Updated on April 6, 2016
One of our favorite books and movies is The Wizard of Oz. Bean’s cousins have been in the play; we have watched the movie a few times and for the first time, we listened to the audio book on our way home.
It was to Bean’s surprise and excitement that we were in Kansas, the home of Dorothy and Toto. We did not find Dorothy’s home or visit any of the Oz attractions, but we did spend time with family members we have not seen in a while. This is exactly what we went to Kansas to do!
Like Texas, I was wary of Kansas. In my mind, as conservative as Texas is, Kansas is on an even higher level. While I love the people we know, I am always tense when I think of the beliefs they hold as truth. Riding throughout Wichita, I was amazed at the conservative congregations in one city, often blocks apart from each other. There were Friends (Quakers), Mennonites, Pentecostals, Baptists and more.
Speaking with my family and friends, I discovered that many of them, like me, look the same, but through difficult circumstances, have changed. While they are not yet minimalist, as I am, they understand the lightness of being that comes with getting rid of the clutter. It was my joy to share my blog and my thoughts on minimalism. As I see it, when we experience scandal and trauma, in addition to our daily lives as parents, friends, and employees, it certainly helps not to deal with excess stuff also.
The most difficult occasion of our trip for me was going to the mall. I know this is a bizarre idea for most Americans, but I was really concerned. After all, I am a minimalist and malls are not in my value system. However, I find it is more important to meet people where they are than try to change their ideas when you rarely see them anyway. I try to share my thoughts and then accept people as they are, no matter how resistant I may feel. In the end, I believe it was the right approach for this situation. What do you think of the mall?
Bean received a lot of money for her birthday and she was ready to spend it. I couldn’t decide if I should let her spend it on whatever she wanted, even if it was candy, or direct her spending. I decided to direct her spending to the items that went along with what she already had. It turned out much better than I expected. Bean found a notebook at a trendy girl’s store and that was enough for her. She was content to tag along and look the rest of the day.
We are not in Kansas anymore folks…I had to say that. Our next few days will be spent exploring our city with friends who are coming to celebrate birthdays. I am looking forward to it!