Dan and I are currently re-reading The Irresistible Revolution, by Shane Claibourne.
"When we talk of materialism and simplicity, we must always begin with love for God and neighbour, otherwise we're operating out of little more than legalistic, guilt-ridden self-righteousness. Our simplicity is not an ascetic denunciation of material things to attain personal piety, for if we sell all that we have and give to the poor, but have not love, it is meaningless [1 Cor 13.3]... Rather than being bound up by how much stuff we need to buy, we can [also] get enslaved to how simply we must live. Simplicity is meaningful only inasmuch as it is grounded in love, authentic relationships, and interdependence." [from Chapter 6]
In the midst of our 30 Day Clutter Bootcamp de-cluttering adventure and intention to simplify what we own into a more manageable mess, the reminder in these words was very clear to me, as Dan read them aloud tonight. It's not about our stuff, how much or how little of it we have. We are simplifying so we can be more easily focused on our relationships with God, our children, and the people around us.