Day 24- #scratch10 Thoughts so far
For 24 days I've parted with 10+ items a day. That's 240 items so far. The first day was tough. It was tough to get started. Eventually, I meandered around looking for something I REALLY didn't want/ need anymore and finally started in the knife drawer- where we have FAR too many knives/ sharp utensils. Once I started putting some items into the pile on the counter I moved to the silverware drawer. I cleared out the items no longer needed by us and went about my business.
Later when I went to grab a spoon, a strange thing happened as I opened the drawer- I felt relief. I paused, realizing just how much the clutter in that drawer had quietly overwhelmed me every time I needed a spoon. I know that this sounds a bit silly- but for me, it makes a difference, and it inspired me to see how many other places in my house I could clear the clutter and help bring order and a sense of relief.
We have had a hard year so far- I feel ridiculous even saying that because it's all been good things. We've been adjusting our rhythms as we get accustomed to having two children, Dan got a new job, Beholden is changing, we bought a little homestead, prepped our other house to sell, did loan contingency repairs on the new place, sold our other place, moved and JUST finished the required repairs on the new place last week.
I've felt unhinged, overwhelmed, a bit out of control. I don't handle change super well and I've felt ungrounded as I figure out where to put the pots and washcloths and find a new rhythm with my kids here. For me...this 30 day challenge has been about taking back spaces one day at a time, making space to breathe. 10 items a day was doable- it was usually more than that once I found things. As I've gone about the day, I keep my eyes open for things that aren't useful, that continually cause clutter or are extra. Sometimes I've had to circle back around to things. On day 5 there were things that I refused to part with that by day 22 I was able to let go. I do not want to be so attached to anything that I cannot part with it. (still growing in this)
My overwhelmed state goes beyond a bit of clutter here and there, but I have been pleasantly surprised at how much this little challenge each day is impacting my daily perspective. I'm realizing how much money I have wasted in the past. How quickly trends (and my tastes) change, how much I fear not having enough, and how fleeting this life is. I hold onto things because I am afraid of forgetting. Forgetting the good times and the special moments. I fear that one day I'll need something and won't have the ability to meet that need so I hold onto things.
The startling thing here? Although I've never gone without a meal (unless by choice) and I've never been forced to be without shelter, I fear not having enough. My track record isn't enough to free me from my attachment to worldly things and comforts. For me...this little challenge is part of saying "I trust you, God". It's humbling. 6 years ago I only owned a carload of things and was QUITE free from all this stuff. I used to be radical. Sometimes I feel like a sell out. BUT through it all, I've been humbled to just how much I'm not above becoming materialistic. This is a reminder to me of the fact that I need to CONTINUALLY turn my gaze and eyes up- and keep them locked on Christ and the true treasure, not this stuff that will rot and rust (and IS falling apart). As I get down to the last week of #scratch10 and have a harder time finding things to part with and declutter- I have a few thoughts.
1) I am more attached to stuff than I realized. It actually hurts my heart to let go of things that hold memories - an old t-shirt, a pile of sketches, etc. BUT on the average day I get frustrated that I have so much stuff in drawers and things to clean..so it's gotta go.
2) Less stuff doesn't make me holier. < I used to think this. Sometimes I still think this. But It's not true. Living within and below your means in order to give your resources away generously is a beautiful thing, but if I just went through and threw out everything I owned for the heck of it...this isn't necessarily getting me any closer to where I personally want to be.
3) Simplifying is an ongoing pursuit. It's not an end...but it's a means that can free us more to being able to live this short life a bit more freely and focus our attention on the more important things - like being available to our kids, to our neighbors, to hear the Lord. Simpler meals, simple clothing, maybe fewer activities. I personally avoid light colored clothes and rugs (for me and my family it's hopeless), choose toys and appliances with little that can break on it, and decorate kid friendly- very little anything where little hands can reach.
4) "Where our treasure is, there our heart will be also." Matt. 6:21 This verse reveals the state of our humanity- our hearts will be where our treasure is. We can't trick them. I must vigilantly guard my heart. On a daily basis. If Pinterest needs to go, it needs to go. If all I can think about is white walls and green plants...something is off balanced. Father God, have your way in us. May this small simplifying and making space make space that turns our hearts to you.
One week to go!! (not sure what else I'm going to let go of, but I'll figure it out!