As I remove the unnecessary stuff from my home I have space and room to put things there that give me joy. In past posts I have already shared some things like this before. How I have space to have sunflowers in my room. How I can bring joy into my life with some things that I already had but there wasn’t the space or room to show them , or they got lost in all the cluttered stuff.
As I sort through things I see precious items that have been stored away for safe keeping (so they don’t get damaged etc) but have been forgotten over the years. Time to bring them out and let them shine. Sometimes it is okay for me to buy something new that gives me joy, as is a particular cushion.
One of my joy’s is art history , especially involving women artists. last year I was given some money as a present and noticing that a shop was closing down I went in and much to my delight I saw cushions with Frida Kahlo on them. Sold. One of them now sits on my lazy boy chair.
Did I need a cushion? Yes, as I had no cushions at all but then maybe it was a want as I can always do without cushions. Did it have to be a Frida Kahlo cushion? Probably not, any cushion would have done the same thing. But would any cushion have given me the same joy? Absolutely not. Every day I look at the Frida Kahlo cushion my heart smiles so yes it was a good buy, even better I got it for half price. More joy.
Would you sell or give away all your possessions if you were asked to?
Another question to thing about is, who is asking the question?
In scriptures in the Bible Jesus says to a person sell all your possessions and follow me. That is not word for word but you get what it means.
So I have been thinking about that scripture lately and wondering would I give up all my possessions.
And the word for me here is ALL, not some , or most of them, but ALL.
I’m sure most people straight away may say yes they would give up, sell up all their possessions but when they start thinking about it over time would they,? would you?
I don’t know about you but I don’t know if I would, could give up all my things.
For sure there are things that I am quite happy to give up , not a problem. Items and stuff that provide me with a better way of living on a daily basis but are they essential to my living here on earth? No and as for the clutter, take it.
But what about real personal things that mean a lot to you? For example this year I lost a loved one so some of the things that I have of her I treasure. I am sure this is a normal response but to be honest I don’t know if I could give them up right now.
So I can see that I have a lot more work to do in this area of my life and I know that Jesus is pulling on my heart on this one and challenging my thought process on this scripture. Which is always a good thing, although at times some what painful.
What about you? if Jesus asked you to sell all your possessions and follow Him would you ? ALL of your possessions? Are you sure? Something to think about isn’t it.
Last night I was reading one of John Maxwell’s books , The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. In one of the chapters he talks about not letting stuff own us. This statement is on pages 250 to 251 if you are interested in reading his book.
So it got me thinking, have I allowed my stuff to own me? Does stuff own you?
And to be honest I believe it has. It owned my money, my time, my physical space, my head space, my emotions, my relationships with God and with others. Stuff owned me.
But as a child of God and a born again believer don’t I belong to God? Yes. So that stuff that owned me was just a lie and a deception when the actual truth is that I am owned by God.
As it says in the bible the truth shall set you free. The truth is Jesus and it is He that sets me free from the stuff that I have allowed to own me. What a relief. That there is always the hope of freedom in Christ.
I don’t have to be owned by stuff anymore because Jesus has set me free and nor do you. Amen.
If you are into personal growth then I highly recommend reading , The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, by John Maxwell, 2012, Center Street, Hachette Book Group.
In Celebration of Simplicity. The Joy of Living Lightly by Penelope Wilcock.
I discovered this book in the local library and was drawn to it straight away.
Not only does this book talk about living lightly but the author practices what she preaches.
I was also encouraged by this book because it based on scriptures from the bible.
On the back cover it is straight to the point. Ditch the stuff. Ditch the stuff that gets in the way and your heart is free to respond to God.
I don’t know about you but I want to be free to respond to God , don”t you? Actually I think it is a desire for me to respond to God. I can only do that when I am free from all the worldly clutter that I carry around with me.
On page 120 the author states that simplicity purifies, refines, quietens and distills, until the living ray of our relationship with God illuminates the entire landscape of our lives.
Wow the entire landscape of our lives . That sounds something that I would like and to be honest I still have a long way to go to reach there but it is achievable as I walk with God on a daily basis.
As the author states it is all about a LIVING relationship with God. Not a maybe relationship or a part time relationship or when I feel like it relationship with God but a living daily relationship with God during the good and the bad.
If you are interested in living lightly based on scriptures then I suggest reading this book.
In Celebration of Simplicity. The Joy of Living Lightly. By Penelope Wilcock. Copyright 2009. Published in the UK in 2009 by Monarch Books.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Why I can relate this scripture to clutter is that in this day and age the pattern of the world is to get more stuff, consumer more, shop more, buy more. What ever we have is never enough . We have to have more, bigger, better. Always striving for something else that is better than what we had before and what is better than what other people have.
I am just at fault. I have been conforming to the pattern of the world when it comes to stuff. I have to have more of it. Nothing is never enough. My mind is always busy , needing to do the next thing.
I do not think I was born this way but over the years I have become greedy and desired more things to fill my emptiness inside.
For the past year of so God has been transforming my mind into His way of thinking by guiding me to read His word and revealing too me how much “stuff”, “clutter”, whatever you want to call it, I have in my life and that it is not His way but the world’s way.
I am changing as God transform me in all areas of my life and allows the patterns of this world to be replaced by His words. There is hope. Amen.
Here are some more quotes about simplicity that captures the heart of removing clutter.
Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in one day rather than more. seeing less so I can see more, doing less so I can do more. acquiring less so I can have more, by Wendell Berry.
Simplicity does not mean being meagre but having a certain kind of richness, the fullness that appears when we stop stuffing the world with things, by Thomas Moore.
Have nothing in your house that you don’t know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful, by William Morris.
There must be more to life than having everything, by Maurice Sendak.
These are good quotes to live by and if I can live by at least one of them , then I know that these quotes will help me with the battle of clutter in all areas of my life.
Here is a quote on simplicity , from Richard Foster, “A Celebration of Discipline.”
Buy things for their usefulness rather than for their status.
Reject anything that is producing an addiction in you.
Develop a habit of giving things away.
Learn to enjoy things without owning them.
Reject anything that breeds the oppression of others.
Maybe somethings for me to try and live by on a daily basis.
Ever thought of noise being a form of clutter?
Maybe not for every one but I believe many times it is for me.
Noise can be either negative or positive depending on the situation and the people involved. As Neil Diamond says in his song, “It’s a beautiful noise.”
Noise can be a distraction just like clutter can be.
Noise can be external and internal.
Ever thought about all the noise that goes on in our minds?
Sometimes it is peaceful and quiet and then other times it can be full of all this noise trying to take first place in our minds.
When I have too much going on in my head I don’t think well and confusion can reign.
And that’s not good because when confusion reigns it means that God is not reigning in my thoughts and life. I have replaced God with the clutter of noise . With all that is going on in my head how can I hear the voice of God talking to me guiding me , comforting me, encouraging me, lifting me up , when all I hear is constant noise. I can’t and that is a problem for me because my relationship with God is weaken once again.
Silencing my mind can be a struggle but if I am willing to surrender my thought life to Jesus then peace and quiet come upon me and my mind is restored back to how it is meant to be and my relationship with Him is also restored . Its not always easy to do but well worth it for God reigns and confusion and clutter of the noise is no longer a distraction for me. Amen.