What kind of society have we become?
Allow me to depart from my usual home decor/ diy/ recipes content for the day. I just have some things on my mind…
Some of you may know that I lead a ladies’ small group Bible study at our church. We have been in the book of James, which is really an awesome little book! One of the things he addresses in this book is hoarding! Seriously, can you believe that? The Bible talks about hoarding?! Who knew??
1Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. – James 5:1-3
This prompted me to take a look at my lifestyle, and the lifestyles of so many in our culture!
And this is a real ‘owie’. The words are stuck in my throat. Oh, wait… here they come: I am a hoarder! Eeek! I said it!!
One reason I know this is because we rarely get rid of anything around here. I learned a long time ago not to bring anything into this house that I couldn’t live with forever, because most things ‘can check in but they can never leave’ (sung to the tune of ‘Hotel California’!
Now, before you start judging me, hear me out.
In America, we are a consumer society. A collecting society. Many of us collect ‘stuff’. The constant commercials and ads have us totally convinced that we need the latest and greatest of whatever is out there.
Beyond enticing us to buy their products, what effect do all these ads have on us, collectively and individually? Do they encourage contentment or dissatisfaction with our lives as they are? How much is enough? Will we ever get there?
In her book James:Mercy Triumphs, Author Beth Moore says,
According to James, a point can come when we’ve gorged ourselves on wealth or goods as in a day of slaughter. We pledge allegiance to the hope of prosperity for more than security… we also crave more STUFF (emphasis mine). The sin of hoarding is more than just having. It’s having without using.
All right, now. Don’t jump all over me just yet: I know we’re not all hoarders! Some of you are very disciplined and can control any impulse to acquire. You are organized, streamlined and minimalistic. I am in awe of you! You are who I want to be when I grow up!
As a couple, we have accumulated a treasure trove of ‘stuff’ during our 36 years of marriage. And I’m not saying we don’t use it- some of it. But I have too much stuff that I’m saving for a ‘rainy day’. Treasure or not, I have stored it up. And it’s not pretty! For instance, I have hoarded lots of scrapbooking supplies that I bought back in the day before I worked full time. Never know when I might need those. And fabric… several storage containers of that. Well, a crafter/DIY blogger’s gotta have fabric, right? I remember seeing a bumper sticker years ago in a fabric store that said, ‘She who dies with the most fabric wins’. Ouch!
And, although this isn’t his confessional, my sweet hubby has his share of stuff: broken appliances he’s keeping for the ‘parts’, tools that we cannot find because they are buried under piles of stuff in the garage, and thousands of books that may, or may not, be read.
One thing is for certain: Our ‘stuff’ threatens to take over our house, our personal space and our lives!
But I don’t think it’s too late! For the next 30 days, beginning today Labor Day, September 1, 2014, I pledge to do the following:
- Throw out, donate or sell at least one item each day.
- Find a place for the items I do intend to use: A place for everything and everything in its place.
- Pull clothing from my closet that hasn’t been worn in a year or more.
- Organize my craft supplies so that they take up less space.
- Toss old cleaning supplies and expired food and medicines.
- Conquer the paper clutter by: dealing with mail daily, tossing junk mail quickly, filing important papers.
To show you how serious I am about conquering this problem, I am sharing a photo of a room in my house few have ever seen. This is my ‘office’, ‘studio’, ‘craft room’, aka junk room! It is the place where things go never to be seen again!! A place I have great dreams for, but can’t quite get there. Anything I need to make disappear in a hurry gets tossed in here! I am SO embarrassed to let you into this space. But I am showing you now because I want you to know how serious I am about this challenge!!
After seeing this I wouldn’t blame you if you never came back to this blog! But I hope you’ll stick around…
Won’t you join me in this challenge? Let’s begin this fall by paring down our ‘stuff’. It will help us prepare for the holiday season and enable us to enjoy our homes so much more. We will be more available to practice the hospitality that is so important to most of us!
How about it? Are you with me? I’ll send out reminders and encouragement periodically, and keep you updated on my progress, so we can hold each other accountable. Sign up below!
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