The world would not consider me wealthy and yet I have A LOT of stuff. I was born into a family of antique dealers so acquiring things was a way of life. Things were justified by quality or cost instead of need. Collections were gathered and built. Auctions and estate sales a way of life. Get the picture? Stuff. Over the past few years the Holy Spirit has convicted me of the need to purge. To be a good steward of everything God has given me. I realize that years sound like a long time but it can take a while to change a heart, to clean out a basement. I also had to develop new habits or the change would be temporary. Our stuff can take up a lot of time and attention. We have to shop, purchase, maintain, clean, store, show off and even play with all that stuff. When we don’t have enough time or space for those things it can leave us physically and mentally exhausted or sick. It was during a recent illness that I reaped the blessings of this decision. It was a joy to open cabinets and not have the contents fall out, to actually know what I have and where it is, to not be ashamed to direct others into my closets and shelves. I experienced the joy of controlling my stuff instead of my stuff controlling me. It did not happen overnight nor is the process complete. My niece walked into our spare room yesterday and proclaimed, “What’s all this mess?!” I hoped the proclamation was just the sharp contrast from the rest of my well-organized home. But I think it was just a five-year-old on sensory overload. I am reminded that even the useful pretty things can pile into too much stuff.
So, how did I do it? (the purge, not the mess) It all began one morning while searching for something to wear that I decided that my closet looked like a thrift store puked. And my bedroom. And a few other rooms. They say that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. My unsolicited advice…pray before eating that elephant. Pray then move forward. I tried to focus on what I wanted to keep not what I wanted to get rid of. I wanted to enjoy the pretty things I had. It felt good to quickly get rid of the things I really didn’t want. When I began organizing things to keep it felt really good! Don’t discount having the Holy Spirit help you. He can not only prepare your heart for the task but guide you all along the way. I could not have done it without Him. Remember: Pray. Eat. You will never wish you didn’t!
“So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” Luke 16:11