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content with what I have

I have so much stuff. Coming home from a trip always brings that to the forefront. We have to unload into the house, and put everything away. Thats when I realize how much stuff we have. And I am not satisfied. I want the latest gadget, and everything I can afford to make my life easier. The trouble is, there is always something else I think I need. But I am realizing that nothing can give me the contentment that I have in Christ. And the more I have, the more I have to maintain.We had a friend in Michigan who used to say: "the price of ownership is maintenance." And I am so bogged down right now with maintaining, that I never have time to do the 'fun stuff.' I don't want to make a mess doing something I like, because I will have to clean it up. And cleaning that up on top of all the other things I have to clean up and maintain adds more than I am willing to do. And I have so many things to choose from. Paper crafts, sewing, cooking, writing and other things, that my mind is too cluttered to think of what to do, much less make the mess it requires to do it.And this is not even considering the time and energy it requires to maintain all this stuff. I don't want to have people over because I will have to shove all this excess somewhere, or actually find a spot for it and put it away. And I am so tired because I have to maintain so much that I cannot even imagine having new people in my house. And that is not right. We are created for relationships, and I feel I have a real gift for hospitality. But I can't use my gift when there is so much stuff that people can't get in the door.So what can I do? Repent. Thats the only solution. What does it mean to repent? Literally it means to turn around. If you find yourself going in the wrong direction, just turn around, ask forgiveness, and begin going in the right direction.I have been so convicted and convinced that this is right, that I think it is going to be easy.First, I need to purge and donate.God keeps providing me with places to donate that which I no longer wish to maintain. My clothes, shoes, purses and wearables are going to church. Things that I like the fabric but maybe not the style, if I can, I will repurpose, or recreate into something I like.Pantry items that are shelf stable will also go to the food pantry at church. There are so many people who can't afford food right now, and I can afford extra. Why do I stockpile food when the Bible clearly states: "give us THIS DAY our daily bread?" A week's worth is what we need. We have 6 people living in our home, but enough food for an army. I need to share when I go to Costco and get 3-6-12 in a pack. I will never miss it, and those who need it will appreciate it.Books are going to the hospital for their library. Homeschool stuff to the 'fire closet' for those who have had an emergency or cannot afford good books.Kitchen and misc household items will probably go to Goodwill. Or wherever God leads. But I cannot continue like this. It is driving me crazy not to have room for things. Or time for reading, writing, or playing games with my kids without feeling like I am robbing from my 'free time' for myself.Second, I need to discipline myself not to buy.The key to this lies in being satisfied in Him. I have known for a long time that when I feel sad, I shop. I am like the girl in the movie "confessions of a shopaholic", except my need is not for designer stuff, its just for something pretty, something new to me, and something that fills the void. But it never works. It just creates something for me to have to clean around, clean up or put away. God has been so faithful in this. He has been clearly showing me what it is ok to buy, and what I need to leave behind in the store for someone else. Yes, I said leave behind for someone else. Thats what I am learning: if I buy it, the person who needs it cannot have it. Even if there are 19 of the items on the shelf. If it is not for me, I need to leave it there.Also, What I have is enough. Too much, even. I cannot play with my kids, make cards for other people, and even enjoy life when it is this cluttered.God is preparing me for something. I have no idea what it is, but maybe we will be able to travel spend more time on the road when we do not have all this junk in our lives. Maybe that's not it at all. Maybe it is just to have time to let myself have fun instead of feeling like I need to work all the time. I don't know. But I do know I am excited to do this.

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