Spring has sprung around our home – and that means it is time to get the pool ready for fun and the house ready for company. You may know this as spring cleaning, but around her it goes by the term “quarterly purge.”
I teach about the importance of releasing clutter for my life so that I have room for the better things. That lesson continues to work itself out in my life. The closer I get to freedom, the more the stuff wants to cling and hold me down.
My purge mentality began with “Clean Sweep.” The hosts would come across something that the owner just refused to get rid of because it held too much sentimental value. One show, the host pointed out that if it meant something then it needed to be treated like it meant something. She also reminded the owner that memories NEVER reside in stuff.
The words hit me hard and the idea that those words conveyed changed my actions. I began to look at things with the understanding that I had to honor them or let them go.
Letting go can be tough on the heart and on the emotions. The crafters out there understand the concern that wells up when I begin to think about how I could use it later. The home school families out there probably can relate to the idea that we might use that for a lesson down the road (or what if I need it for a trade). Genealogy fans out there can relate to the panic of “what if we need that for a record down the road.”
There will always be a reason or an excuse. The enemy wants us to stay covered up with stuff because stuff smothers us and hinders our ability to pursue the blessings, the possibilities, and even the relationships.
Slowly, and patiently, God grows me to the place where I understand that HE will provide what I need, when I need, and how I need if I continue to listen to Him and follow His way.
The Reality of the Quarterly Purge
Do I use it? I received some amazing gifts when my husband and I were married . . . and some of them have remained in boxes for the day when I would entertain in ways that would make them practical. I have three boys and most of the entertaining we do involves families. I accept that my desired entertaining leans that way, and not the way that my mom and grandmother entertained – and I am okay with that.
Do I love it? We received a painting that scares the britches off anyone that looks at it. Despite the meaning behind the painting, it is not one I will EVER display. I appreciate the feelings behind it, but I am not obligated because of those feelings or appreciation. Someone else may appreciate and proudly display the painting, and it deserves that kind of home.
Do I want it? I received two pasta pots one year. They were identical in design, but one was red and one was white. The white one worked with my décor, but I held on to the red one because I KNEW the giver of the gift would notice (and she did, for the record). Now I pass on those unwanted (or unneeded) gifts to others that have that need or want.
What does God want me to do? I heard a teacher once say that she tried to not like anything she had too much. She said that just when she really started liking it, God will direct her to give it away. He never wants us to become attached to stuff because then the stuff begins to control us. We are owned instead of owning. I try to trust the prompting of the Holy Spirit when it comes to the stuff in my life – and I am always ready to release it . . . well, most of the time (there is still room for growth).
Several weeks ago, I determined that I would make no decisions based on fear, guilt, or anger. That must work its way into my purging, cleaning, and decluttering. God offers peace and contentment. Purging can be scary, but it does not have to be.
These experiences of purging teach me that less provides a way for more. Releasing blesses others and makes ways for my own blessings. Decluttering improves organization which creates opportunities for JOY in unexpected guests.
Trust. Believe. Release. A quarterly purging can bring a whole new season of joy and contentment.