Hello lovelies, I do apologize for the delay! Life has been busy but good….I am moving into my first house today! Since I have been 18, I have always lived in dorms or apartments, so this is exciting. Its definitely a new world of responsibility but also creativity and … SPACE!
When I decided I was going to move, my first thought was to get rid of a ton of “junk”- clothes I never wore, old furniture, and just…stuff. I wanted to have a fresh start in my new home! Plus I love donating stuff to good will, so this would be an easy win-win, right?
I went through my books- I saw an English/Swedish dictionary from when I took Swedish in college…hmm, I should probably keep that in case I visit Sweden again some day. I saw a bunch of acting monologue and technique books….well, even though I don’t act, I may want those some day or maybe I will know someone who does. I looked at a bunch of my fiction books…I loved these, and may read them again; these, I have had for years and never read but may read someday….wow. This is harder than I thought. I’ll come back to the books.
Clothes. This will be easier. I have SO many clothes, especially dresses that I don’t wear much. This dress is SO pretty and I got it in London, so I have to keep that obviously…I wore this dress for Valentine’s one year and I got so much attention, I have got to keep it!…this is a formal dress but is good to have on hand….these I wear for concerts….I have to keep this one because it is good for more traditional churches I sing in…these summer dresses I know I’ll wear later this year. Ugh. This is hard.
You get my point. While I was able to get seven (!) bags of “stuff” together for Goodwill, it was kind of challenging to let go. I realized that I am an embarrassingly sentimental person and getting rid of anything that had a positive memory attached was almost impossible. Which, okay, fair enough, if I got rid of EVERYTHING I would spend a lot of money to replace it. And I will say this…it was a good start. I didn’t get rid of as much as I wanted but I did get rid of a LOT and that was a good feeling.
Realistically, if I got rid of my Swedish/English dictionary, it wouldn’t really matter. I don’t even know if I will go to Sweden again and if I did, I could just buy a new one. Yet I didn’t want to. It’s hard to get rid of the stuff we hang on to…not just in our closets, but in our lives; stuff that we don’t need but maybe we don’t even know we have. I’m not talking about the heart wrenching break-ups or the parent that abandoned you when you were younger. I’m talking about the little things…those sad feelings from that friend who hurt you a few years ago who you don’t even see anymore. It’s the anger at the teacher who failed you. It’s the frustration at the dad who missed your soccer playoff game. It’s anything that effected you just a little…it didn’t shape who you are nor will it really matter in a few years, but…it’s still there. Sometimes it’s those little things that weigh us down the most.
One of my favorite scriptures ever is about this- you see it a lot around New Year’s Eve because people are always wanting a fresh start around then. But you can have a fresh start whenever you want, regardless of what the calendar says:
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
God wants us to let go of the “stuff” we hang on to. There is so much more ahead, but we have to make space in order to get it. You have to give away your couch in order to get a new one. You have to get rid of clothes in order to have space in your closet for new ones. You have to let go of negative things if you ever want positive ones to take over.
Did you know there are studies that say clutter actually make depression and anxiety worse? It makes sense. Being surrounded by stuff can be claustrophobic and stressful. I challenge you to find FIVE – just five- LITTLE things that bother you or make you anxious and try to get rid of them this week. Go through your closet and find five things to give to charity. Take five things out of your locker or backpack that you don’t need. If you have a car, take five things – CDs, old water bottles – out of your car you don’t use. Just five things that are around you that literally take five minutes to go through…make a little space and see how much better you feel. Your next step is to take five little things that are heavy on your heart and get rid of those…it’s a little harder but even more satisfying. Pray that God fills that space with happy, positive things and go about your day, a little bit freer and a lot more optimistic.