And the more I give away and get rid of, the more I want to give things away. I'm filling big rubber totes full of stuff for a local shelter that helps abused women get a fresh start. I'm piling things in totes for a good friend's young cousin who is having her first baby. I've carted bags of gently used clothing to the Salvation Army Thrift Store.
In fact, we've gotten rid of so much stuff that I have a stack of empty totes and baskets in the basement. When you radically declutter, all your organizational strategies and storage compartments start to become useless. In fact, they turn into clutter!
And then I came across some cute teal polka dotted baking dishes. Collecting dust.
They make my heart swoon.
I've used them once. Tiny little casserole dishes aren't of much use to a family of 7 (and growing). They just aren't. The truth is, I bought these on a whim, and I shouldn't have.
There's nothing wrong with owning cute polka dot casserole dishes. But I don't need these, I don't even use them.
And I stand there in the kitchen, wrestling with my own heart. A heart that wants cute little polka dotted dishes. A heart that still confuses stylish and cute for what is truly beautiful.
The truth is, decluttering should be hard. I should be standing in my kitchen with tears streaming down my face, beating my breast and calling out to God over all the times I wandered through stores full of fragile items, justifying myself as I put things I don't need into my cart. I should be on my knees repenting for caring more about polka dot dishes than starving orphans. I should be begging God to never let me forget again that we are here for something so much better than spending and consuming and storing up treasure here on this broken earth. We are here to touch lives. We are here to spend our lives on HIM.
How many more children could we have sponsored through compassion international if we weren't so busy filling our home with trinkets? How many people in our community could we have reached out to if we weren't spending our time trying to find a parking spot at the mall?
But instead I stand in my kitchen wondering whether I want a more authentic walk with the maker of the universe, or some really cute polka dot dishes.
And this realization, this conviction, brings me to my knees. Lord, break my heart with the things that break yours.
Today, 21 000 children will die because they are in poverty. Today's task is to commit to take that knowledge with me every single time I stroll through an aisle of pretty shiny things I don't need. I'm choosing to live simply so that others may simply live.
This song has been on my heart all week:
"Give us clean hands,
and give us pure hearts.
Let us not lift our souls to another
Oh God let us be
a generation that seeks
Who seeks Your face, Oh God of Jacob..."
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