Saturday, May 1, 2010

Looking Beyond Spring Cleaning . . .

I always get that BUG this time of year. Suddenly, I NEED to purge. I NEED to organize, and this year, I NEED to have a garage sale. (Well, I'm not actually having one, but I'm sending a TON of stuff to my MIL for their big apartment-wide garage sale.) I know it is because it is Spring. It just feels right, to come out of hibernation and clear out the area. It just feels right that in the Spring, there is SPACE. This year, I'm feeling even more driven than usual. This year, I really want to try and get rid of some things we aren't using. This year, I really want to try and go through things and only keep what we need. Only keep the best of the best.

I was reading on (In)Courage, and this is what she had to say about Spring Cleaning, and it helped me look beyond just cleaning to clean. Get rid of things just to get rid of them.


"Spring cleaning is merely a band-aid unless you frequently take some time to evaluate your inner life and heart. This is because holding on to clutter is merely a symptom of a deeper heart issue -- and this is the place where the root needs to be nurtured and fertilized. And sometimes pruned.

As we manage the stuff in our homes that God has entrusted to us, the question for all of us is this -- "Where do I put my trust?"

Do I put my trust in the stuff around me? Do I hold on to things because, all glory to God, I'm able to find a use for them around my home or they add beauty to our environment? Or do I hold on to things out of fear?

• Am I scared to sell our plethora of unused children's clothes given by my mother-in-law because it might damage our relationship?

• Even though our unloved Christmas china would sell for a pretty sum, am I holding on to it because I feel like it defines who we are as a family?

• Do I hold on to my old high school notes, the souvenirs from my European trip in college, and the ticket stubs from our honeymoon because if I let them go, I'll forget that they were important?

This isn't to say having stuff is bad. It's not. Many, many times the material things in our life truly are blessings, and in light of these things, we must be thankful. God blesses us richly. Heck, nine times out of ten, He blesses us beyond all we ask or imagine, with things we don't even need. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.

But while on Earth, we constantly need to be mindful of our status here as stewards, not as owners. And stewardship means to manage well.

Let's manage the stuff that truly is a blessing with honor and integrity, to the glory of Him who gave it in the first place. And the things that are no longer a blessing for us -- let's bless someone else by giving it away or selling it.

Because with spring cleaning, that's all decluttering really is -- thanking God by fully enjoying His blessings in our life, and passing on everything else so that it can bless someone else."


So here's to being thankful and appreciating the things that are truly enriching our lives, but here's also to blessing others with those things that don't. And remember, things are just things, but people are real.

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