Jill Jarrell Newsome
Freeing Ourselves of Stuff
There is nothing more freeing than getting rid of things. Any time I decide I do not love something in my closet, I put it in a box in my trunk. To just like it is not enough. I am very organized, to some, maybe to a fault. My tops are all hung together, color coded, sleeveless, short sleeve and then long sleeve. Same with dresses, pants, jackets, etc. To me, this is easy and important because I know just what I have and I do not spend time searching. It is easy to match something. Also, all clothes have to fit in my closet - winter and summer. When I run out of hangers, I have to get rid of stuff. (haha, someone told me no one gets more use out of their closet than me!) So I am good at this BUT I am not so good at household things. I think my girls may want/need some of the things at some point. At the beginning of Lent, I saw a social media post that said to get rid of forty bags in forty days. Hmmm.
When I clean out things I sort into areas of love, discard or share. I have gotten rid of some bags of physical stuff but I am also working on cleaning out emotional baggage! I believe our possessions have more control over our lives than we think. I think clutter affects me emotionally and that is why it is freeing to me to declutter. Mark 10: 17-23, "Jesus looked at him and loved him. 'One thing you lack,' he said. 'Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.' At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, 'How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!'” I believe our possessions get in the way of our relationship with God. If we do not love something, why not let someone else enjoy it. Luke 12: 15, "Then he said to them, 'Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.'”
Over the past month I have been trying to also declutter my mind. There is a lot of spring cleaning to do after this last year! When we begin to feel burnt out, overwhelmed or disorganized, it is time to declutter the mind! Our minds and hearts go through a lot of pain, loss, heartache, sadness and anxiety on a daily basis. We can be cluttered from excessive social media and/or news. This chaos crowds our minds and our spiritual well being. The clutter from the world and the enemy make it hard for us to think of the things that are near and dear to our hearts and make it hard for us to hear God. If we ask, God can help us sort our spiritual clutter. Spiritual clutter is anything that comes between us and our relationship with Jesus. Psalm 139: 23-24, "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." God can transform our mind for His glory!
To listen to God we need to be still, even though this is hard. Jeremiah 29: 13, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." God is not suggesting that we may find Him, He is saying we WILL see Him if we seek with all our heart. He will bring to mind the things we need to get rid of that clutter and our hearts and minds. I find that sometimes I had not even been aware of some of the things I was holding onto until He brought it to mind. When that something is sorted into the discard pile, I have to let go. God can help us with that also. Philippians 3: 13-14, "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
Fear, anxiety, worry, guilt, and shame can clutter our minds. Sort out your thoughts and see which you love and bring you joy. Which ones need to be trashed, are they of God? Don't let clutter squeeze out the joy, peace, and spirit of God that He has for you!