Friday, September 21, 2007

Less is More

The 19th of September remembers the ten year anniversary of the death of Rich Mullins. There were many things I admired about the man and his music but what will forever stand out in my mind about him was the fact that he didn't seem to feel the need to promote himself.
In his later years he embraced a life of poverty which enabled him to pursue his life calling more fully. Now that may seem extreme to you but consider for a moment...How much "stuff" does in take to make me feel happy?

"How much time, effort and money does it take to take care of my "stuff?"

Our desire for stuff can hinder us emotionally, physically and spiritually.

My husbands grandmother is an excellent example of a person entrapped by material belongings. Having been raised during the depression a deep rooted sense of fear for the future caused her to horde material things. She was very thrifty on one hand which was an admirable trait of hers but her tendency to horde was not.

A day came when her health made it necessary to declutter a bit to accommodate a wheelchair. I found 10 identical pairs of gold shoes in her closet while cleaning.Ten! All the same size, style and color, and that was just the gold shoes. There were also the black, brown, red, white brown, sandals, dress, sport shoes and slippers. Her modest home had three bedrooms and a garage stuffed to the brim. She paid electricity for a second refrigerator, yet she lived alone.

When is enough, enough?

When this sweet lady passed away all of her "treasures' were sold for pennies on the dollar at yard sales to strangers.

This is not the first time I have seen this and each time it is sad and breaks my heart. Do you want your children to go through rooms and rooms of clothing and fabric, electronics, costume jewelery, pictures and papers when you are gone? Or perhaps worse yet have bickering break out between family members over...s.t.u.f.f! :( Of course not!

God wants us to be an openhanded people. We serve a generous God but we must have open hands to receive. Clutter clogs up that flow of giving. Hmmm, preaching to the choir here...

My friend Gayle always says "You can't out give God." and it is true.

Go through your closets, cupboards and garage...

IF you find cans of Lima beans but your family hates Lima beans? Gift them to someone else or to a food pantry.

Does Jr. really need three winter coats? How many outfits does it take to have a decently turned out family?

Old boyscout and AWANA uniforms are often needed by low income clubs. Put the awards in a shadowbox hang it on the wall and gift the uniform!

Your overflow household items and clothing can be used in so many ways!

The homeless shelter and local animal shelters always need blankets in the winter. The men at our local shelter depend on bikes for might check with yours if you have disabled bikes or parts.

Graffiti abatement programs can use your leftover paint. Libraries would love your magazines and books. Your church nursery or play group might want Jr's outgrown toys.

Ask God to reveal your heart as far as your attitude towards material things. Ask Him to give you creative ways to re gift those things you no longer want, use or need.

Your housecleaning can really bless someone else.

I'm off to clean and declutter!!!


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