When we moved four months ago, I thought that I had relentlessly given away a ridiculous amount of stuff. We made trip after trip after trip to the Goodwill, dropping off a car full of things I used to treasure each time. Yet, when we finally closed on the purchase of our new to us house and I began to unpack, I surprisingly found more stuff to get rid of. A shelving unit that used to fit in the entry of our former home didn't look right in this house. Old nightstands were no longer needed in our new bedroom. And what was I thinking keeping sweaters that I haven't worn in years? Did I really want to keep those stilettos? They may still be cute and fashionable, but gosh, they sure aren't comfortable.
On a recent trip to Costo, I picked up Marie Kondo's book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I still haven't read all of it, but in leafing through it, I saw that one of her criteria for keeping something is, "does it still give you joy?". After reading that sentence, I realized that I was keeping some things that, in actuality, brought me pain. While some of the objects were lovely things that I liked, they were gifts from someone who is no longer in my life, someone who left my life in a painful way. So, I made my way to the thrift store one more time, and this time I let go of a lot more than just some physical junk.
What Marie Kondo's book is to tidying up your home, Priscilla Shirer's book, Fervent, has been to the cleaning up of my heart. I'm not just leafing through this one. I'm reading, underlining, praying, then going back and rereading and praying some more. Yesterday, my whole prayer time was spent praying through the chapter on "Your Hurts-Turning Bitterness to Forgiveness". In our church, I do a whole lot of ministry in the area of counseling and inner healing. I've got a lot of experience helping others work through forgiving and letting go of bitterness. In my housekeeping, I do a deep cleaning and purge before the holidays and again in the spring. Similarly, I'm pretty good at doing regular soul maintenance. Yet, our move revealed that in spite of my bi-annual cleanings, I still had too much junk. Then, Marie Kondo's book revealed a whole new layer of things I needed to get rid of. Likewise, this move into 2016, the year God gave me the word LISTEN as my word for the year, He has been speaking to me and showing me that there's still stuff in my heart to get rid of, a whole new layer of junk. Both Marie's book on physical house cleaning and the spiritual house cleaning Priscilla mentions in her book, indicate that you have to be willing to be ruthless and relentless in getting rid of the junk. I'm willing and ready to do just that, both in my home and in my heart.