I had talked about it for too long. Today was the day to finally start loading up the things that have been piling up around us and send them on their way. Clutter is just one of those things that is extremely subjective. I mean, the saying that one man's junk is another man's treasure is very true. I should know....the majority of my shopping is at that fabulous chain....Goodwill.
When I see some other homes, I think, "Wow,any clutter here would stand out. Everything has a place and looks so nice." In our house it is a little harder to tell where our valued belongings end and the clutter begins. I guess that really is the essence of clutter. It grows into your surroundings like an especially virulent weed.
Usually, I can find a reason for each piece. It all has some sort of value to me. Sometimes is sentimental. Sometimes it is just my cheap side shining through. "We most definitely never know when we might need these 2x2 pieces of cloth.....my daughter is a crafter, you know." or "These Folgers coffee containers are just about the best containers you can find!" They are too....but we drink ALOT of coffee.
So as I sorted and piled and threw, I felt the draining that comes from the purge. It's hard. If it were easy I probably wouldn't have a clutter problem. I love antiques, and I have an assortment that I have either been given or have collected on my own. I have always planned to use them in my decorating, but most have sat collecting dust. I still hang on to many of them, but, today, I gave away one antique wooden box that I had found at a yard sale a few years ago. I suppose that's progress, but it feels more like scratching at a healing wound.
You see, over the last couple of years we have left much behind. We had to walk away from a home we loved and most of our treasured possessions. Those things that we carried away with us are probably held onto more tightly because it feels like its all we have left. Some of the "stuff" we have carried away did not necessarily make sense, but.....well its just the way it is.
The reality of our life today forces me to look at the clutter and consider the cost of keeping it. There is a certain amount of clutter that must come from a family of six (plus pets) that chooses to homeschool. Then there is the clutter that comes from the past; the things that we think will keep us connected to our memories. When these things stand in the way of our life, we must let go. Much as the Lord has to take away the things in our lives that keep us from serving Him freely, I must remove the physical clutter from my life.
I wish I could just do some Dorothy heel-tapping and have my clutter be gone. It hasn't worked yet. I actually had to make the hard decisions myself. While the Lord has the ability to remove the other clutter from our lives---the things that are holding us back spiritually---He usually waits for us to offer it up to Him. I can see myself holding onto the individual items of my life, standing over the bag, asking if I really need to let this one go. When I can set it down and give it to Him to do with what He wills, I will grow spiritually. My ministry will enlarge. The pieces that I turn back and put on the shelf because I don't feel I can trust Him with those parts of my life will only cause me further pain and limit my ministry.
I know that each item that was loaded into the back of the van today and taken to Goodwill leaves a little space in our life/home that is freed up to live a little better. We will reap a more peaceful and pleasant home atmosphere. Our school days will be more productive, and our time together as a family will be less stress-filled.
As the Lord brings the clutter in my life to the surface, may I be willing to lay it down. He will help me deal with the pain and the reward will be more than worth it.
"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Rom. 8:13, 18)