It all started the day I went to Target and spent over $100 on storage containers for all the unused stuff in my house. Giant ziplocks for clothes, under bed boxes for what no longer fit in one of 11 closets, and huge plastic bins for toys… the extra ones. I am not a hoarder! I’m a good, organized little homemaker for having a place to store all the excess!
But something in my spirit said “check” that day, and I haven’t been the same. I’m not yet who I want to be or will be, but I’m not the same.
Just days later I began reading Jen Hatmaker’s book, Seven and a few others by authors braving than I. Ones who didn’t just read or even write about change, as I did, but who really did it. My house went on the market and the journey of purging the stuff began.
It was hard. Real hard. Harder than I ever thought. Why was this giving away of possessions so hard? I knew the truth. I knew what scripture said about the giving to the poor, of feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. I knew it meant loving Jesus to do unto the least of these. And I do love Him. So very much! Why the tension?! “This is just stuff”, I’d say as I cried and filled another bin of baby clothes to give away. But the Holy Spirit had ahold and was not letting go. “This is just stuff,” He’d reply, “and you’re enslaved to your stuff.” OUCH.
It was then I learned that terms like sacrifice, rich, poor, excess… were all matters of my heart. I didn’t think I had much by American suburban life standards (gag me.) But my heart was wound tightly around what I did have. I remembered a night more than a year ago when I was reading to my kids before bed and the line from Matthew 13:44 read, “then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” I knew it meant something for me when I couldn’t shake it for days. Suddenly the pieces fit together.
There has never been a time in my life when I didn’t know about Jesus. He was the friend of the family I’d always known. Yet, He is such a wonderful pursuer to not leave it at that, but to call me out and make Himself my treasure. I want to sell all I have to buy that field!
The mourning over my stuff stopped the day the Lord asked me what I wanted for my kids. I thought I was holding on to the stuff for them, because I want so much for them. But, as I packed all of their toys and things, I thought, is this really what I want for them?! This is just stuff. I want them to love Jesus and be happy. I know scripture tells me, “In His presence is fullness of joy”. I want them to have fun and be kids, to create, to experience. I want them to travel this earth God created for their enjoyment. What I do not want is for them to be enslaved to stuff.
It took nine long months for my house to sell. Turns out obedience doesn’t automatically mean quick results! But He always comes through, always. The lessons continue as I unpack and continue to give away armloads from my newer- smaller-way fewer closets- house.
You can find the original, un-edited, late night rambling, before my house sold and I was freaking out, post here :)