Being Thankful with Less

By: Lorraine Contreras

I once heard someone say, "The problem with rebirth is that you have to die first to get there." I couldn't get what he said out of my mind for the rest of the evening. 

Being Thankful with Less-

Nobody wants to die. But everybody wants new. I laughed. But the more I thought about that concept the more intrigued I was.

I was at a point in my life about 5 years ago when I wanted change. It wasn't desperate, it was subtle. I would pin ideas onto Pinterest boards about lifestyles that I thought were beautiful. I would follow blogs of people that seemed they had found true joy and happiness and Instagram profiles that boasted of clean and clutter free homes. It wasn't long before I wanted that to be me. 

I looked around and realized I was so unlike those images that I liked on social media. I was so far from those minimal homes or seemingly happy people that I idealized. At what point do you just stop pinning and start doing? But how do I get there? How do I get the clean home, how do I get the joy and happiness, how do I get the minimal wardrobe? I had to die first. I'm not talking about my body physically. I'm talking about mentally, spiritually, my habits, my material treasures.

Rebirth, noun. The action of reappearing or starting to flourish or increase after a decline; revival, resurrection.

I wanted change and to me, change was new. I wanted it so badly, the more I looked into it, the more I made way for change. To me, "IT" was having less. I knew what I had to do. But it was so so hard. Getting rid of my belongings and changing spiritually was going to be hard and I knew it. I avoided it up until that point.

Being Thankful with Less

Whenever I am in my garden and I see a tiny sprout emerging from the ground, I am so tempted to rescue and help uncover it from the heavy soil on top of it. But it requires no rescue from me. It needs to build its own strength to push through the ground and unfurl it's beautiful new leaves. It needs to go through change to become something completely different. 

"For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, it's insides come out, and everything changes. To someone who doesn't understand growth, it would look like complete destruction." - Cynthia Occelli

I kept asking myself, is it possible to live with less and still find things that bring me joy? Could it be that with less, the simple things bring me joy like spending time with people I love, being outside, observing nature or in helping others. I am now discovering that the less stuff I own makes me a completely grateful and appreciative person for the few things that I do have left.

Possessions don't make me rich, they make me possessive.

Maybe I have too many things that consume my time, things that entertain my mind and keep me from entering a state of gratefulness, keep me from helping others because I have too much and I am constantly being told I need more. 

When I empty hands, I open heart. I had to lay to rest my old ways and most of my possessions to get there. 

Thoughts of a reformed consumer.


Lorraine and her family are on a journey to live debt free, and live simply with less. They left their California lifestyle and moved across the country to the mountains of North Carolina.

You can find more about Lorraine's journey, her faith, homesteading and homeschooling on her family blog and follow along on her Instagram account.

IG: @lorrainexoxo