When Taking Away Adds More to Your Life

April 9, 2014

When you first get married you are blessed with housewarming gifts. Dishes, bedding, picture frames, you name it.

Then the babies start coming. And again, you’re blessed with clothing, blankets {lots of blankets}, toys {lots and lots of toys}, etc.

What began as a new life together with your spouse, living on only love, has become a hoarders paradise. We have a hard time letting go of the memories of when we used that one blanket for our first born. Or how this is the t-shirt we got on our honeymoon. These items are like keys that unlock our memories of good times. And we don’t want to forget.


When Taking Away Adds More to Your Life


I have banker boxes filling our closets and I have labeled them “Memories.” What fills those boxes are drawings that my children have made. With a half dozen little ones that ends up being a lot of boxes. I even have a box filled with Valentine’s and love letters from my husband.



When Taking Away Adds More to Your Life

Something sad happened. When we were moving I glanced through one of the boxes. I couldn’t remember which child had drawn the picture. I couldn’t even remember the picture. Maybe it was special at the time but I had packed it away inside a box and never lifted the lid. All these boxes are doing now are eating up valuable real estate in our house.

We need to change our way of thinking. Keeping some pictures is okay. Keeping all pictures is holding onto the past and not trusting what God has planned for you.


Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

-Hebrews 12:1 ESV


Don’t let your children believe that “things” are more important than they are. They are watching. They are learning from your every move. Your children, when they are grown and are raising their own families, will not desire all those old pictures that they made when they were three years old. And we, well, we will be too busy collecting the new pictures from the grandbabies to bother with opening the old “Memories” box.

Keeping clutter around is a sin. It is not trusting Yahweh to provide for us. It is the results of coveting. It is hindering our time with our family and with others. We are so busy cleaning when we should be playing or teaching.

When Taking Away Adds More to Your Life

My husband went to Guatemala last year and I was so inspired by how these simple people live. They didn’t have closets full of clothes. No pantries that were stock full. No refrigerator that was filled with expired food.


And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

-Matthew 6:28-34 ESV


When Taking Away Adds More to Your Life


Be simple. Declutter your house. And declutter your life. I’m saying this in all love, stop signing yourself up to “help out.” Mamas, you do this all too often. Declutter your calendar so that you can fill it up with time for your family. Not times for soccer and dance. But times that you can lay on your bed with your little ones snuggled around you as you read His word out loud to them. As you venture down to that little creek and look for rocks to toss. Have that extra time at dinner where your husband will wrap his arms around you and dance with you in the kitchen as the kids look on proclaiming “ewwwww!” But secretly they’re taking notes for the future.


When Taking Away Adds More to Your Life


This is what matters. This one life. The clutter that weighs us down, that steals away precious time, it’s got to go. Let go of the “extras.” They’re keeping you from making new memories. I don’t want us to grow old and think about the “could have beens.” Let’s look back and remember the “how fun was that!” times.




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