Minimalism Game Days 13-19

October 20, 2013

I blogged a bunch last week, and then I didn’t blog this week. It’s an example of how much I struggle with consistency. I just live life in spurts. I wish I could change that about myself, but instead I’m trying to channel who I am in the right direction. Instead of trying to live by a strict schedule, I’m trying to make myself do a few small things regularly that will add up to the life I want to be living.

Goals:

10 minutes of yoga each day

10 minutes of Bible reading/prayer/meditation

Blog once per week

Progress so far…Yoga is 3/6…Bible is 2/6. I am NOT proud of that, but I’m going to try to just do better in this coming week.

Minimalism Game Days 13-19

October 13

1. Giant mason jar

2. Broken sippy cup

3. Hot, but dreadfully painful boots

4. ID holder

5. Reusable shopping bag

6. Reusable shopping bag

7. Pink sippy cup

8. Toddler sandles

9. Toddler sandles

10. Toddler sandles

11. Pen

12. Baby shoes

13. Poster

October 14

1. Painting from a student

2. Sippy cup lid

3-8. 6 Halloween cookie cutters (these came from a set of 100, and we don’t do Halloween)

9. Set of construction style alphabet stensils

10. Set of fancy alphabet stensils

11. Baby doll pants

12. Fancy Nancy poster

13. High school self portrait

14. Patriotic poster

October 15

1-15. 15 pieces of high school art

October 16

1-13. 13 pieces of high school art

14. Heart stensil

15. Number stensils

16. Alphabet stensil

October 17

1-5. 5 sheets of stensils

6-17. 12 girl books (the reason I have a bunch of girl stuff is a long story for another time)

October 18

1. Girl book

2. Girl book

3-18. 16 pieces of toddler clothes (these went to a sweet little friend of Josiah’s)

October 19

1-19. 19 pieces of toddler clothes

Minimalism Game Days 9-12

Woah! Life got a little crazy there for a minute! I finished my first accounting class last week, attended an out-of-town funeral Saturday, and took a “mental health” Sunday (I.e. I went to evening church after staying home all day with my sweet boy). I will try to catch up on the “game” over the next few days!

October 9

1. Hair barrette
2. Hair barrette
3. Hair barrette
4. Bracelet
5. Hair pretty
6. Hair pretty
7. Hair pretty
8. Pair of earrings
9. Magazine

October 10

1. Magazine
2. Magazine
3. Magazine
4. Magazine
5. Scrapbook
6. Notebook
7. Plastic bowling set
8. Tank top
9. Infant Michael Jordan hat
10. Night gown

October 11

1. Night gown
2. Night gown
3. Night gown
4. Baby bib
5. Baby bib
6. Baby bib
7. Baby bib
8. Baby bib
9. Baby bib
10. Baby bib
11. Baby bib

October 12

1. Baby bib
2. Baby bib
3. Baby bib
4. Pair of flip flops
5. Black TOMS knock-offs
6. Pink TOMS knock-offs
7. Baby shoes
8. Pink TI-84 skin
9. Blue TI-84 skin
10. Ugly candleholder
11. Reusable grocery bag
12. Reusable grocery bag

How I Handle Things as a “Grown Up”

As a teen/young adult, I was super serious. My friends called me “Mom” way more times than I should say. I mean, not that being a mom is uncool (I am one now, and I think I’m pretty fly at it), but they usually meant I was overprotective and domestic…Translation: Not fun.

Something about the craziness that has been my life for the last ten years has definitely helped me take myself, and life, a whole lot less serious. I got to thinking about this today when everyone at work was melting down about the state audit we’re going through, and my response was to call the auditor the “Tax Gangsta” who would “bust a cap if people don’t pay their taxes”…yes, I said that to his face. Admittedly not my proudest moment.

My other instinct was to tap dance on my desk to distract and cheer up my grumbly coworkers. I filtered that out and took a few walks around the building. I mean, I’m more fun now, but I still try to be somewhat professional at work. Somewhat.

Jess from New Girl is a kindred spirit. I’ve never related more to a fictional character in terms of awkwardness and spunk. This video came to mind more than once today…this is how I handle things as an adult.

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This is the face I make when people at work are super grumpy and won’t join me in singing. Or appreciate my auditor jokes.

Seriously, though, I don’t miss the stress that comes from taking life too seriously. Jesus has set me free. I don’t have to stress or carry the weight of the world anymore. His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). That makes dancing a lot easier 🙂

New Favorite Song

This may come as a shock, but I’m pretty sure no one feels brave during a marital separation. I know I don’t. I feel tired and worn. But I’m riding on the strength of the LORD and trying to forge on to a better life. I guess that does make me brave.

One of my dearest friends, a kindred spirit, sent me this song. It’s a new favorite. Gonna let it be my anthem while I ride this thing out…

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My Story

I was a broken child. I was a broken teenager. I was a broken adult. I was abandoned at a young age by my mentally ill mother. She chose death over the pain of this life. While I understand such deep pain, I do not, cannot, will not understand abandoning your child. I have one of my own now. He’s more precious than life itself.

When a parent abandons a child, whether physically or emotionally, it causes a deep void in that child’s heart that causes her to believe she is worth nothing. That was my story.

Thank God, it WAS my story. I have found redemption in Christ and healing from the Great Physician. When I was a teenager, I almost walked away from the faith. I told God He could NOT heal my heart. My mother was gone forever, and the pain in my heart was unreconcilable…and the LORD said, “Challenge accepted.”

When I got married, my pain and feelings of worthlessness abounded. I thought that being married would mean feeling loved. My husband did the best he could to love me, but when you believe you are unlovable, you are able to ignore even the greatest attempts by others to show you love. As I sought in all sorts of ways to feel loved (cue “Looking for love in all the wrong places”…and yes, I have a song for everything), I soon realized that my attempts were useless. As time went on, I withdrew more and more from anyone and everyone who cared about me, even God. I developed a habit of fear. Fear of pain and further heartache ruled my decision making, from what jobs to take to what shirt to buy, from which social functions to avoid to how to style my hair.

Fear is ugly, but it provided me a false sense of safety. If you are not in relationships, you cannot be hurt. If you don’t take risks, you can’t fail or be harmed.

I was miserable. My marriage was on the rocks. He was living in fear, too. We couldn’t love one another when we were so focused on self preservation. In desperation, my husband found a counselor for whom our church at the time provided funding. I’d been to four counselors before and never found healing. I was skeptical, but I wanted to find peace and strength. As soon as we met Chad, I knew he’d be the counselor who would finally help me find healing. But it ended up being so much more.

I found freedom from fear, but I also found courage for adventure.

I was a fearful child living in an adult body. I’d forgotten who I was. I’d lived for so long trying to protect myself from pain, while simultaneously hiding myself away. I did not understand that I already had a Protector. I could be who HE created me to be without shame or consideration of what other people thought.

I learned to allow God to protect me so I could spend my energy flourishing into the beautiful soul He created.

In that time, one of my counseling assignments was to find my story in a fictional character. What Chad explained is that my favorite character in my favorite story revealed my heart. I knew immediately that it was Milly Wilder from the movie Because I Said So. She was beautiful, creative, and deeply caring. But she let life happen to her. She allowed others to break her down, and she ended up hurting the people she truly cared about. In the climax of the story, she stood up for herself and sought out the life she wanted.

Brokenness was my story. Courage and beauty are my life now.

I titled this blog Milly Becoming Wilder, because I have rediscovered my heart, and each day I have to allow God to love me and remind me of who I am. Every day that I live as Milly is another day closer to being wilder, more courageous, naturally beautiful, loving, and quirky.

I am Milly, and I am becoming wilder.

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Minimalism Game Days 5-8

I know people who live fearful types of faith. They live in fear that they won’t be good enough for God and neither will you. These people are often quite judgmental. Maybe I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt in believing it’s truly fear driving their attitudes. Maybe that’s wrong, but I like to be positive.

Anyway, I’ve found that being judgmental doesn’t help anyone. First of all, who gets judged and thinks, “Oh yes, thank you for pointing out my flaws”? It’s very rare. People either get defensive and angry or ashamed and shy. When you choose to be judgmental and tell people how to live, no matter what your motivation, you are not inviting them to be real. Chances are, they’ll hide their true selves from you. You miss out on who they are, and they miss out on being themselves. It’s a missed opportunity for good relationships. And relationships, not judgment, are the basis for change and growth. When you allow someone to be real, you give him the chance to air out all of his issues and decide for himself that he needs to change, OR you grow close enough to him to offer him encouragement in areas where he needs to grow. An even bigger OR…you might be the one growing and changing…just a thought. Be real with people, and let them be real with you!

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Now, to catch up on the “game”…I was feeling tired and discouraged this weekend. I spent time with some awesome people and heard a great sermon. Woke up feeling slightly more perky and got on with life. I didn’t post all weekend, because I was worn out! BUT I haven’t given up on the game.

October 5

1. White, bedazzled (ugly) Crocs-like flip flops
2. Puzzle
3. Prenatal yoga DVD
4. Cheese recipe book (I love cheese, but those fancy recipes only remind me how small my grocery budget is right now)
5. Butterfly earrings

October 6

1. Floral hoop earrings
2. Guys’ ankle socks
3. Guys’ ankle socks
4. Guys’ ankle socks
5. Gloves
6. Gloves

October 7

1. Empty wipes container (I made a point not to include trash on the list, but truly, I view wipes containers as useful organizational tools)
2. Toddler snack container
3. Toddler snack container
4. Toddler snack container
5. Water bottle
6. Dress from middle school. No joke.
7. Baby flip flops

October 8

1. Baby shoes
2. Plastic bracelet
3. Decorative tin container
4. Headband
5. Comb
6. Butterfly costume ring
7. Tarnished Premier Jewelry ring
8. Set of butterfly hair combs (I’m seeing a trend)

I’m glad to get caught up. Consistency has never been a strong suit of mine, but when I care about something enough, I will find time to stick to it.

I counted the number of items that would be purged if I made it all the way through my October “Minimalism Game”…496 items. The scary thing is…that doesn’t scare me! I’ve been minimizing for a long time, and I still have plenty of excess!

Minimalism Game Day 4

October 4

1. A cute, but ill-fitting night gown

2. A stack of old computer software disks

3. A soy cookbook (What was I thinking when I bought that? Give me a break; I was new to vegetarianism…)

4. A white camisole that annoys me every time I wear it

Cami