Minor Failure? Or Major Success?

Let me be the first to say, I did not manage to complete the November 30 day Minimalism challenge. I was expecting to have some great realization last month and accomplish every task on the list and proclaim victory. Due to some unfortunate circumstances that happened at the beginning of the month, everything was thrown off track. I found myself trying to play catch up on a lot of other things that have been going on and, to be quite frank, this challenge I set for myself fell by the wayside.

I do not think, however, that this past month was a total loss. I did manage to accomplish a few small tasks. First of all, I began combing through draws in my kitchen and weeding out unnecessary items, old pot holders, dish towels, utensils etc. I decided there really should be no need to a “junk draw” and did away with it! I now have 4 trivets, a few pot holders/mits, a couple bottle openers and few things for the animals we need to keep on hand-no more struggling to find something in a sea of disaster!

I also bought some storage containers for seasonal decorations and the cat food. There have been other small victories that I have been building into my daily ritual, so I have to admit, not a total loss.

There has also been another major development over the last couple weeks. Previously, I have written about how this journey into minimalism is doing wonders for strengthening my Faith. This has continued to develop. With the changes I have already made in my life and my home, I am finding more time to pray, to read, and to discover what kind of person I TRULY want to be.

I have come to the realization that, despite what I (and others who know me) might believe, I have been a lazy Christian. When faced with minor daily issues, frustrations, and even blessings, my first reaction has never been to say a prayer. My first reaction to any negative occurrence has been to get angry, to swear, to lose my temper. After stumbling across a few posts and passages, I have come to realize that should not be my first reaction at all. I have been living my daily life trying to take far too much control over every situation. If something does not go the way I see fit, I get upset and frustrated. If someone does wrong to me, or in my presence (think rush hour traffic), I get angry and swear it out.

What I have come to realize, is that my first reaction to any situation that causes inward (or outward) conflict should be to pause. I read somewhere that any time you feel upset, frustrated, angry, hurt, overwhelmed and so on, that you should pause. When you pause, you should pray. By mentally forcing yourself to pause, you will eventually form a healthy habit of pausing and praying whenever anything negative (or positive) happens. It becomes instinct. For me, this will replace my instinct to get upset and yell or swear. I have been working on this for the past 1-2 weeks and I can already say I feel much more calm. Someone cuts me off in traffic, I pause, pray for patience and understanding, and continue to drive on. Events like this also force me to realize that I may be upset over something minor like someone cutting me off in traffic, but it could have been so much worse. Now I do realize I will have some people reading this post that may not be as religious as I am. That is fine. You can still apply this practice to your life. Instead of praying to God, you could simply pause, focus on patience in the moment, and continue on. Trust me, it works!

So, would I say I am a complete failure? Absolutely not. For me, the most important priority in my life is building my relationship with God, and working on my life in such a way that will please him. I would consider these steps towards that to be a complete success, but I am certainly not close to being done.

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