The Picture in My Head

Lent has come and gone.  Easter Sunday has come and gone.  The picture in my head still remains even though my end result looks nothing like the picture.  I set out on my Lenten journey with specific images of the end result in mind.  How my Lenten journey would look, how my forty bags in forty days would look.  I’m here to say my picture is a whole lot prettier than the real thing.  I did fulfill my Lenten goal of forty bags in forty days, I did not fulfill the image I had in mind.

Here is how it panned out

Sold:  One large baby gate

Bags thrown out:  13 (this included things recycled or just thrown out because it was broken, unusable etc.)

Bags donated to the VVA:  26

Bags donated to JMJ Life Center:  2

A lot of what I got rid of was clothing, I managed to clean out some of my bedroom and go through some of the children’s clothes and toys.  However most of the bags consisted of stuff from our garage.  Overall this frustrates me a bit.  In my mind I had intended to go through each room in our house clean out the various sections of the rooms (dressers, closets, etc.) and then spring clean each room.  Ending up with a beautifully clean house on Easter Sunday.  I also intended to focus on getting closer to God as I released items from my life.  I’m not sure how I thought that would look or feel but by the end of Lent I felt like I hadn’t connected fully.  I’m not really sure how to describe it, I just didn’t have a real feeling of sacrifice I guess.  What I was left with was the realization that in the last 12 years we have accumulated a lot of STUFF!  And all that stuff crowds out important things like God and family.

When we moved into this house 12 years ago we couldn’t even fill it with furniture, now we are bursting at the seams.  And honestly after giving/throwing away 40 bags of stuff I don’t feel much relief from this over stuffed, bursting.  I have realized that I have a lot more to do to pare down and clean out.  I also realized that I feel like my soul resembles my house, overstuffed and bursting with negative, life taking, mess!  Like my house I need to do a lot more clearing out and cleaning up.  As I got rid of stuff in my home I did feel a little relief, as if I could breathe and focus on other things like God and family.

The majority of the collected bags came from an overabundance of stuff in our garage.  My family’s way of dealing with mess and stuff is to put the said mess or stuff into a box or plastic container and put it in the garage.  Out of sight out of mind!  Hence lots and lots of large plastic containers filled with STUFF being stored in the garage.  When it was all said and done I went through 15 containers/boxes and three bags from the garage.  I have a lot more to do and to get rid of, lots and lots more projects for sure.  But I’m beginning to understand why the blogs I read, that posed this challenge have done this several years in a row.  I’m looking forward to getting to the point of one blogger, she no longer has much to get rid of and she cleans stuff out as new things come into the house.  Now she’s working on scheduling cleaning jobs regularly and organizing what she does have.

I’m going to have to figure out how to get projects of de-cluttering into my daily or weekly routine.  I’m at a point where I can look at something, hear the song “Please Release Me, Let Me Go” and give it away pretty easily.  I don’t want to lose that momentum.  Letting go of stuff is so freeing!

My new goal to do one de-cluttering project a week, with a minimum of one bag a week.  We’ll see how it goes.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."
Colossians 3:23


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