Updated: Jan 1, 2020
What to keep and what to toss
In preparation to move to half the square footage, from 980 to 450, its time to get ruthless. Which begs the next question: at the end of the day what’s important?
What’s significant enough to garner up all my mental and physical energy to cart around? To hold expensive real estate in 450 square feet? I recently went through some personal papers. I had meticulously filed 40 years worth of income tax, squirrelled away paid utility statements going back ten years and had neatly chronicled every property tax I paid. Really?
Those wake-up calls got me evaluating my habits and their importance in the overall scheme here on earth. It also made me realize how much time I waste organizing my life rather than living it. Call me Martha.
Thank goodness the Lord is gentle. “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 41-42
I don’t know about anyone else but this exercise has humbled me so. God shone his light on it and it was a halogen. Thank heavens he also points out the positives as well. Like good stewardship does require a certain amount of orderliness. So although I may have gotten carried away, my intentions were pure and He acknowledged that.
Now who but a loving father would point that out?
So getting rid of material goods, especial when I’m still using them or enjoying them can be difficult. I had to mentally prepare. Over the summer I went around evaluating things. I didn’t know it but I was slowly rolling out God’s game plan as it came to mind.
Gradually things came into focus. Take books. I love books and started a library 20 years ago. It grew into an 8 x 6’ shelf holding titles I forgot I had. They simply brought me comfort and familiarity. Something I won’t have the luxury for anymore. In the early years, I’d re-read special words nursing any life-giving force they once gave me, but that was just it, it was the memory, not the books themselves anymore. It had been years.
Or a set of dresses. Way back in the day I had a lovely collection of hand picked hippy dippy summer dresses. When I out matured them, I didn’t have the heart to just toss them to the Good Will but they clearly were not my style anymore. I waited two whole summers before I was ready to let them go. But then I was. And a lovely home opened up - a girlfriend who was totally into that style and they fit her to a tee.
God is that gentle. Instead of uprooting some bad habit or irritant, he plants a new plant beside the old. When I started hanging out in different circles, I stopped wearing those dresses and was allowing room for the new to come in. And new it was indeed. I went for my usual hair trim and ended up coming out of there scalped in the most attractive way. I had never gone super short and got many genuine compliments on it.
So this time around when the life force is gone its time to say good bye. And I have a little exercise of releasing heartfelt items back into the catch and release world of God’s possessions. That way I feel like I’ve respected its time and use in my life and can move forward without sorrow, regrets. My friend would call it finishing well.
And if I maintain that kind of attitude - positive, inspiring and uplifting, I will be sure to show up to my next assignment fully prepared to be filled with new wonder.