It was time to put our house up for sale.
I watched episodes of HGTV, discovering that potential buyers like to imagine a home as theirs. The experts said to put away personal items.
So Richard and I went through the house and started stacking, sorting, and packing. We put our most treasured items in a closet, but hauled the rest to a storage building and made our first payment. It took months for the house to sell. Every month I wrote a check to the storage company, until finally the house sold. We moved all our essential items to the new house and then went to pick up the items in storage.
I looked at the first box.
Why did I keep that?
I asked that again when I opened the second, third, and additional boxes.
It wasn’t junk, but it wasn’t treasure. It was just stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. Stuff accumulated over the years that we carried from house to house.
Only a few items went back into our home. The rest were donated to a ministry thrift store.
This is what my friend, Ruth Soukup, says about stuff in her book titled Unstufffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind and Soul:
I have a love-hate relationship with stuff.
I love to get stuff.
I love to give stuff.
I love the idea of stuff.
I love getting a deal on stuff.
Stuff is pretty. Stuff makes me happy.
Stuff makes my home feel cozy.
Except when it doesn’t.
Because, then, I hate stuff.
I hate living with stuff.
I hate the way too much stuff makes me feel.
I hate having to clean stuff.
I hate shuffling stuff around.
Stuff is messy. Stuff makes me discontent.
Stuff makes my home feel cluttered.
Jesus talked about stuff.
He asked us to travel light here on earth (Matthew 6:19-21).
He told us that there are more important things than stuff (Hebrews 13:5).
He described how we spin and twirl away to earn enough money for more stuff, filling our barns (storage units) to overflowing when it’s not really what matters in the end (Luke 12:18-20).
He told us to stop worrying about stuff (Luke 12:27).
Instead he asked us to hoard.
When we pass those lackluster metal villages surrounded by coiled barbwire to protect the multitude of stuff inside, we might think of that as hoarding.
But that’s not the definition of that word.
Hoarding is carefully guarding something of value for preservation or future use.
We’ve got our definitions all mixed up, don’t we?
Jesus asked us to stop collecting stuff so we can guard carefully those things that do have value.
Jesus continually taught the disciples how to shed the need for stuff so they could fill up their life with a relationship with him, and with others.
He showed them how this treasure would last forever.
So, I’ve made up my mind. I’m going to be a Christian hoarder.
I’m going to guard carefully those things that I’d want tight around me in the end.
I’m going to give a whole lot less weight to those that will eventually end up in an estate sale, or stacked in a corner in my garage.
What if storage buildings, and garages and closets started emptying as believers put our emphasis (and our dollars) into lasting treasure?
- How would that impact our family?
- How would that impact the world?
- How would that impact us — as we climbed off the spinning, twirling cycle of acquiring more stuff?
Maybe, just maybe, we’d discover the most important stuff of all.
My friend, Ruth Soukup, has graciously offered to give away two copies of her beautiful, practical book, Unstufffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind and Soul to a couple of you today.
I know Ruth. I love her heart behind this great book.
I love that she lives it, but even more that she shows us how to get rid of stuff and teach our children the value of living unstuffed.
If you share a comment, you’ll be entered in the giveaway.
You can read it, and then pass it on to someone else.
Find out more about Ruth Soukup at Unstuffed.