It's the end of September in the year 2007. My twins are 5 years old and I had just started to homeschool them. These are the days that brought a lot of laughter with some of the crazy things my son with autism and ADHD would do. One day when we went to OT, Sage "magically" turned himself from fully dressed for the day, to being all decked out with footless zip-up pajamas and no socks. He had managed to undress his top layer of street clothes to reveal his jammies underneath, during our ride in!
So on another day (September 30, 2007 to be exact) as we arrived to OT, without warning Sage burst tears like he'd loss a best friend, it was quite alarming.
What had happened? He was fine on our way in!
He wasn't all that verbal when he was 5, he spoke in irregularly constructed sentence that contained around 5-6 words, with reversed pronouns most of the time, and that was after taking a lot of time to think about what he was trying to say. (We were super proud of him though, because this was miraculous progress from when he was 3 1/2 and still didn't have words besides the names of letters, colors and numbers!)
"Sage, what is the matter?"
"September 2007-- is gone forever!"
"Yes, tomorrow is October 1st, and we will have a whole new month. But today is the last day of September."
I was shocked. I never would have known the end of a month could be so traumatic for a Kindergartener.
We all know that goodbyes can be hard, especially when it means saying goodbye to a dearly loved person. But I have come to realize that a lot of us also have trouble saying goodbye to things like calendars, or...
Clutter, to be exact.
We start new projects but don't finish them because "one day..." (you know, the day that never happens!) and the project becomes part of the clutter.
We want to learn a new craft, like beading bookmarks, for example, but find most of the time the toddler spills the beads all over the house and you don't really have time to do that, anyway. It just wasn't for
me you. Instead of giving away the kit to someone who would like to do it, we put it on the shelf (the one filling up with clutter) for "one day".
The bookshelves are cluttered full of books you loved to read in college, combined with the parenting books you desperately read when you had children, added to the children's books you now accumulate next to everyone else's books that they have had since the day they were born!
There is only so much space to hold our clutter. And sometimes, we just have to learn to say goodbye to our stuff, like my Sage had to say goodbye to September 2007.
When it comes to some things: the things we spent a lot of money on, the things we used to LOVE to do but don't do anymore, the things we really wanted to try but never seem to find the time, it can be hard.
When we walk by this meaningful stuff it yells out to us like the toys in Toy Story:
"You still need to try me!"
"Don't forget about all the fun I promised to give you!"
"Remember the awesome stories in my pages!"
You know, if you take those things out of the house, the stop yelling at you.
They have no right to talk to you like that anyway, their time is done --and that is what they are afraid of-- your goodbye.
You are worth more than that. You have important things you are doing now. The clutter is taking time and energy away from doing those things you are called to be doing in the present.
It's time to put a stop to it. We are worth so much more than the stuff lets us believe. The things we buy or collect won't give us any security. In fact, it makes us insecure. But the God who bought us with the price of His Son gives us all the security we need to live the life He planned for us.
As Kathi Lipp says in her book, Clutter Free, "And that's the problem: there is just too much--too many opportunities, too many projects, too many plans. And unless we let some of them go, we will never have the room for the life we are supposed to live."
Who knew such profound words could be written about clutter!
You can learn more about Kathi and her book on her website by clicking here.
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