These are my clothes.
That I don’t want.
Are you as nauseous about it as I was? That is more clothes than some people can even fit in their closet. I cleaned out my clothes as the last task of my week of possessions. I knew it needed it but didn’t expect it to be painful. Since we just built on our addition last year, I had already gone through my closet last Spring so I figured it couldn’t be too bad. I was wrong.
Before I even started going through my closet, I thought about the fact that we are doing a clothing week where we wear just seven things for a whole week. Why did I need hundreds of items in my closet? I usually end up wearing the same thing over and over anyway. I decided before I even started that I would be cut-throat and only keep the things I absolutely LOVED. Another blogger referred to them as “tier 1 clothing”. You only go to tier 2 when all your favorites are in the wash. Tier 1 was the only thing staying. I ran into things that I liked, things that I once loved, things I wondered why I bought and things that had been hanging in there for 10 years. No lie. I found the dress I was wearing when Scott graduated from police academy. In 2003.
I kept taking stack after stack to the garage, getting more and more disgusted with myself for keeping these clothes around. Who else could have used them better when they were more in style? Or better yet, where else could I have funneled the money in the first place?
A few of my items were beyond repair and I decided to take them out to the fire pit where Scott burned some scrap wood earlier. I couldn’t use them as rags because guess what? I had found a stack of about 20 of those when I cleaned out one of my kitchen drawers. After reading this article someone posted in the Summer of 7 Facebook page, I just couldn’t bear to add a single other thing to any trash pile. Burning them felt right.
As I was watching them burn, God just said, “That’s all those are. Ashes.” I had been investing in dust. Things that would pass away. I kept asking God why? Why do I hold on to these things? It was the same the other day with my books. I can’t let go. And I think he may have given me a glimpse.
I don’t know this for fact but could I suggest that it’s spiritual warfare? That these clenched fists around books and clothes is straight from Satan’s playbook? Yes, we have pride and selfishness that we all deal with and that’s part of the problem but I think something bigger is going on too.
I started thinking about my books and how they’re full of words and Jesus is THE WORD and how books bring me happiness and in some cases, have changed my life, even if in small ways. I think about my clothes and how happy they make me at times. And I just thought, wouldn’t it just be like Satan to convince me to hoard the very things that could help someone else? Wouldn’t he just hate it if someone else felt beautiful in that dress that made me feel beautiful ten years ago? Wouldn’t he just hate it if God spoke through Love Does or Crazy Love like He did to me? If he could just keep one more book on a shelf and one more piece of clothing in a closet, he could stop a blessing straight in its tracks.
See, I think God really, really wants us to enjoy what we have. I don’t think he wants
us me to give everything away. I’ve struggled with that. I really have. But I’m convinced that he’s gracious and he blesses us with things that we love and are grateful for and give him glory for. But there comes a time when a blessing becomes a burden. Some blessings are not meant to be kept but to be given to another when the time is right. And when God blesses us with something and then we’re not enjoying any more and aren’t grateful for it anymore, it’s time for it to go. Seriously, if you can’t look at that book on your shelf and say God, I know you have this book in my life for just a special time and I’m SO GRATEFUL that it’s in my house, it should go. And if we can’t see it as a blessing from God in the first place, we’re missing the boat altogether.
And God in his very ironic, funny, HILARIOUS timing made the girls’ devotion tonight about guess what? POSSESSIONS. When I opened up the devotion book I literally laughed out loud and yelled at God “YOU’RE SO FUNNY”. I think the girls thought I’d lost my mind.
The title was “God Wants You to Share”. Ha. Hahaha. The short devotion was explaining what possessions are and simply saying we shouldn’t be stingy and share. But the verses. The WORD. I want to finish this post by sharing the verses that accompanied the devotion because by the end of those, I was crying. If these don’t confirm all that I just spewed up there, I just don’t know what else will.
“I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you. ”
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
1 Timothy 6:17-18
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
Read more posts about possessions from The Summer of 7…