I would like to caution any readers of this post to beware of a hefty amount of bluntness. I’m in a mood. It’s been hanging around for quite a while and I thought it would leave already. But it has not. Kind of cranky but not really. Sort of feisty but not quite. Mostly impatient and irritated by so many things. It could be worse I suppose. And really, if I’m going to get fired up about something, this is probably not a bad thing to be fired up about.
I’m talking STUFF. We have too much. I admit to being genetically predisposed to hoarding based on my Grandmother’s collections of papers, pictures, memorabilia and so on. She didn’t throw much out. But she also didn’t have a lot to begin with. My mother is sort of the same. We hang on to things. It’s an honest, well-intended downfall. You justify gifts from friends and gifts from kids. Things from *the good ol’ days* and things from more recent days. We have disposable income and buy what we want when we want it. And when the income is better than usual we buy even more! I took a quick trip around my house last week to glimpse our stuff with fresh eyes.
If a child from Africa came to our house, what would they see?
First of all, let me just say, there’s nothing wrong with having a stock-pile of food. There’s also nothing wrong with accumulating things over the years. Or is there? I’m actually not sure anymore. This is post #1 of what I hope will be a coming-clean of sorts for me and maybe others. We have too much. We want more and we become prisoners to all that we have and the time it takes to clean and maintain it all. Not to mention storage space!
We are in the process of packing and moving for only the 8th time in 20 years. We’ve been carting around some
junk treasures for all of that time! I’m ready to part ways with much of it. If we don’t love it or use it, then it’s time for it to go. Sentimentality only carries weight for some things and even then, I’ve come to terms with releasing the sentiment in favour of living more simply. We buy bigger houses every time we move because our closets are bursting. I don’t even look in most of our closets! So what’s the point?
Okay…not going to drag this out. I have shown you what SOME of my cupboards and spaces look like. I’m just at the beginning of this journey to downsize, declutter, minimize and simplify. I’m also making a concious effort to cook from what’s already in my pantry and freezer instead of buying more food. We waste a lot in food because it spoils. I often think of the woman who fed Elijah with her bit of flour and oil. The Lord replenished it daily so that she had just enough for 3 people to survive . Here I am with packages of pastas, jellos, puddings, buckets of flour, rice, whole grains and 3 different oils in my cupboards! We are filthy rich, borderlining sinful. It’s hard to think that mothers are going to bed hungry to tonight wishing for one little mouthful of food for them and their babies. I just can’t justify living like this any longer.
I blame Jen Hatmaker and her book 7: An Experimental Mutiny of Excess. That book has seriously wrecked me in a good way. We have to change our approach to consumerism and the need for more. I’m coming clean…how about you?