Every spring our townhome association holds an annual garage sale. In the past, I have been unable to participate due to being otherwise engaged the week the sale has been held. This year however, there were no conflicts so my husband and I decided to participate.
Now I must admit that as soon as we decided to participate, we wondered what on earth we would sell. I mean, for the past few years, I have been no stranger to the drop-off center for a local charity as well as the county recycling center. I had gotten rid of everything that was unnecessary... or had I? There was only one way to find out. I was going to have to do some digging. That required effort on my part. It is one thing to say you want to get rid of stuff. It is another thing to actually take the steps to do something about it.
I also knew that if I was going to do a good purging, I could not wait until the day before the sale to do it. I started a month ago. Now a month might seem like a long time to a lot of you but I have some "challenges" so I need a lot of time in order to accomplish something that might take someone else five minutes. It is very important for me to carefully pace myself or I will get completely overwhelmed and shut down. "Take a deep breath. You can do it, girl! Just take it one step at a time."
It was very tempting to hang onto things rather than let them go so I had to remind myself of why I needed to let them go. I did not need these things cluttering up my life and as an added bonus, I had plans for the proceeds from the sale. The stuff I didn't need was going to be exchanged for some things I really did need. Now if that is not an incentive to get rid of stuff you don't need, I don't know what is. I have to let the old stuff go but I will be getting something far better in return.
It was very tempting to take my eyes off the goal. This is tough. Maybe I won't do it this year. I can wait until next year. The reality was I needed to do it now. Putting it off would only cause more "junk" to accumulate. I needed to stop make excuses, stop making promises and simply do it. It was hard work. I could have just thrown a few things into a box and called it a done deal but I wanted more than that. Things might look orderly on the surface but I wanted to fling open the doors of my closets and and open drawers only fo be greeted by well-organized spaces with plenty of room. I didn't want to hide the junk and clutter and longer. I wanted to get rid of it.
My how that can apply to our own hearts. We collect all sorts of things that don't belong there and cram them into the corners behind closed doors. Overwhelmed by the "junk" we eventually cry out to God to haul it away. He certainly can but more often than not He wants you to get involved as well. He wants you to drag it out into the light where you can see it better. He wants you to sift thorough it and decide what should be kept and what needs to be thrown away.
Best of all, when we get rid of the "junk" in our lives, there is now room for God's treasures. Wow! Which is better? Our junk or God's Treasures? I know which one I want to choose! What about you?
The reality was I needed to do it now.
The funny thing is after it was all over, my husband thought we hadn't made much of a dent until I showed him the "before pictures". While we still had "stuff" on our hands, we had noticeably less. About two-thirds of the stuff in the picture shown in this blog was gone and while I still had stuff on the other three tables, I no longer had things piled on tubs or set about on the floor. My son took a couple of things he wanted and I arranged for the Salvation Army to pick-up an item we are donating to them. Aside from the stuff going to recycling on Wednesday, we loaded up the rest in less than 15 minutes and took it to the local donation center. In other words, none of this is going to be reclaimed by us. Of course, the proceeds are uh... going to be used to buy more stuff. In my defense, it is not technically more stuff. I am replacing some things in my house that are in poor condition. Now that's the kind of shopping I like! I love replacing worn out, broken down things with the new and improved!