For three weeks now, we've been digging through boxes of our stuff. Some stuff smells musty from being in storage for two years. Other stuff was just moved from the house down the road to our new home in the country. As I unpack the boxes, I'm amazed at how much stuff we've accumulated during our seven years of marriage. Stuff that we can't live without like photographs and grandmother's lacy tablecloth and stuff that I'm unclear as to why we've held on to it for all these years. I mean, was it really necessary for us to keep the cocker spaniel coffee mug? Or, the dress I wore in my high school pageant that clearly will never fit again? Sorting through all of our stuff has made me realize this: I've had enough of too much stuff. 

Not only physical stuff, but also emotional stuff. I don't know about you, but this girl has not enjoyed the moving process. It's dirty and exhausting. While I am so happy to be in our new home and to finally see some of my favorite items again (I have this one blue vase that made me smile when I unwrapped it) I'm also anxious to have everything unpacked and in its place. Disorder bothers me tremendously. And, this is not good because between our preschoolers' activities, newborn feeding schedule, and unpacking there really has not been a whole lot of order around our new abode.  When disorder happens, I (gulp) sometimes act a bit irrationally. You too? Okay, whew.

As we've been sorting through our physical stuff; each item goes in one of three piles: keep, trash, or give away. This got me thinking about my emotional stuff too...how I should either keep, trash, or give it away. I think when you go through a big life change like moving, you are going to feel a mix of emotions. Some emotions, like being brave enough to move, are good emotions to keep.  But anxiety over my home being put together exactly how I want it right now? Trash. Trash. Trash.

I've never been a huge garage sale girl for three reasons: I'm sentimental over my stuff, I don't like the work involved, and I love to sleep in on Saturdays. Back in the fall while our house was under construction, Raleigh suggested we have a garage sale so we wouldn't have so much stuff to take to our new house. I moaned and groaned but did the work of sorting through our stuff and on the day of the garage sale I only got sad about selling one item (he made me sell something I bought from Ballard Designs!). But, the rest of the stuff? I felt so much lighter not having it around anymore.

We can feel lighter when we give Jesus our stuff too.

Sure, it takes work. You and I have to sort through the emotions and it isn't always easy to identify reality versus perception. Satan will attack and he will want us to believe that we are a dirty, disorderly mess that no one would ever take - that we are worthless. Satan wants us to hang on to our stuff. He doesn't want the boxes of our hearts to be unpacked. Satan wants us to stuff our stuff - the stress, the frustration, the anxiety - instead of giving it to Jesus.

I've packed a thousand boxes in my life listening to his lies that tell me I'm unworthy. Once I've packed my boxes full of deciet, I try to keep stuffing but there is no more room. My boxes explode and all my stuff is thrown at the closest person around.

It gets ugly.

I cry.

Not the quiet kind of crying either. I cry the type of cry that makes you wonder if there is an animal in the house. But you know what? While the crying is ugly; I'm thankful for this form of expression because it releases all that I've been stuffing. And when I can see all the stuff I've been carrying around with me scattered on the floor like an open book, I can discern what needs to be kept, trashed, or given away.

If you've had enough of your stuff too, give it away to Jesus. Get rid of it. Keep what is good, what is true, what is real. Unpack your boxes and don't expect life to immediately be in order. Instead, allow your day to be unpacked one box at a time.

 

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

For more details on our home renovation, check out these posts:

What’s the next best thing for your life?  {remodeling a family home in the country}

How to work with what you’ve got {living room}

What hospitality really means {dining room and office}

Love built on friendship {master bed and bath}

What to do when the forecast claims snow {kitchen}

How to be strong instead of stressed {progress report/moving}

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