Saturday, December 1, 2012

For We Wrestle Not Against Flesh, Blood, or Stuff

The next few days looked a lot like my first day as a minimalist.  I would enter the storage room, get discouraged, do a little work, and then call it a day.  Maxed out mentally by the fact that the process was going to take FOREVER.  Thankfully, it did get a little easier each day.  But, the part I still couldn't quite understand was WHY it was such a difficult task to sort through the stuff that we weren't even using.

That weekend we went off to church.  The sermon series was titled 'Man Up.'  It was directed at men.  Last I had checked I was not a man, so I could just listen a bit.  This week's sermon wasn't going to be for me, it wasn't going to challenge me.  I didn't need to be a better dad, father, or man.  I was good.

And then, about 1/2 way into the sermon my pastor hit one of his points.  "Many men spend their whole life working to buy their family things to show their love.  They work 60+ hours (or more) a week to buy a big house to fill with stuff just so their family knows they care about them."  Darn it, you are talking to ME!!

Now, I don't work long hours to buy my family stuff.  But, my husband does.  He works long hours and then I spend long hours trying to 'stretch our dollar.'  Let me tell you, looking back over my summer, I may have found a lot of great deals at various yard sales, but now I'm tripping over and picking up those deals.  Kids may have been happy for a few minutes, but the happiness isn't lasting.  So, between my husband and I, we spend MOST of our life on STUFF!!  Stuff we don't like, don't want, and most importantly, don't NEED.

"We get to choose," he went on {and yes I'm paraphrasing, you don't actually think my memory is that good-do you?} "We can choose the stuff, or our family, but not both.  And, Satan wants you to choose the STUFF.  He wants you to spend the rest of your life at work so he can work at tearing apart your family."

I finally had my answer.  I finally knew why I had the HARDEST time getting rid of things.  I finally understood that I wasn't wrestling against the stuff in my attic.  I was wrestling against someone who wanted desperately for me to fail at this minimalist thing.  This wasn't about whether we had too many clothes, too many toys, two many decorations, this was about the failure of my family.

I'm not much of a go to the altar type girl.  I usually figure God and I can have as meaningful of a conversation in my seat as we can with me at the altar.  But, that week I was there.  Laying down all my STUFF.  Don't I wish I could truly have carried it all down there, but alas, it was just my thoughts.  And though I couldn't carry it all there, I could carry my heart, thoughts, and future.  I asked God to break the chains at my house and to help me overcome the barriers that were keeping me from letting go.  After all, it was Him that asked me to let it go.  Now, I was asking for His help.

My current mission field starts at home.  It starts with my husband and my children.  It branches out to people who come into contact with myself, my husband, and my children.  My mission field could BE my home.  But, not if it's a mess all the time.  How can I minister to others, if I can't keep my own home in line?  I'm not talking about squeaky clean toilets or freshly baked bread.  I'm talking about basic order.

If I spend all my time trying to keep the house picked up, how do I spend time with my mission field??  The answer, I don't.  No, they spend time with the stuff we bought them to make them think we love them, while I clean up the other stuff and dad works for money for more stuff.

Obviously, someone is winning in our house. If stuff represents a scorecard, we are loosing.  BIG TIME.  Knowing who is behind that stuff is making it easier and easier to let things go.  Who is winning in your house?  I urge you to take this burden to the Lord and ask Him to free you from your things and ask Him to bring His peace to your home.  It's not going to be easy, but it's so worth it.

God Bless,


Mrs. Taffy said...

Lisa, your honesty is so refreshing! Thank you! I'm incredibly proud of you for letting the Lord do a work in your heart and home! Many blessings friend!

Mreeanne said...

I competely understand how utterly overwhelming it is to walk into a garage full of boxes of stuff with the intent of purging. Where to start? I have come to realize that part of the reason it is so hard is because, in a way, it is admitting that you were wrong about needing those things. It is humbling to realize you were that wrong about that much stuff. Yet, once I came to that realization I was free to get rid of much more stuff. It is a work in progress, but now I'm able to let go of the things that were cluttering my life.

Michele said...

Beautiful! As we are on the journey of simplifing our lives, I needed this post. Thank you for sharing your heart!