A few of my favorite things…

I don’t like wearing socks in the house, and as a result, my toes are freezing. So in effort to warm them up, I lurked about the house to find a few of my favorite things…

First up: a candle holder minus the candle. I do have candles around this place, but I don’t like burning them. This sits atop our desk, and blends in well with the peachy colored wall. It’s gold and bronze, and I think it’s pretty.

South Dakota photography

This I bought I at Pier 1 using a Christmas gift card from my little sis. I was drawn to the Indiana Jones feel of the goblet. This item gives guests a sense of my personality, my idea of beauty.

South Dakota photography

This next item was a birthday gift from a friend. It reminds me of her rooted yet child-like faith, and how although we share the same beliefs, our paths have been much different,Β  like the two gold rods running down the horizontal line.

South Dakota photography

I have a lot. I own a lot.

Our old farmhouse is filled with so much stuff.

I see these things as beautiful, yet, at times I want to yank them from their standing places and say here, take it all!

I have been reading a book titled Kisses from Katie, a story by a 19 year-old homecoming queen who leaves her comfortable birthplace and makes her true home in Uganda.

The last words I read before going to sleep were this:

I was like the Velveteen Rabbit. I was tattered and worn out. I’d been hurt and scarred and banged around a bit in the past year, but God was using all those things to help me become real. I was coming to understand that what it means to be real is to love and be loved until there is nothing left. And when there is nothing left, and we feel we’re all in pieces, God begins to make us whole. He makes us real.

I have never been to Uganda, or too far from South Dakota really. And even so, my soul understands. Maybe yours does, too?

And while her book inspires me to think and introspect more, she’s not telling me what my heart does not already know: The desire to live a life of purpose and free of material slavery is not only a faith cry; it crosses barriers and reaches to us all, if we choose to listen.

I’ve heard it said Thanksgiving, Christmas, this holiday season can be the most depressing for people and records of suicide go up. But… isn’t this a time of the year for joy and rejoicing?

The pressure to spend threatens our goal to live a debt-free life… and we are frustrated.

Explaining to little ones how fortunate we are, yet they cry for expensive electronics, the newest, the latest. That was my child cry, anyway.

Husbands coming in from a long day of work, only to find advertisements and commercials reminding them she will only be happy if you buy her this sparkly, overpriced jewelry.

I tell him I used to want that life. Now… all I want is to stay in love, to keep life simple always. To never stop kissing and playing and laughing.

Because kissing… laughing… his smile? Oh mercy. It is real, and I take it with me wherever I go.

South Dakota photography

South Dakota photography

South Dakota photography

These are truly a few of my favorite things.

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55 thoughts on “A few of my favorite things…

  1. From the glimpses you gave us, I’d say I share your sense of beauty. And from the insights you gave us, I’d say I share your affection for simplicity. Thank you for the lovely post.

  2. So sweet. On a day when my little guy has the flu and I miss Marley like I would my own arm, I am so grateful to be reminded of the bounty of my life–my family and friends–and how to love and be loved is, in the end, all that matters. Thanks. Suzanne

  3. True, straightforward, sweet. That’s the post; that’s you too. I think getting down to basics emotionally is more important than emptying the house of Stuff. The latter can be a useful way to expedite the former, to be sure, but it’s all about simple *recognition* of what matters and commitment to cherishing that, and clearly you’ve put lots of thought into that already. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. I love this post — and it is sometimes amazing to me how far apart we live and how different our lives are, and yet, we experience so many similar things! I’m in love with and a bit ashamed by all the stuff I’ve accumulated in my life — and in just coming back from Uganda, was introduced to Kisses from Katie (maybe by you??) I wish I could say my life was as simple, content and love-filled as yours, but I’m older and a lot crankier than you are — just ask my husband! So you are a wonderful example for me!! Thanks for sharing and your photos (specially your pup and the sky) are entrancing!!

    • I agree, we do seem to experience similar things in a different light. I am always inspired by your posts. When you talk about being cranky, it reminds me of what the priest said at a wedding we attended this past weekend: (while shrugging his shoulders and smiling) “Take is easy — God is with you.” He was explaining to the new groom and bride not to be so hard on each other. I loved the reminder πŸ™‚ Hope your December is off to a great start!

  5. I can’t find your name so “dear countryman’s wife”,
    Said another way, “we don’t know what we’ve got till it’s gone”. I relate back to your quote “…what it means to be real is to love and be loved until there is nothing left….”. It seems that when material things are not prominent in our lives, we are forced to focus on the non material such as the spirit, a smile, love, laughter, our relationships, friendship, the beauty of nature – none of these things can truly be purchased. Also, when material things are reduced from our lives, we can take a moment to appreciate their specialness and existence because when we are surrounded by them, we take them for granted because they are “there” and they have always been “there” and we fully expect them to always be “there”. I wonder if the survivors of Katrina or the tornadoes in the midwest last year in some way are more real because of surviving the tragedy? I wonder if God does not teach us to be as real as we can be before we lose something like home possessions by giving some of our wealth and possessions away to these people who have suffered the loss of everyday appliances, cars, furniture, beds, and blankets. It is so good of you to help me to stop to think about this after reading your post. My house is filled with material things, but I walk by them everyday. No more can I take them for granted. But more importantly, no more can I attach alot of worth to them because what IS important is important is spirit, smiles, love, laughter, relationships, friendship, and the beauty of naure…and of giving material things to people who need them more than I do.

  6. Another wonderful post and a great point of view! I have been de-cluttering the house over the past year, cutting back on material things except those given by a loved one such as a friend-made Raggedy Ann doll with my name stitched below the heart or a stuffed cow my husband gave me when we were dating, or something related to a fun experience. It’s so true that love is the most important thing, plus sharing new experiences together that enrich us in ways possessions don’t — though I have come home with a print or piece of pottery from a favorite place, but also with “free” things like a pretty rock from the beach. And the money saved by cutting back on “wants” can be used toward those shared experiences and memories.

  7. I LOVE this post!! My cousin actually read an excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit as part of our wedding ceremony, so you can imagine that that passage definitely resonates with me! Life out in western New Jersey has definitely shown me how much I appreciate the simple(r) life πŸ™‚

  8. Beautiful and heartfelt post. I have been undergoing this purging of stuff and simplifying my life as well. I found meaning, purpose, and at one point got rid of an entire room full of boxes up to the ceiling, of just “stuff” that was meaningless. I guess everyone has to undergo this process before finding true meaning and living a life that feels whole – it is a journey, different for every person. I enjoy much your writing and sensibility of words, your bits of wisdom and your everyday search for what truly matters.

    • Good for you! It’s such a cleansing feeling to let old things go, in all forms. While we don’t have much compared to many, I still look around and see abundance. I don’t want that to take center stage for us, as I’ve seen it happen for others. Thank you for stopping in, and enjoy simplifying!

  9. Sorry, I forgot everything that came before that mega-watt smile :). No wonder it’s your favorite πŸ˜‰

    At the end of the day, when all the tinsel and wrapping and receipts are gone .. what we all want is love .. to be love, to have love, to give love. The rest?

    Tinsel.

    …. Merry everything!!
    MJ

  10. Beautiful! I love the gift your friend gave you for your birthday, too. Oh, and your husband’s smile is a wonderful thing to see every day, I’m certain.

    Thank you for sharing this sentiment. Life reminders are important – this was important.

  11. LOVE this post. And favote things have such a comforting power. And the best things are those that are Real. Reading your post remined me of this. Thank you so much for sharing.

  12. Oh Katie’s blog is one of my absolute favorites. What a great smack in the face about whats important. A girl I met in Alaska was able to go to Uganda and meet Katie and she said it was one of the most amazing days of her life.

    May your day be full of those importantly favorite things!

  13. I loooove your favorite things. And your words inspire and give hope that yes, we can do this thing called life without loving things that can’t love back and we can keep priorities straight and hearts soft and eyes on Him. Happy to be sharing the journey. Thank you. πŸ™‚

  14. Man, I’m going to have to check out Katie’s book…and apparently her blog! Very cool. We are trying very hard to live debt-free AND on one salary right now, so on Saturday we are going to drop our iPhones. Gulp. When I think about, though, I remember what’s really important–and how rich I am, even without all the shiny stuff ;).

  15. The story of the Velveteen Rabbit has been a personal favorite since childhood, and I treasure a beautifully illustrated copy that I own. If forced to choose precious items during a fire (heaven forbid!), I would grab my husband, my dog, my grandmother’s rings and ancester photo albums,and that book.

  16. Very nice. I feel the same. After returning from a Christmas shopping trip, I feel a little sick to my stomach. Like I just spent the day at the carnival binging on cotton candy and recovering from the Tilt-A-Whirl. It’s not substance and it’s fleeting. I was thinking this year that I want to propose for next year that we just buy each other nice small things. A pretty Christmas ornament like the ones made at the International Fair Trade store. Things like that. Anyway…thanks for teh inspiration.

  17. Almost brought me to tears…Truly beautiful post and yes God is awesome and wants us to live a purposeful life.

    I just sound you blog randomly, but the pictures are soul-felt and I can tell your words are heartfelt and genuine.

    May God Bless you and your family this Christmas : )

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