I actually wrote this a few days ago and had decided not to post it. Â Last night I was talking to my friend, Amy, and she was talking about how she was cleaning out, trying to get rid of more than she ever had before. Â She used the exact phrase I had written in the post, “I feel like all I do is manage my stuff.” Â And she was thinking along the same lines as the conclusion of this post. Â So here it is – enjoy reading!
Why is that cleaning out your house also cleans out your mind? It is such a mental relief to get stuff out of our way. For me, this has taken on many different methods over the years. Â I’ll never forget when I first started, we had been married for awhile and there were household items from when we first married that I didn’t want anymore. Â My style had changed, I now had two children and some things were just not practical. Â I also wanted to simplify life. Â So I literally started in one corner of the house and went through every room. Â It took a few weeks. Â By the time I got finished, I felt like Â I needed to do it all over again.
I will admit the first time that I cleaned out so drastically, most of the stuff made it to my garage. Â When my garage got too full, I a huge yard sale. Â After that I faithfully had one every spring and sometimes fall. Â I felt that I had gotten pretty good at keeping things cleaned out, but I STILL always had stuff. Â It perplexed me that I could sell so much and turn around and within just a few months I had more stuff. Â I’m honestly not a spendaholic, you can ask my hubby. Â :-) Â But I do have a large, generous family and they were always giving me stuff.
First I had to admit that although I’m not a spendaholic, I had to take a look at the stuff that I did buy that I didn’t really need. Â The hardest part of breaking the “stuff” thing in my life was to find a way to very politely and kindly thank my family for thinking of me but to say “no” when necessary. Â When we moved four years ago we had a large yard sale. It was fantastic not to have to move that “stuff.”
I committed at that moment that I would not let our new house get into this state. Â I was determined to park in my garage (which I still do), something we didn’t do at our old house. (of course our old house had a small one car garage.) Â So with the current house came the 3rd child and yep – you guessed it – more stuff.
Well, I’ve honed my cleaning out skills again and though they are far from perfect, still came in handy in this last stage of cleaning out. Â I’ve done consignment the last four years and kept the kids toys and clothes weeded through, but OH MY GOODNESS stuff still accumulates.
This time it was different. Â We got rid of books, clothes, and wires (don’t ask me what kind, I have not the slightest idea. Â B just said they didn’t match anything we had so I took the opportunity to get rid of it.), we got rid of so much. Â It was wonderful. Â And I was able to make some money to go on my mission trip.
So now we are to the heart of my thoughts today. Â I’m praying that the Lord will help me be more “stuffless”. Â I don’t want my mind or my life, or my house for that matter, to be cluttered again because it keeps my thoughts occupied. Â If my thoughts are occupied with stuff then they are not occupied with things that are eternal. Â I want to be about the business of helping my neighbor, praying for my friends, loving my family, and bringing glory to God. Â And no, I don’t do that right now as much as I should… and sometimes it’s because I’m too busy managing my stuff.
I will still allow my children to have things. Â I’m not going to force my husband to get rid of something that holds significance for him. Â But there has to be a healthy way, a Godly way to deal with this stuff. Â I am about to go to Africa, where a bouncy ball would be a prized possession.
So I will keep searching God’s Word and praying to figure out how to be reasonable and Godly about our stuff. Â I am praying Â for you too to find ways to be “stuffless.”