I am an expert on stuff! Stuff and I have an intimate relationship. Everywhere I go stuff seems to follow. My classroom was “stuff central”. My house? Stuff City. Need something? “Let me dig in the stuff in my purse. I’m sure I have it!” Oh, and then there’s my brain….more stuff rattling around in there than I can handle or you want to know about!
Up until recently I was comfortable with my stuff. I felt safe amidst the clutter. But now? Something’s changed. As I’ve told you before, I am going through every room in preparation to move. Somewhere in this process my perspective shifted. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been easy for this memory collector to let things go. Tears have been shed. Things have been in the trash or give away pile that I’ve struggled to leave there. But as I look around a finished room I feel an unexpected feeling of freedom. A lightness that wasn’t there before.
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT)
As I linger (as I so love to do) with this new attitude I’ve come to realized that in having old greeting cards, letters, awards, artwork, ticket stubs, souvenirs from happy times; I somehow found reassurance of my self-worth. (I know, I’m worse off than you thought!) As I continue to sort through my stuff, I’m also sorting through all these emotions , but what I’m learning is: life is full of good stuff and bad stuff. When we (I) focus and are tied to that stuff, it can become a burden.
Let me just confess to you now that as hard as getting rid of my tangible stuff is; releasing my “worry stuff”, scary stuff”, “sad stuff”, “angry stuff”, “unforgiving stuff”, to God is even more difficult for me! Oh, I might put it away for awhile, but all too often I think I know what’s best so I open that “box of stuff”, comb through it, and even add to it! Oh how that stuff weighs on my heart, my mind, and soul!
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Did you catch that? The burdens I create, and maybe you too, by collecting stuff, whether in drawers, boxes, closets, or in our hearts; we don’t have to carry! Unburdening ourselves from the stuff of life allows us to open our arms and soul to the “yoke that is easy and the burden that is light” Jesus offers us.
The process of eliminating stuff from my life is an ongoing one. I’m happy to report that recently I sat and went through four boxes of memories from my elementary years forward and when I was finished I only filled two back up. I laughed, cried, and shook my head in wonder in all that I’d kept. And yes, as hard as it was, I had to let go of these precious items!
I pray that as I prepare to move into a new house, God continues to work on moving me forward. No more looking behind to find myself but setting my eyes on Him who’s known me all along. Maybe you have some cleaning out to do like I do. Will you join me in releasing the stuff of life so that we can begin to store our treasures right where they belong; the only place “where moths and rust cannot destroy them.”
Joining Suzi Eller for #livefreeThursday where her prompt this week is “It’s just stuff”. (Oh so timely for me!) Want to read more? Jump over to http://www.tsuzanneeller.com to see what others are saying!