A look back on the people that influenced and impacted my life in 2010.
The movement toward minimalism started before I heard of Joshua Becker, but after I heard him speak I realized I was in the early stages of echoing much of his life.
It started by necessity. Things snowballed after Jana fractured her leg. We kept getting hit by surprise expenses during the summer that I had a night where I was stressed about making ends meet.* We just found out we were pregnant, and I had no idea how I was going to be able to provide.
*In the past eighteen months, we have replaced the following with our car: brakes, radiator, serpentine belt, water pump, ignition, ball bearings and more. Plus, the AC is shot. The ’92 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight still runs, though. I would hope so after all the money we’ve sunk into it!
Throughout this financial pinch, God was working on me with my finances. I started realizing I didn’t need a lot of stuff I had. I was selling things on eBay to help pay bills, but then I started giving things away and donating items to local charities. We cut expenses, like getting rid of cable. It was a weird, freeing feeling. I started asking myself why I felt the need to have some of the things I did, why I needed to spend money on certain things. Was it for identity? Cultural pressure? Something else?
I was processing all this when I created and produced this animation.
It was also around this time that I heard Joshua Becker speak. He came in to share at one of the Double Your Impact Spotlight Events. Part of the reasoning was for people to see how they can give up on little things, and yet have it add up to bigger financial gifts for the campaign. That was good, but hearing Josh’s story, and how he came to adopt the minimalist lifestyle, solidified a lot of ideas of what I had been thinking about in the previous months.
I think the evening was more a culmination of a journey I had been on with regard to finances.
I wanted to keep on the journey that I unknowingly had been on, the minimalist journey. Yes, it was necessary as Jana and I wanted to get out of debt, but I saw it as a lifestyle I wanted to embrace.
The fall saw Jana and I began to adopt this lifestyle more intentionally. Decisions we made for throughout the holidays were made with minimalism in mind.
In December, I had the chance to have coffee with Joshua Becker. He was coming through Omaha for a few days and tweeted that he was available to meet up with people. I responded back and a few days later we connected at Starbucks for over an hour. It was great to hear more of his story, share mine with him, and discuss minimalism. I had a few questions for him, and he was gracious to answer them as best he could. We also talked about family, ministry and blogging*, which made for a fun conversation. I appreciated him sharing what he does to make sure he has margin for God and his family. Good times. Wish I could hang out more with him.
*One topic we discussed was whether or not we want to go full-time with our blogging. We both said no, and Joshua referenced a discussion he had with a fellow minimalist blogger about the topic. That blogger would write this post about the topic, which I think is good.
As I look at my life now, I find myself looking to Joshua’s life as a model. He’s a husband, father, pastor and blogger that’s been living the minimalist life for awhile. He’s fulfilling the call God has on his life as well. I want to have the same fulfillment and impact that he has with the minimalist lifestyle, while fulfilling the call God has on my life.
I’m excited to see what takes place in 2011 as I continue to adopt and live out this minimalist lifestyle.