A few years ago, I sat at the kitchen table of this wonderful Brazilian family. We talked, ate, laughed as we tried to understand what the other one was saying. I remember thinking how content they were and how content I was at that moment. They had a simple concrete home. No decorations on the wall, no paint even. One pot and one pan that was filled with dents and scratches. There was one tiny tv they rolled out as we crowded around the table to watch the soccer game. There was more love and joy than my heart could contain.
I have lots of stuff. I just moved and was amazed at how little ol’ me could have acquired so many possessions. I really would like to blame it on the fact that I live in Orange County. I live in the middle of this bubble that is consumed with consumerism. Everywhere I look I am reminded that bigger is better. I need more. Enough isn’t a word that is easily understood. But the reality is, its all on me. I have allowed myself to be concerned with what I wear, how I look, what I eat. The reality is, what I throw away on a daily basis in food, someone is hoping it will feed their family tonight. The reality is I am more concerned with how I look to others than how my heart looks to the One who gave it all to me in the first place.
Getting rid of things has always been easy for me…as long as I feel I don’t need it anymore. But its that word need I get hung up on. Even as I write this I am thinking about things I could possibly get rid of. A few items I haven’t worn in years come to mind. But then I think if X situation ever came up, I would need it. I don’t want to have to buy it again. My perception of need is skewed.
Recently I have felt compelled to downsize. There is something freeing about owning less. There is a book called 7 by Jen Hatmaker. I haven’t read the book yet (Im toying with the idea of actually needing to buy it or not). From what I have read and heard, she takes 7 areas of excess in her life and 7 months and gets to work. Each month she focuses on simplifying a different area whether it be food, possessions, waste, stress, ect. In doing so, trying to realign with the heart of God (assuming on that part, again I haven’t read it). But that is what I hope to get out of it. While I don’t plan on doing a seven month challenge, I want to think through areas of my life and heart that need to be purged. Purged is a strong word. I am reading through the Old Testament right now and it says several times in Leviticus that if there was any sin, anywhere, they were to purge the camp of it. I remember thinking in regards to the specific rule I was reading, wow that is so extreme. But if you don’t, it will begin to infect everything around it and ultimately the entire camp. Purging the uncleanness, the sin is not optional. It is vital to my survival.
I'm all for enjoying the blessing God has given us. I think he delights in it when we do. However, I do have a problem…I Should have a problem with enjoying the blessing He has given us when we… when I am not being obedient to the commands to care for the widows and orphans, to those in need, to the least of these.
Just as I need to purge my closet, I need God to purge my heart. I moved two weeks ago. I went thru my closet as I was packing and got rid of a bag full of clothes and other items. The other day I got rid of about 15 more articles of clothing (Im trying to do 1 a day for a month). The reality is I have more than I need and there will always be more to get rid of. Just when I think God has cleaned my heart, there will be more that needs to be purged.
I hope by doing this, I can reorient myself around to what God has called me do. I want to free up more space (physically and mentally) to sit with Jesus. Honestly, this scares me. I think part of the reason I fill my life is to avoid what is hiding in the corners of my heart. I want to free up money to pay off debt and to give. To bless because I have been blessed. I want to let go of the things of this world I am clinging, to say Here I am, send me.
April: No shopping for clothes. Get rid of at least 30 items of clothing.
- Content with what I have
- My identity is not shaped by what I wear
- Save money
May: No eating out. No last minute grocery store runs when I don’t want to eat what is already in the fridge.
- Enjoy the food God has created
- Do what I enjoy. Cooking, Baking, and Eating
- Save Money
June: Use my phone only for talking and texting. No facebook, instagram or pinterest on the phone.
- Be present
- People watch, read, talk
July: Haven't got that far yet...