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Posts Tagged ‘stuff’

simple-joy-of-purging-image1

There is something ever so delightful in purging. To rid our lives of ‘stuff’ that we no longer use or want seems to clean and tidy, not just our homes, but our heads.

A number of weeks ago I wrote about how I love Craigslist, having sold and purchased many items, just in the past two months.

This weekend was another of purging.

A well-loved, well-used trampoline from the back yard … with a sixteen inch rip down the middle. Every time I would look at that trampoline, covered in the tree needles and sticks that has fallen over the past three or four years, I had this ‘unfinished’ feeling. I knew that either had to spend the time and money to purchase a new trampoline top, or get rid of it. We decided to get rid of it. So, on the weekend, it got picked up by a young man who was planning to get it for his sister’s young kids (there were about a dozen responses to this free, ripped trampoline … maybe I should have asked for money for it). Now I look at the empty space it used to occupy … and smile. Another successful purging of the unneeded.

A container of ‘clear coat’ from the garage … never opened. Years ago, hubby and I decided to coat our concrete front stairs with a faux granite topping. I spent many, many, many hours slapping the granite onto the steps. It looked really nice, but we got busy and never got the clear coat onto the top to seal the ‘granite’ in place (and the way my hard work has chipped off would indicate how very important that clear coat is). So, just two days after posting it for sale, it was purchased and picked up. One less can to occupy the paint shelves in the garage.

Then an email late at night from a lady who is interested in the duvet cover and matching bed shirt. These used to cover our daughter’s bed, for a number of years, when she was switching from ‘little girl’ bedroom decor, to teen. Oh, I hope this lady will purchase them, and give me more space in my linen closet!

All of this purging reminds me of how many unused items occupy my (our) home(s). It also reminds me of how much more free of an existence a life with less can be.

Each time something leaves our home, I feel as though I breathe more easily, and I find myself looking around my home asking the question, “what else can we get rid of?” (this makes hubby feel rather uneasy).

Maybe it is a good question. Maybe it is a question that needs to be re-phrased, and asked with more pondering before we purchase it in the first place.

It reminds me of the following verse :

 “Do not store up riches for yourselves here on earth,
where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal.
Instead, store up riches for yourselves in heaven,
where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal.
For your heart will always be where your riches are.”
Matthew 6:19-21

So, maybe the question we need to ask is actually, where are your riches leading your heart?

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For the next week, I will be featuring guest posts, as I spend my regular ‘writing time’ preparing for a speaking engagement. If you feel led to pray for me in this regard, I would so appreciate it, and specifically that Pinterest does not pre-occupy my writing time 😉  … I am so weak!

After the rains, when the sun’s rays were shining across my back garden, I made a mistake …

a big mistake!

I slipped on a pair of shoes, and walked out to see what was emerging through the sun-warming soil.

I was looking for wonder, but what I found was wallowing.

As I walked through the calf-high (not a baby cow, although I am trying to shed a few pounds) fresh spring grass (that needed to be cut three weeks ago …), wonder began to fade. My garden is growing, and it needs my attention.

But, alas, the bills need to be paid, the kids need to be driven, the meals, the laundry, the demands …

What I needed was a week off work to get caught up on the things of house and home … or a different home, with a small garden.

I began slouching, feeling the weight of maintaining our ‘stuff’, losing wonder and wallowing in self pity.

Then I came inside, and sat at my computer to write … writing can force me to move my focus to less Earthly, more heavenly things.

I opened YouTube, to research the lyrics of a song I had been hearing more lately.

The writer of this song is Jared Armstrong, previously of Desperation Band, a worship leader and song writer. It has been recently recorded by Philips, Craig and Dean, and is playing on Christian radio increasingly as it’s popularity rises in churches and homes.

Jared says this song came from a desire to be a part of the action of worship …

that the baggage of this life would fall away …

it is just about God’s story, not his/our own stories.

He spoke of wanting to not just stand on the sidelines of worship, distracted or disengaged.

As I listened I felt the weight of my Earthly responsibilities, my garden, my stuff … fall off, relieving me of the heaviness that comes from allowing myself to be heavy laden.

I felt stripped of this world until I was naked and unashamed, and drawn in to God’s story … free to dance naked (like David, so many years ago) in the garden of my Creator.

cherubs-dancing-in-the-garden-of-delights

“This song brings back the desire to be connected to the greatness of God.”
Jared Anderson

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Spring in our house means one constant, consistent thing … pool repairs!

This is our ninth spring in this house, and every year we attempt to open our in ground pool only to discover that another something needs to be replaced, fixed or upgraded … and I begin to contemplate moving … to a home without a pool.

Oh, I know, after the broken parts have been fixed, after the chemicals have done their miracle and changed the waters color (like a mood ring), when the heat of July and August arrives, I will be diving into that pool with great thanks that we live where we do. For now, I anticipate yet another bill, and wonder just how many hours I have to work to pay it off.

If you have been to our home for a cool dip on a hot day, you might not believe my reference to cesspool. Check out the photo to the right … This dastardly pool not only had a part on the pump that needed to be replaced, but it currently more closely resembles the swamp outside of Shrek’s home than a refreshing, crystal clear place of recreation and rest.

This is the way of owning things … they end up owning us.

I remember, years ago, Bill Cosby had a comic sketch about our ‘stuff’, and how it leads to needing places to store our ‘stuff,’ and how we need to get insurance for our ‘stuff’ in case something happens to our ‘stuff’, and on and on. I now am starting to understand what he was talking about.

Most days I feel as though I am owned by my ‘stuff’ and it is controlling every important decision that I have to make.

If we own a vehicle, we need to maintain it, repair it, protect it. All of that takes time and money.

If we own a home, we also need to maintain it, repair it, protect it. All of that takes time and money too.

So then we need to work more (our time) to make enough money to cover the costs of the ‘privilege’ of having ‘stuff’, and we need to use our ‘free’ time to look after this ‘stuff’ (I personally spent over eleven hours, on a delightfully sunny Saturday, working on our yard and pool ‘stuff’).

In the meantime, as we work to pay for, and work to maintain what we have, we need to remember that our ‘stuff” is not as valuable as the people in our lives. In the spring, we slave for as many hours a week as we work our jobs, to maintain the home and pool that we have so that our children can enjoy these things, and so that we can enjoy our time with our kids … in the summer. All the while, we are presently not with our kids.

I wonder what they would choose? Would they choose big yard and pool over time with mom and dad on a more consistent basis?

It makes me wonder … is it worth it?

Even in the Bible, in Ecclesiastes, it says, “all things are permissible.

It also says, “but not all things are beneficial.”

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