I’m on Day 3 of my May purging “game” and going strong:) I actually have to stop myself from finding more and more things each day. I have to save something for weeks 2 and 3, when it gets harder!
I adjusted the rules for myself. I can adjust my own rules, right? I can’t get my giveaway stuff out of my house the same day since I am storing up for a family garage sale soon so my stuff goes immediately down to the basement to my garage sale pile….heap….mountain?
So far, I have focused on the kitchen. I’ve put in my sell pile of a couple of small appliances that we haven’t used in at least a year or two but I save them for that day when I just know we will need them! Ha! Also, added was a duplicate pan (why do I need three 9×13 pans again??) and I tossed one that was getting rusty! I am going to try to not be ADHD about my purging, flitting from one room to another (c’mon, I know I’m not the only one who does this!!) and instead am going to focus on one room at a time. I am excited to see what our home will look like after this month!
I thought I’d share a little of what my heart is behind this so you don’t just write me off as an organizing nut. Which, I may be, but there is more to it! Back in January Ben and I began to pray and talk about what we would give up for Lent, which we have been participating in (celebrating?) for a couple years now. We both gave up some tough stuff after really feeling impressed by God to do so. It was the first year we really truly took this to a deeper level.
I didn’t write about mine because I didn’t want it to just be another “thing” to write about or sounding more fun than thoughtful. But now I’d like to share! I like beautiful things. Colorful fabrics, pretty pillows, pretty décor, flowers, etc. I really don’t think there is anything wrong with being drawn to beautiful things and colors. After all, God made a lot of beautiful things!
But I noticed more and more the pull to want all these beautiful things that caught my eye. Not only do we not have the money for this but the space either! I didn’t like that increasing desire in myself to want materialistic things. And so, somewhat reluctantly, I gave up buying anything that I wanted vs needed for Lent. I had some really easy periods where I was not tempted at all and I had some days where I would be with people who like to buy things and the temptation was strong. After all, what’s a little trinket here or a little whatchamacallit there?
I really got serious about praying for God to remove my desire for things and to increase my desire for Him. After Lent was over (not all too long ago!), I had the thoughts creeping back in again. “Ooh, now I can buy some things!” or “It’s been awhile since I got anything fun” or “I think I need that ____.” And I caught myself, or rather the Holy Spirit nudged me. “Hey, do you see that little vine winding it’s way around you again? What do you desire more? Me or stuff?”
I have been praying lots about my purchases I make, feeling more and more of a conviction to take counting our pennies seriously. Which almost sounds comical, considering we’re already on a pretty strict budget! But it’s easy to justify things you want. Or not to be completely honest with yourself about your motivations or bad habits. I’m definitely not perfect. Sometimes I get frustrated with always being on a budget and not being able to go out to eat more than once a month or I think I can’t live without that aqua blue Kitchen Aid mixer. Or I envy my friend with the 3000+ square foot custom built home, so tastefully decorated. Or I feel sad that we can’t afford to give our daughter ballet lessons, which she begs for at least once a week.
As I have been pondering all of this and soul-searching a bit over the past couple of months, I have felt an increasing desire to simplify. To let go. Ben and I are actually both being led to this by God, only in different ways. We had a great conversation about it today, in fact! I feel the nudging to release my desire for things and to fill my life, our home instead with peace, rest, Him. By clearing away the clutter and knick-knacks and excess things that our American culture has told us we can’t live without, I am instead making room in my life for things that are more important. I will hopefully have more time (because less of it will be spent fighting everyone to clean up their stuff!), more energy, and I don’t know what else but I’m looking forward to finding out! I’m hoping this will have a good effect on our children, too, and that our whole family can become more intentional about how we live our life.
So, if you’re tempted to roll your eyes when I seem abnormally excited about getting rid of my sandwich maker or mention organizing or simplifying yet again, just know that there is a lot more behind it than just another Heidi-trend. And if anyone else is interested and ever wants to talk to me about it or doesn’t know where to start, I’m all ears:)