense of deep failure and self-righteous indignation that her life hasn’t happened in a way to permit her to live the way she believes she deserves.

    By contrast, I do NOT believe that I deserve anything I have. I have a lot, and I am able to acquire more if I want it, but that ability does not equal a RIGHT. I have no RIGHT to acquire more simply because I can. I have no RIGHT to spend money, to live or eat or clothe myself extravagantly simply because the stuff is out there and I can afford it. Does my doing without actively help others? Not inherently, no, but striving to live simply keeps me humble, keeps my mind open to the needs of others, and it frees resources to be able to help others, both my own resources and those of the world.

    Um. I think I wrote more than 2 sentences.

    In other news, I couldn’t stop the purging train. It cleared out food from my kitchen cabinets that I took to the donation box at our church this afternoon, and it cleared a paper grocery bag’s worth of stuff from random places in the house. I think I need to find the local chapter of Purger’s Anonymous. Oh wait, maybe that’s what your site is πŸ™‚

    1. Marla Taviano Post author

      Aw, friend. That sucks about your mom. But I loved that it resonated so deeply with you. And I wish we would’ve discovered all of our commonalities about 8 years ago. Then we could’ve chatted about this stuff in our front yards instead of online (although in all of our introverted-ness, this is probably better for both of us!). xoxoxo

  3. Sharon

    Glad for the breather day b/c I just have not been very motivated the past couple of days. So, hmm, actually maybe I’ve already had my breather day(s) for the week! I still have yet to finish going through my music collection. I have to sit at my husband’s desk chair to be able to do so. So, right now, while he’s at work would be a GREAT time to do that. (At least until nap time is over). Headed on over there. Was thinking earlier this week, would love a day on the kitchen. I was trying to make sure I had matches for tupperware/lids and want to purge ones w/o matches and thought, hmm, wonder if this is gonna be one of Marla’s assignments.

      1. Gloria

        No!!! Not the kitchen stuff. I too was looking for lids for my plastic containers and realized this was probably to come. Yikes!

  4. cyndee

    So ironic. I wore a t-shirt that I bought for someone’s adoption fund raiser just the other day and thought, “I love this saying but this shirt doesn’t look good on me. I should get rid of it (and a few other t-shirts).” The saying on the shirt? “Live simply so that others may simply live!”

  5. Jen Hanson

    “Living simply so others may simply live is a way of life.” <<<< YES! I've loved that Mother Teresa quote ever since I first heard it years ago (from my dad I think). I love the way you put it here. It truly is a way of life; a purpose; a vision; a focus, that influences everything you do/buy/spend your time on.

  6. brooke

    Mostly, I’m burdened to serve those with enough of everything (except maybe Jesus and compassion). and yes, it is a burden because I don’t get the fulfillment of seeing the need met or feeling like I’m accomplishing anything. selfish, sure.
    BUT the way my life most represents the quote is the Valentine’s Day gift that keeps on giving. Back during the 7 experiment, I “got” a Compassion International kid as my gift (yes, it was my request). Now, whenever I read a letter from Suman its also a love letter from my husband. He’s not a believer, but loves me enough to pay monthly so that a child in India will be taught about Jesus.

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