Monday, May 08, 2017

Decluttering Your Life by Steph Beth Nickel

Have you ever signed up for an online challenge because you thought it sounded interesting or because you thought it might be the nudge in the right direction that you needed, the kick in the backside so to speak?

That was my reason for signing up for Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Bible Study challenge. It sounded intriguing: getting rid of excess stuff and exploring the spiritual implications of doing so.

Take Up a Challenge

While I don’t typically give up something for Lent, this challenge involved tossing or re-homing at least 10 items per day, 6 days per week. Almost 400 items gone in 40 days. It sounded great to me. Plus, I knew I could achieve that goal by tackling nothing more than my bookshelves.

Within the first week and a half, I had boxed up approximately that many books and magazines and made several trips to the library to drop them off. I also took a number of trips to the local thrift store with boxes or household items and bags of clothes.

I discovered open space within our home that we hadn’t had in years. Plus, I was finding spots to put away items that had sat out for … wait for it … yes, years. One family member teased they were going from being uncomfortable in cramped spaces to being uncomfortable in open ones.

Be Open to Surprising Revelations

The transformation within our home is evident even though I still have a long way to go. But it’s the transformation within my mind and heart that have been the most surprising.

Kathi Lipp doesn’t merely tack on spiritual meaning to our clutter. She shines a light on the whys and wherefores. She does it as one who has “been there, done that.”

Why do we accumulate stuff we don’t need? Why do we keep it? What are the benefits of leading a clutter free lifestyle?

Celebrate Victories and Don't Let Setbacks Discourage You

As an extrovert, I do best when surrounded by community. The closed Facebook group for the clutter free challenge soon became one of my favourites. Here we were safe to confess our struggles and celebrate our victories. Courageous souls posted before and after pictures, knowing they wouldn’t be judged, criticized, or condemned. And because it was a Bible study, we got to explore the changes within our hearts and minds, not just our homes.

Narrow your Focus

In the midst of our current responsibilities and the multitude of intriguing opportunities that pique our curiosity, we have to choose which to pursue at any given time.

What the Lord revealed to me during Lent about my stuff and myself have become pivotal for the present and the future. It is my desire to live a clutter free life; ultimately, pursuing only those things He has for me.

Have you had a life-changing realization lately? I’d love to hear about it.  


fudge4ever said...

I think I need to take this course, Steph! My life is cluttered with too many email subscriptions, too many projects and hobbies, too many people that I jump in and help and then realize I'm over my head - all this in addition to too much stuff!! I am going to look up this study - one more study - but I think this will be the one I really need! Thanks for sharing!
Pam M.

Peter Black said...

Congratulations Steph! Wow! You've taken hold of this decluttering theme - or perhaps the spirit of it has taken hold of you. Thanks for sharing the update, though. Hmm, it's likely to germinate and take root in some ready ground - Pam indicating signs of that already! And just maybe I'm not a lost case yet, myself. ~~+~~

Glynis said...

Well this is twice in one day you 'talk' to me about this de-cluttering study, Miss Steph. Is there a message, perhaps for me? Thank goodness we just had a garage sale! :) My problem lies with things my children, my students, my momma, my dad, my ... (you get the picture) have given me over the years. How can I possibly get rid of it. And don't even get me started with the Rubbermaids filled with memorabilia and clippings from 40 years of marriage and motherhood! Sigh.

Glad you were able to learn and grow, though, through this study. My time will come. :)

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