January 8, 2014

SNOW DAY! (a.k.a. Project "Hoardery Be-Gone!")

If this year's "Polar Vortex" has rendered you house-bound for the last few days, you are not alone. The start of 2014 has blasted many states with sub-zero temps and inches (upon inches!) of snow accumulation. 

Of course, with snow and cold come SNOW DAYS. 

My husband is a teacher, so snow days greatly affect his work. Since I counsel youth and families through a community mental health center, snow days affect my schedule as well. So with 3 days of indoor time under our belts, we have gotten both "a lot" and "not so much" accomplished at the same time.

On one hand, all outside work came to a screeching halt. On the other, inside work (an oft-neglected beast) became the focus.

One thing I have striven to do in our Indiana igloo has been accomplished: the decluttering and organization of our spare bedroom. For the past two-and-a-half years of wedded bliss, my boxes, bags, and assorted hoardery has dominated that space. 32 years of singledom will afford you much junk...at least, if you embody the pack-rat genes that I do.

But over the past month, I have been reading Jen Hatmaker's 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess and its accompanying workbook. I downloaded the book to my Kindle app quite a while ago, but I didn't began reading it till our ladies' small group at church decided to use it for the current semester.

As a part of my guest-room-snow-day-winter-cleaning extravaganza, I attempted to tackle two of the seven areas in the book: clothing and possessions [nay, three - as "stress" is another area I've yet to read about but I know my clutter provokes]. Two bags of trash, two sacks for Goodwill, and a tote for youth group girls later - I was finished. At least for now. Cue the music:  "We've Only Just Begun" to cleeeeeeeaaaan... 

Why is it that we hold on to so much crap? More pointedly, why do I?

At times, it comes from a place of comfort...at times, from a place of control. But more often than not, the "clutter" of excess items becomes an albatross around the neck of those to whom they belong. And we begin to value our "stuff" more than we value the blessings God can bring if we'd only clear it away.

Here are just a few of the many blessings I see on our horizon:

1) The freedom of walking into my house knowing that I have one less undone project on my shoulders.
2) The excitement of reapportioning the space for little ones that will enter our family in the future.
3) The joy of seeing younger girls wearing my hand-me-downs that they need much more than I [especially being that I will not get back into those sizes except through means of personal famine!].

So what have you been up to during this year's snowpocalypse? Is there any plow (other than a snowplow) that you've been putting your hand to in regards to progress and change? If so, be encouraged. Blessings lie just beyond that next rise!

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