It’s hard to believe we’re at the end of the ‘Decluttering the Soul’ series. But the process doesn’t stop here. We must keep on keeping on as we move forward with making changes in our homes and our hearts.
I’ve been very open with you during our time together that I am somewhat of a collector. PAPER IS MY ENEMY. My collections include items from work, a plethora of writing projects, magazines, handouts, books I’m either reading or intend to read, and enough hobby paraphernalia to start my own store. I’m not kidding.
I may have failed in the past, but this time around my cleaning is calculated. I’m sorting and organizing as I go. Each step of the way I am making the deliberate decision to keep, donate, or throw away. You see God has given me specific instructions to pare down, and I’m doing just that.
Just this morning I was throwing away a small stack of paper in the kitchen, and I put an item to the side. Only to pick it up again and toss in the trash. I knew it had to go. I remembered the rule: touch a piece of paper one time and then put it where it needs to go. You know I may always be a recovering paper collector, but it’s time to let go of the things I no longer need. Even the smallest of things.
We’ve also talked about how our Christian life gets cluttered too. We tend to accumulate extra baggage along the way and hold onto it for dear life. When what we ought to do is sort through it immediately, keep what’s important, and get rid of the rest.
But we don’t do that. We tend to hang on to it and let it fester until the burden is too much to bear. Maybe it’s the pressure of wanting to appear perfect, or maybe we don’t want others to find out that our homes are not always picked up and ready for company. Maybe some of you share the same burdens as me–feelings of disappointment, hurts over a broken friendship, or plans not always going as I wanted.
I don’t know why I feel compelled to carry the extra weight around, but I do. So after a lot of prayer I’ve made the decision to give up the emotional stuff for good. No more dragging it around like it’s a trophy.
Clearing the clutter from our hearts and minds is imperative. Look at it as spring cleaning–no matter the season.
Isaiah 43:18-19 tells us, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
Each time I make some progress I always feel better. The ‘junk’ no longer clutters who I am so I can focus on the important things in life. It is so freeing to know that I am forgiven for making a mess of things.
God’s word tells us to put the past behind us and rejoice in the opportunity to start something new. Even when we hold on to the stuff we no longer need, He gives us strength, clarity, presence of mind, and His word to help us find our way.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” There is “a time to plant and a time to uproot; a time to keep and a time to give away.” It is in His perfect timing that we kneel before Him and ask Him to take what we can no longer handle on our own. It is He who takes the lead and assumes the burdens we have encumbered. And, He longs for us to submit ourselves to His way of handling our lives.
Are you ready to begin again with less stuff? Do you find it freeing to haul off the boxes and bags of junk you no longer need? Are you willing to give up the emotional baggage? Just think, no more heaviness to lug around.
As we look to the week ahead think about what extra stuff you’re going to depart with. What are you ready to let go of for good?
I will be praying for you as you look forward to what will be. I know I am. Trust Him.