Underdog and I have taken on the challenge of simplifying our home and family over the summer. We decided to start with the master bedroom, bathroom, and the closets that are attached to the bathroom. The bedroom is half-way de-cluttered. We rearranged the furniture. We purchase a new bedspread for our bed. We will also be painting the bedroom and bath.
One of the biggest jobs we have to do in all this de-cluttering is to tackle our clothes closet. Our clothes fill up a full closet.
As I have prayed and considered ways to simplify our home, my clothing closet kept coming to mind. I have so many seasons of clothing: fall/winter, spring/summer, maternity, nursing, nice dress up, casual, workout, bed clothes, and personal under garments. I also had a huge bin of clothing I put back lat summer when I got pregnant. Most of these clothes I haven't worn in several years. They haven't been touched in ages though.
I finally determined a few months ago that as soon as I was no longer pregnant, I would purge the clothing and scale back. I decided to keep enough outfits to cloth me for 8 days with a couple set aside for church. I have 2 pair of PJs for each season. I needed a few articles of clothing for working out as well as a few grubbies.
I finally got into my closet the other day. When it was all said and done, I filled up four HUGE black garbage sacks of clothing that I just don't need. I did put a few things back to sell on ebay for a later date.
I also decided that if this is something I was going to do, the children would do it with me. After seeing another pair of pants in the laundry this week that I know the owner didn't wear, I knew we had too many clothes. And when our laundry jumped from 5 large loads to 7-8 large loads in over 3 weeks, I knew something had to give.
As I tackled each closet (including my own) I prayed for wisdom and courage to make the right decisions. God was gracious to grant me both. It wasn't hard for me to decide what to keep and what had to go. This was true until I got to JB's clothes. She did not want to put much of anything away despite the fact that she doesn't wear half of it.
As we were trying to decide what JB should keep and what should be put away, I challenge her to consider what is her priority in all this. Is her priority ultimately to love Jesus or is she loving her clothes more? I confessed to her that I have loved my clothes way to much in the past. I pointed to the evidence of this in the bathroom where my four black trash bags await Underdog taking them downstairs and on to Goodwill. I wanted her to understand that I DO understand the struggle against loving things and possessions more than Jesus. But ultimately, we must love HIM more.
I am becoming convinced that what we collect and acquire over time is a reflection of what we love. Up to this point I have been a consumer. I love stuff. And some of that was under the false pretense of being frugal. Sure, I can find great deals are garage sales. But in all honesty, I never stopped to ask myself if I really NEEDED those great deals in the first place. Being frugal doesn't mean we don't fall prey to the consumerism that is running over Americans. I am reminded, though, and 1 John 2:15-17.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.I have been loving the world. This world that will pass away had enticed me in so many ways and I fell for it. Much like the serpent with Eve, I was lured into believing that somehow these "possessions" would make me better, happy, etc. and so I bought them. And in all reality, the love of the Father is not in me. When I am more focused on these possessions, the love of the Father is not in me.
It is my desire to please the Lord though. I am turning from the consumerism. It's the road to simplicity that I want to be on. To turn my back on the possessions this world tell me are so necessary for fulfillment and turning to Father in heaven who is the ONLY ONE that can fulfill me.
I will be blogging more through the summer as we scale back and work toward a life of simplicity in all things. I am taking one step at a time. Yesterday it was my closet. Tomorrow it's my kitchen pantry and learning to "shop" in my kitchen first before I hit the stores. The next day will be full of adventures in simplifying as well. I can feel the weight lifting. The chains that bind are loosening and I am taking steps closer freedom.