I don’t normally celebrate Lent, but this year something popped up on my Facebook feed about 40 Bags in 40 Days. I had been following my friend Allie’s rise to minimalism fame and each time I saw another post or Pin about it, I had felt a little tug. I know that I work better without clutter. I know that piles of things stress me out. I know that half of my closet never gets touched and yet I fought the urge to change it.
I have always had this view on things, whether it’s canned black beans or hiking boots – “it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it”. Sounds Girl Scout-y enough, right? Well I’m learning that that is a very fine line. Here are a few key thoughts to that mindset
There’s a difference between being prepared and being afraid
Fear is a funny thing. It tends to pop up in areas that we don’t even realize and if we’re not careful enough, it will wrap itself around healthy thoughts like a Taco Bell Quesalupa. Nothing wrong with a taco, but when you wrap it in a quesadilla, it gets a little out of hand. My need to never run out of things was actually a need to control everything. It wasn’t about not having toilet paper, it was about almost hoarding the things that we had. Not trusting that things would be ok when we actually did run out of it. Not believing that the peace that I felt one day, would still be there the next.
Just having stuff that you’re not using is only clogging your process
When we started to clean out our garage and go through boxes of things like scraps of material from the time in college that I made silk pillows or piles of reusable bags, I began to realize that I would probably never actually use what was filling up the space. I needed to let go and believe that if I did need those things in the future, I would be able to find them again. Driving into my garage had become a stress because when I would open my car door, it would bump into a box of something that I thought I needed. The first few loads to the thrift store were the hardest, because I had to admit that I had held on too long to a lot of things.
I had to turn the process to an act of worship to allow it to start to change me
We’re not even 1/2 way into the 40 day challenge and already I’ve had to battle multiple lies from the Enemy. Once I allowed this to truly become an act of worship and less about cleaning out clutter, I could feel the change begin. It’s easy to organize a closet or clean out your spice drawer, but to allow the heart of Lent to really take hold and to work through the emotions and the internal dialogue as an act of worship has already been quite incredible. There have been days that have been easy to fill a full bag of stuff I don’t need or even really want, but as we’re getting further into the 40 days, I’m having to really hold things up and seek God’s will on them.
Why have I kept this? What does it mean to me? If I let go of it, do I believe that I’ll be ok? What am I blocking by not letting this go?
God is faithful and he never asks us to do things simply because they’re painful. He asks us to trust him with everything. And to know that he is a good, good father and to believe that he will provide everything that we need. He’s after our heart and sometimes we have to clear the path, physically and emotionally to allow him access.