Long time gone…

The things of this world not only clutter up our houses, they clutter up our lives. We put our heads down and push through the chaos, only to raise our eyes and think, “Sunday again?”

The problem comes when we keep doing that; when Sunday comes over and over, and we’ve just been reliving the same days in our cluttered, driven lives.

I can’t do it any more. The time has come for me to stop…to take action.

No one else can change me.

I can’t blame anyone else for my failure to act.

I can’t wait for someone to push me to action.

To that end, I am initiating the great-clutter-bust-up at my house. I’m following the advice of a recent Kindle read,

Declutter Your Life: Reduce Stress, Increase Productivity, and Enjoy Your Clutter-Free Life

by Michelle Stewart. In this book, she advises a series of measures to help you declutter permanently. What I took away from this book was

1) take lots of pictures – document your journey. Too often we become discouraged because we can’t see just how far we’ve come

2) limit your activity – keep decluttering to just 15 minutes per day. Don’t get burned out because you spent all of your energy all at once and can’t bear to face it again

3) be consistent – one 15-minute decluttering session doesn’t do much good. A week’s worth, or a month’s worth, or a year’s worth? we’ll see

4) celebrate your successes – look back at those pictures and congratulate yourself on reaching a goal. Don’t wallow in it, though…use that success to push you toward the next goal

I’m a little scared. I like doing things for myself privately, so no one knows. This, I’m putting out there. I want to be accountable. I want people to email me, or Facebook me, and say, how’s the decluttering going? Show me the pictures, baby! I want that lurking in the back of my mind, so that I will follow through.

Most of all, I want to stop all of my running. I’ve been running for a while now…in the wrong direction. I’ve been living the same week over and over again.

No more.

I’m taking each day as a gift.

The gift of time, to teach my son, not just to argue over his reluctance to do his schoolwork.

The gift of love, and of friendship, to nurture my soul.

The gift of my body, with all of its quirks and problems. It is what God has given me. I will thank Him for His gift every day, and ask Him to help me grow to love it.

The gift of God’s love, mercy, and provision for a whole 24 hours.

In this new appreciation of the gifts of each day, I’ll be initiating the 15-minute-clutter-buster. I will dedicate the first 15 minutes of each day (post-coffee, let’s be realistic here) to reducing the stuff that has so easily beset me.

This is going to be hard for me. I become distracted easily. I forget what it is I am trying to accomplish.

I need you. Will you help me?

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Learning through letting go

For better or worse, I am committed. I am committed to breaking the grip of stuff on my life. I am committed to strengthening my relationships with God, my husband, and my friends. I am committed to God’s promise that “He who began a good work in [me] is able to complete it.”

Jen Hatmaker‘s new book, 7, is the inspiration for this journey we’re about to take. She woke up to the excess in her life, and decided to reduce it in seven ways. We are inspired by her journey, by her struggle, and by the strength of our own convictions that we have to do the same.

To that end, we have chosen to take this path. It is definitely the road less traveled in this world of rampant consumerism. We have committed, to ourselves, our families, each other, and most importantly, to God. We have committed to reduce our dependence on this world for our needs; we will learn to depend on God to supply them.

For my part, I know it is a journey I must take. It is the first step toward the life planned for me by my Creator. I cannot say I am in the center of His will until I can truly say that I am free of the chains of modern life. I won’t lie to you. I’m scared to do this. I’m scared to find out where my idols are. I desperately desire change, but the grip of the familiar is so comfortable. Committing to something this big, this life-changing, and committing to it in such a public way, terrifies me. What if I fail? What if others see me, and I am not what they need to see? Then I remember, “…you are not your ownFor you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body*.” This journey is one I can’t skip. I can’t stay back in the hotel while everyone else plays on the beach. No, this time I have to put myself out there, confident that the One who saved me will be the One who sustains me. 

So join us as we travel this road. Pray for us. Rejoice in our successes and lift us up when we fail. The book of Hebrews exhorts us to do just this: Hebrews 10:23-24 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.” I Thessalonians 5: 11 tell us, “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” Galatians 6:2 commands us to, “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” The reason we do this is clearly written in Ecclesiastes 6:9-10a, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.

It is my heart’s desire to be the vessel of God on this earth. So long as my heart and life are fulfilled by the things of this world, I can’t do this. I need to walk this path. I need you to support me as I do.

In Him,

Cassie

*I Corinthians 6: 19b-20

All scripture quoted from the New American Standard Bible, (c) 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.