Thursday, September 23, 2010

Decluttering for Christ: Day ... err... 13!

Progress looks slow-going right now, but I know the "behind-the-scenes" sort of work is going on.

My husband has been furiously listing items on Ebay, and we're really seeing the payoff! It's a huge blessing from God for sure. There are items that he has listed before in the past that didn't sell, that are now selling for way more than we thought they'd bring. I absolutely believe the way things have been working out to be blessings. We've continuously prayed over our situation, financial situation especially, and we have faith that God is guiding us through all of this. Medical bills, debt, financial bondage, and financial stress, prepare to meet our Master!

"No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."  --Matthew 6:24

We're organizing our house, but it's actually helping to declutter our minds and hearts. All of the chaos of belongings got in the way of what was important. A year and a half ago, we moved into this house and loved all the space. In just a few months, we were claiming we needed more space, and that we may have made a mistake in not buying a bigger (thus more expensive) house! Looking back now, I thank God we didn't buy the amount of house the bank said we could afford. Our lives couldn't afford it.

Read more: Bible Verses on Debt

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Decluttering For Christ: Days Two, Three, & Four

I spent most of this past weekend trying to catch up. Well, let me rethink that statement... I've spent the past 29 years trying to catch up, and this weekend was no different! :)

I trdeught about posting before pics; rwever, the house was so atrocious that I couldn't bring myself to do it! I'll just post the final results. You'll have to trust me that the difference is night and day!

I feel hope in this process. My husband and I discussed what we should do and how to get it done. Having an idea of what we wanted to accomplish and a general time-frame was important for us to discuss. It's important to be on the same page about the project.

We agreed that we needed to go through the kitchen and get rid of excess glasses, dishes, flatware, plastic containers, (especially those without lids or even the bowls in some cases) dish rags, etc.

In the living room, we decided to sell our current, matching set: sofa, chair, and ottoman. We have a sleeper sofa shoved back in the office that is a junk pile resting place at the moment. We will put in in the living room and keep the other chair and ottoman set that we had. They don't match in the sense that they are part of the same furniture line or collection, but it's our style for sure. That's what's important, you have furniture that fits your lifestyle, tastes, and of course, your room. Ours did not fit our room at all.

In the master bedroom, we decided to sell the dresser and move the desk out. The desk has a new home in the dining room area. It's serving as a family computer/ homework area. This arrangement has multiple advantages. The space in our bedroom is at a premium, so we gain so much more room in there. The computer acts as a family hub now for pictures, family files, etc. Our son has access to the computer, but it is restricted and supervised access. That is a key advantage. He is nearly 8 years old and very impressionable. I can easily monitor his computer time and activity, while he enjoys the priveledge.

To replace the dresser in our bedroom, we have a closet unit that we purchased on clearance at Lowe's. My husband put it together in an afternoon, and it's wonderful! I recommend something of this nature for anyone. We don't have a very large closet at all, but it maximizes the space we do have. The one we purchased has four, deep drawers that we'll now share for folded clothing and such. These sort of items we've pared down as well. All worn out or unneeded bras, underwear, socks, tees, etc. will be thrown out or donated. What can be put on hangers, we've done so.

Going through our clothes has been an intense process, especially for me! I have gone through them several times actually. Each time, removing more and more pieces that I thought I needed to keep in the last sort. I think it's been important for me to do this and stay diligent in doing so. Otherwise, I might not pare down enough. It's easy to have that notion "oh, I'll fit into that soon enough" or "oh but my friend gave me that, I can't give it away," but you have to understand, it's about simplifying. If you honestly don't need it or wear it, then it's time to get rid of it.

I had no idea just how many articles of clothing I had! It's sad really, that people in this country, in our own towns, go without proper clothing. Meanwhile, I have a closet, dresser, and even boxes in storage full of unused items!

God blesses us so that we can bless others. God has shown me that truth, and I vow to keep it in my heart and mind from now on. I am so grateful for his blessings, and the least I can do, is not hoarde them, but rather, pass them on.
"God can't get to you what he can't get through you."
--Pastor Benny Tate of Rock Springs Church in Milner, Georgia

To be continued...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Decluttering For Christ: Day One

We've been struggling for the last few months with keeping things organized and clean at our house. It's felt like at times, that we spend more time maintaining and organizing our "stuff" than we do being a family together.

Letting things take over our lives has been a gradual process. My husband and I were married almost two years ago. When he moved in, the house he, I, and our six-year-old son shared was barely over 700 square feet in space, and not near enough of that was closet space! Combining our lives was challenging to say the least. We thought when we moved into our new house last spring, that things would be easier. However, once we started bringing in things that had been in storage all that time, it quickly became a cluttered mess as well.

Lately, we've been drawing ourselves and our family closer to each other and closer     to God. It's important to my husband and I that we raise our son in a strong, Christian home with solid, Christian values. The more we pray and study on what to do, the more both of us are coming to realize... we just don't need the excess!

So now the new challenge is where to begin. He and I both have been discussing it for the past week or so. We've talked all around how to start, and I've even already begun to start with going through my clothes. I tried to do a bit of quick research online about how to get started; however, my ADD always kicked in and I found myself on Facebook writing a message to a friend, checking my email, and searching for a wedding gift. What "research" I did get done though, I didn't really find anything specific to decluttering in order to simplify one's life in order to draw closer to God. Thus, this blog entry emerged!

I don't know how long this will take us. I've never been a "get it done in 30 days or less" sort of person. It's like trying to eat healthier. You can't commit to a diet. You have to commit to a lifestyle. That sort of commitment is what this endeavor is all about. We're changing our lives.

I can't shake this belief deep within my heart too, that this is what God needs us to do so that he can use us. Furthermore, in doing this for God and for our family, we can move forward in faith and accomplish his purposes for our lives.