Announcement: New Blog!

A little while ago, I posted a blog talking about why I was choosing to be a minimalist. Since then, I have gotten rid of 75% of my wardrobe and now only have the clothing that I wear and feel great in. Next on my list of areas I need to de-clutter is books. (I’m dreading this a little bit.)

As I was going about transitioning my lifestyle, I found myself drawn not only to minimalism, but also to simple living and sustainability. The three go hand in hand to build a life that isn’t only de-cluttered but also healthy and environmentally friendly. I’ve always been a little bit of a tree-hugger and a romantic, so this seems to be a natural progression.

All that to say, I will be launching a new blog called Lindy-Loo on Wednesday, July 6!

The blog will chronicle my journey toward a more minimal, sustainable, and simple lifestyle. I will talk about what I’m doing to change my lifestyle, like de-cluttering and using sustainable products. I will also talk about people who inspire me to live this lifestyle.

I am so excited to share this journey with my little audience. Everything is easier to talk and write about when you’re excited about it, and I am pumped to see where all this takes me.

So come along on the journey! I can’t wait to see where this all goes.

Why I’m Choosing Minimalism

 

Everyone can agree that we live in a society of mass consumerism. Advertising bombards us all the time, telling us what we need to buy to make us better, stronger, healthier, prettier, and happier than the people we interact with on a daily basis. Somehow our society has become convinced that more possessions will make us happier, when in actuality, the opposite is usually true. Being surrounded by objects and products at all time often causes more stress, frustration, and dissatisfaction than happiness.

This is just one reason why I have decided to make a life change and become a minimalist.

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Now, don’t freak out. I’m sure the word “minimalism” conjures up images of bare walls, five items of clothing hanging in a closet, and maybe a couch in the living room if you’re lucky. But don’t worry, I’m not going that far off the deep end. Each person and their situation is unique, so minimalism will play itself out for different people in different ways.

For me, it will veer more to the side of simple living. I really appreciate the allure of a simple lifestyle, one that is uncluttered and uncomplicated, and there are a few reasons why I want to make the switch.

1) Less Clutter, More Creativity? – I’m a writer who works from home. While it sounds great, I struggle to find a space where I can focus and get loads of work done. If I can cut down the clutter in my room, I will hopefully be able to focus more on the task at hand instead of getting distracted by everything around me. I also won’t have to clear out a space on my desk to work at before sitting down.

2) Mobility – This fall I will start my senior year of college, and then after that, who know where I’ll be. If I only have a few possessions, I will be able to move around a lot easier. I will feel more free to accept jobs in different parts of the country because I won’t have to stress about moving quite as much stuff. 

3) Less Stress – All the clutter in my room makes it really difficult to just relax. I’m always seeing something that needs done, but at the same time being completely intimidated by the amount of work that has to happen. So I just lay on my bed and watch YouTube to distract myself from all the crap around me. It really

4) Less Attached to Possessions – The two things that I value most in my life are friends and family, so I don’t think I really deal with an attachment to possessions. But I want to be completely honest with myself. A lot of the things that are contributing to the clutter are relics from high school and I have to be honest with myself because those things aren’t me, yet I cling to them.

5) More Saving – I’ll admit it: I might have a slight spending problem. I buy things that I might use for some hypothetical situation sometime in the future. Ridiculous, I know. And don’t even get me started on coffee. I have been known to buy coffee and snacks from Starbucks up to two or three times a day at school. Hopefully by going minimalist I’ll train myself to buy less and value what I have right now.

What do you think of the minimalist lifestyle? Do you find it ridiculous or practical? Are you minimalist? If so, give me your wisdom! I need all the help I can get.

My Last Day as a Teenager

Today is my last day as a teenager. Tomorrow is my twentieth birthday.

Weird.

I’ve been a teenager for seven years, and if you divide that out, that’s approximately 40% of my life so far. Over half of my memories are from my teenage years since I have horrible memory and don’t remember back past maybe five-years-old.

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13-year-old Lindy. Boy am I glad that those awkward years are over.

 

So much has happened when I was a teenager. I had my first boyfriend when I was 13. (It was a dismal failure, but that’s beside the point.) When I was 14, I went on a six week camping trip with my family, my biggest adventure ever besides college. When I was 15, I went on a week-long vacation without my family, a pretty massive accomplishment if you grew up in a family as close as mine. I also got my very first job that summer. I worked my first summer at camp when I was 16. I started college when I was 17. (I was the youngest in all of my classes.) I got my first pocket knife when I was 18. (It was green and really cool.) And I had my first kiss when I was 19.

 

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14-year-old Lindy. Yes, I am flying. Because I’m that cool.

On top of that there were so many great memories of weekend retreats with my youth group, of vacations with my family, and of crazy shenanigans with my friends. I learned to drive and (finally) got my licence. I’ve seen friends fall in love and get married.

 

I’ve learned what it means to be a hard worker and to be passionate about writing. I’ve learned what it means to be a good friend. I’ve made new friends and have grown distant from old ones. I’ve grown to love my family like no one could believe. I’ve learned to spend time with the people who truly care about me and let those who don’t fade into the background but am always open for a rekindled friendship.

And now those seven years are coming to a close.

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My sister (left) and I at my 16th birthday party. We had a great barn party and line dance.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I am super stoked to finally be a twenty-something. I’ve identified with the age group for quite a while now. But actually being one is hitting me with a purse-load of bricks. (Plus, I tend to get melodramatic and emotional as I approach milestones.)

Here’s a nod to the past two decades. Here’s a shout to the next two.

-Lindy

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17-ish-year-old Lindy. Don’t hate the hat!

 

ANNOUNCEMENT

Recently I have been pretty quite on this blog. I haven’t posted much and there are two main reasons:

  1. School. (Self explanatory.)
  2. My new blog, Books, Coffee, and Pizzawill be coming out on Wednesday,
    September 30, 2015.

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I am so excited about this one. I have been working for a long time on this one and my adviser, who is helping me out with this, and I are looking forward to releasing it.

This blog will be all about college and my thoughts on it. I will be covering everything that is important to college students, from relationships to academics to careers. And, although it is about college, my hope is that everyone will enjoy reading it. I hope that college students will identify, high school students will aspire, and adults remember.

I will be posting on Books, Coffee, and Pizza every Wednesday, so keep your eyes open for the posts!

I hope you all enjoy!

Lindy

My 9/11 Story

Today is the 14th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York City.

I was only 5 when it happened, so I don’t remember much. I remember Mom crying. I remember Dad explaining it to me as well as you can to a 5-year-old. His voice was shaky, like his throat was tight. I remember him explaining to me what was going on when Congress declared war.

“Why, Dad?” I asked

“Our government wants to attack them before they attack us,” he expUsed-911lained.

“But can’t we just hope that they won’t do it again?” (Childhood innocence is so precious, when we still expect the best of everyone.)

“It doesn’t work that way, Lindy.” His voice was sad.


Everyone seems to have their 9/11 story. You mention it, and everyone seems eagar to divulge where they were, what they were doing, and what they remember. It’s a story that all Americans share. Some would say that it may even be something that unites us.

But what about the kids who don’t remember? What about the kids who were too young to remember or not even born yet?  I don’t know if I should be jealous or sorry for them.

Part of me wants to be jealous. They don’t remember the horror or the fear. They don’t remember images of smoking towers plastered across every screen. They don’t remember the day that the world was silent. They have the freedom to be disconnected from that reality. Just as I think of the attack on Pearl Harbor as something distant and historic, so they will think of 9/11. The same way I view WWII, so they will view the War on Terror.

On the flip side, I don’t know if I should feel sorry for them. Have they missed out on an important part of American history? Something that unifies us? Do they ever wish for their own 9/11 story?

Is ignorance truly bliss?

Put On Your Big Girl Panties

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I just finished my last shift at my summer job! Yippie!! For the past few months, I have worked in a deli; up to my elbows in lunch meat and cheese all day.Glamorous, right? A deli is one of those places where it’s really easy to be grumpy. It’s hot and sweaty, customers can be a pain in the butt, coworkers are sometimes cranky, and certain lunch meats are just gross. Needless to say, some days are an awful, stinking mess.

Last week, I found myself in the rut of self-pity and job-hatred, both things that are easy to slip into. I would gripe and groan at work all day then come home and be grumpy and unsociable for at least the next hour. My parents and family would ask me, “How was work?” Although I felt awful and overly grumpy, I couldn’t think of one thing that made it a particularly bad day. All in all it was a good day with just a few hiccups, yet I couldn’t explain away my lousy mood. I would say, “I’m just ready to not work there anymore.”

After a few days in this rut, I was talking to my mom and the How-was-work-today-honey? question came up. I started complaining (again) with nothing to complain about it. She listened for a while, then looked me in the eye and gave me some of the best advice I have gotten in a long time:

Put on your big girl panties and get over it.

 Now anyone who knows my mom knows that she would never say something that harshly. She’s too sweet. However that was the essence of what she was saying. She pointed out that while some people work in a deli their entire life, I only had to do it for a summer. In just a few sentences, she broke down any excuses I had for being grumpy.

At that point, something became real to me that I had been mulling over for a while: My attitude about a situation is entirely up to me. I can choose to be grumpy and unpleasant about a situation, or I can choose to look at the good and smile as I go about my day. I don’t have to let the situation control my attitude. Only I control my attitude, and no one else has that power.

Since that conversation with Mom, work has been a whole lot better. I’ve been able to smile and joke with the other employees and the customers. I’ve felt light-hearted when I get home instead of dragged down. I was able to walk out of work today with a genuine smile on my face and a spring in my step; a great way to end a summer job.

More Than Music

Something that I think the modern Church gets wrong is worship. Most people think of worship as the music time in a church service. The leader gets up, you sing a few songs, a few people get emotional,  and then everyone sits down.

Worship is so much more than that. Worship is a lifestyle of servitude and gratitude to God. Yes, music is important, and I wholly believe that God loves it when we praise His name in song. It’s one way that many people, including me, connect to God and feel His Spirit.

My problem with the way we talk about music starts when friends tell me that they don’t think they are good Christians because they don’t connect with the music like the people around them during Church. They don’t feel comfortable or lead to praise Jesus by belting out notes or raising their hands. This is the kind of limited worship that I have a problem with.

Limiting worship to song is putting both God and His followers into boxes. It places God in a box and says that He can only speak to and connect with His children through song, and it places Christians into boxes and says that we can only commune with our Father through song. This ignores that God mad each of us a unique and interesting person,  and He therefore connects with each person uniquely, and each person will therefore worship Him in a different way.

If you are good with numbers,  be an honest business man. If you love building homes or furniture, let God guide your fingers to create the best work you possibly can. If you love talking with people,  minister to others in the name of the Lord. All of these things are worship if you do them with your heart in the right place: directed to God.

Worship is so much more than music. It is a lifestyle, and I believe that it can be a powerful one if we let it. Today, as you go about your seemingly mundane tasks, invite the Holy Spirit to show Himself to you. When He does, praise Him for his faithfulness and love.

Something Better

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God has challenged me recently to re-evaluate what it means to follow Him. What it means to be a Christian. He has been challenging me to go deeper, beyond the religion that we have created out of His love. Going to a personal, irrational relationship with the Creator of the world.

That is a big, obscure, convoluted idea to tackle, and it’s one that I am only starting to get a glimpse of. However, I have started thinking about what that would look like in the world. What would it look like to live in a full-force, undivided, passionate pursuit and obedience of the Creator?

In Acts 5, Luke writes about how the early believers would meet in Solomon’s Colonnade, a part of the Temple in Jerusalem. In verse 13, he writes about how the rest of the people viewed the believers:

“But no one else dared to join them, even though all the people had high regard for them.” ~Acts 5:13

The Christians were different and everyone could see that. They saw that they were unique, and they liked it, but they were too afraid to join. Why they were too afraid is a topic for another blog, but what I want to point out is that the Christians stood out.

They were weird. Everyone knew that they were following Jesus because of the way they acted. They were more than just really nice people that everyone liked. They were different.

I’ve been forced to ask myself, “Can other people tell that I’m a Christian simply by the way I live my life and how I interact with others? Or do I just blend in?” God calls me to acknowledge Him with my lips and with my actions. Actions go beyond the stuff I was taught in Sunday School. Actions go to how I treat that annoying customer at work, how I interact with my family, what I do in and out of the public eye.

As much as I want to fit in and go with the flow, because it’s easy and comfortable, God has called me to something bigger than me and, oh, so much better. He has called me to follow the narrow road that will take me outside of my comfort zone because He loves me. Following Jesus isn’t easy, and striving for a life-changing relationship with Him will cause me to stand out. And that’s good. Really, really good.

Blessings and love in Christ,

~Lindy

An Apology

Hey y’all, 

Sorry that the blog has been a bit on the nonexistent side recently. I’ve been feeling discouraged and worn out recently,  and it’s hard for me to write when I feel like that. I want this blog to be a happy, encouraging place, and sharing my mopey feelings won’t encourage that. I’ll hopefully be back soon with happy, perky blogs.

Thanks for understanding.

Love and blessings,
~Lindy

Sifting Through History

I have always lived close to my grandparents.  They built a house on a hill when I was one. When I was two, my parents and I moved into that house while construction was underway on our own house at the bottom of that hill. Since we were so close, I spent a lot of time there as a kid.

Much has changed since then. My grandfather has passed away, and my grandmother has remarried. I now have three younger siblings, and the little house at the bottom of the hill has gotten crowded.

Back to the house on the top of the hill. For several reasons,  my grandparents have sold their home and are in the process of moving into a smaller house. Today I went up to help the sort through the boxes that have piled up in their attic: what should be kept, thrown away, or sold.

With people who have lived such rich lives, many memories were unearthed in the process.

Happy memories of grandchildren and children,  long hikes in the woods, companies owned, and travels documented. I saw the fabric that my grandfather printed by hand that was used to make the stage curtains for “The Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway. I saw pictures of my grandmother as a young missionary in New Mexico. She got to be a bridesmaid in a Mexican wedding. I saw pictures of both of them as children.

Sad memories of children and grandchildren that were taken to Heaven before they experienced this world. Sympathy cards and poems that bring to your eyes.

Although it’s hard for me to help my grandparents move out of a home that was so important to my childhood, I’m glad to help them and learn more about my family history.

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My grandmother's grandmother. We found this picture in the eves of the house.