minimalism and minimalist family

Beautiful Ireland

We’re arriving home from 5 weeks of travelling in the Netherlands, Ireland, and England. While we had a wonderful time exploring new places as a family, there is something so wonderful about coming home. After living out of a backpack for 5 weeks, it will be nice to go back to normal.

The other night my husband and I were watching the movie ‘The Hobit’ and one line stuck out to me. The character Thorin Oakenshield becomes consumed and obsessed by riches, and then ends up fighting in a battle over this same hoard of gold. He later says to Bilbo, “Farewell, Master Burglar. Go back to your books… and your armchair… plant your trees, watch them grow. If more people valued home above gold, this world would be a merrier place.”

Money can be a cause of fights, rifts, judgments, obsession, greed, spite, and envy. The very opposite of what we value most in a real loving home.

Home isn’t the number of square feet that you live in, or the type of car that you drive. It’s not the clothes hanging in your closet or the money in your bank account. Home doesn’t even mean our house specifically or the things we own; it isn’t the ‘stuff’ that money can buy.

Instead, it is the place where we live and work and grow as a family. Home is a place for our children to grow up into wonderful, caring people who will leave and make their own adventures one day. It’s where we live our day to day and learn to love each other.

More importantly, a home doesn’t just happen by having a physical house or even by having people live in it together. Creating a home is something that takes work and love, and needs to be fostered in order to remain a little sanctuary – a place of refuge and safety.

The simple adventures of travelling teach me new things about myself and the world. But marriage and motherhood is teaching me so much about the value of home. Although some days are hard, I’m learning that this is truly where my own simple adventure lies: to love my husband, to love my kids, and to teach my children to love God and their neighbour.

Home is where I’m slowly stretching and learning to grow in patience, understanding, and selflessness. I want to make it into a place where laughs can be heard even when the going gets rough, and where hugs happen more often than conflicts or arguments.

I want to teach my kids that life is more than physical things. I want my home to have less stuff and more life.

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

-Thorin Oakenshield in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobit

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