My One Word for 2013 is
You can read my post about it here.
One of the things that was laid on my heart on February 13 of this year was to give away 40 things from my home. I wasn't too sure why at first but had an inkling. I told God to show me how He wanted me to give and I would do it.
I felt led to put a message out on facebook that I was giving away one thing of mine a day for 40 days. People were giving up food, habits, luxuries, etc. for 40 days for Lent, leading up to Easter. I figured I would give away things, never to be returned. I would post a picture of it on facebook and whoever wanted it could comment. Then I put all names in a bowl that evening and randomely picked a name and that is who won the item for that day.
I prayed that this would not be just about giving things to clean out my house but that there would be some meaning to whoever got what, that there would be a blessing for them. Then I left it in God's Hands to do whatever His will was.
Since growing up in a rather poor family and one that never did extra...I tended as a grown-up to hang on to things. Some might say that's not such a bad thing, but having clothes taking up space in the closet that were only fashionable 20 years ago and you haven't worn them in the last 10...yeah, I'd say there's something wrong there. And what about books that have sat on the shelves for YEARS...they just collect dust. And those earrings that you haven't worn since 1998?
I pondered and thought maybe I had a fear that if I got rid of things, I might never get anything more? Pathetic, I know. And then a couple of years ago, the Lord started moving on my heart to live a simpler life. We already lived a simple life, but my mind kept going back to all that stuff in the closets, drawers, shelves, attic. Why was I hanging on to it? Could it be a blessing to someone out there? I wanted to declutter, I wanted less to dust, I wanted less of stuff and more of HIM!
I believe it all started a couple of years ago when I read a book and then watched a video of J. P. Yohannan. His book, Revolution in World Missions.
And then I read the book Radical by David Platt.
Both ask the question. . ."How much stuff do we really need?"
I thought that was a very good question.
And then after being in the homeless community where people have nothing or very little and strive to just survive each day, well, I just couldn't seem to get away from that. The why of it didn't matter to me.
When I would walk back into my home and see all that I had, yes, I was very grateful, and yet I knew. . .I didn't need all this and it came to the point where I didn't want it. It all gave me a sick feeling.
And then I heard Francis Chan, author of Crazy Love, ask questions like. . .
"Are you too attached to things?"
Do you feel safer the more you have?"
Are you clouded by all the stuff around you?"
The answer might have been yes years ago, but
I felt the answer to these questions now were no for me but it made me ponder.
Do I feel safe completely because I am His?
Or do I feel safe because of my stuff?
Do I make comfort an idol?
Could I give things up that I've had for years and be just as happy. . .or happier?
And then a FB friend of mine wrote this,
"When He gives us more than we need, that abundance is His, not ours, and is allocated somewhere else. We are the channel, that's all. . .upliving our living standard is never the point. For that matter, nothing I "own" is mine if I belong to Christ."
And then the challenge came in my heart with Lent coming up. . .
Could I find and give away 40 items from my home?
Could I let go?
I wanted to take it on.
And so I did.
I didn't need that cookie press and decorators kit. It sat in my garage for 8 years and I never once used it!
I didn't need those baseball earrings that I wore to my sons every little league game...those boys are now 20 and 25!
I didn't need that big, pink Easter Bonnet . . .I don't look good in hats!
And the purple ring with bling. . .well, I'm not too much of a bling girl anymore, but it was SO fun to see who was:)
And then I heard that still, small voice say, Can you give up what you really like for me? Yes! You all know I'm a book lover, so I gave books away. And movies. And another purple ring that was really pretty and a cross-stitched picture I had put many, many hours into and more stuff.
Have I missed any of it.
If anyone is thinking if I think it's wrong for people to have "stuff", the answer is no.
For me, just too many things were pointing me in this direction. It was something I pondered on many times. I decided it was time to take action.
I know where my security and comfort lie. I know where my joy comes from.
My Supplier, my Provider, Jehovah Jirah.
I will accept my provisions but I won't uplift my living standard.
I won't stuff my shelves and closets with anymore stuff.
I want to and will continue to give in however He leads me day by day.
I am content! I am happy! I am joyful!
I let go. Oh, to let go of things. . .OH, so freeing!
And if you're wondering, "Did she empty her house?" LOL, No. It's not about giving it all away and becoming a monk somewhere. I hope you understood.
This Give Away was so much fun for me and such a joy!
"I have found among it's other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver."
For all those who played along and became the receivers, thank you.
It's hard to give if no one ever receives.
And in your receiving, you helped to give me a gift. . .the gift of freedom and simplicity.
P.S. ~ Come back in a few days to see what my 40th give away gift was. I will also be giving it away here :)