The Joy of Purging

We are getting ready to move back to my mom’s. It was decided a week or so ago. There are MANY pros for us and just a couple of cons in doing this. The benefits are numerous!

It is so amazing to me how quickly everything can change. I thought we would be settling in here for the summer and just like that we decided no. It is a decision that came from conversations, prayer and a heart to do the right thing. A desire to follow God’s leading and let go of our plans.

My heart is longing for quiet (not the busy-ness of a RV resort in summertime!), financial breathing room and time with my family.  The husband agrees and so we go!

In prep for moving the travel trailer, I’m looking at everything and deciding if I want to bring it along for the ride. A few things didn’t make the cut and they’ve already been donated or sold.  Just as I’m seeking to lighten the load in the trailer, so my heart is lightened with every donation. Too much stuff weighs heavy on my soul. We are not meant to be so attached to our stuff! What some call treasures.

Matthew 6:19-21 comes to mind, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

I want Jesus to be my treasure, not my stuff. May I be willing to let go of anything that hinders in my relationship with Him. Why do we not take these verses literally?  What if they meant just what they say, as in not storing-collecting-hoarding a bunch of stuff?  Less can be just as filling, especially when considering that our true treasures are not things anyway. Our relationship with our LORD, family and friends are worth more than any material good!

Giving intentional effort to a financial fast is so revealing of hearts motives!  How ingrained it is to buy without too much analyzing of our hearts. What need are we trying to fill? Is it something only God can truly fill? Would this purchase help us to be a good steward of our money or other resources?  It’s all from God and we want to honor Him. Those are questions I’m attempting to answer more often.

May we be content in the LORD and have few wants!

 

Do any of the questions resonate with you? Or do you have one(s) you ask that helps guide in living intentionally?  Feel free to comment here on on Facebook!

 

 

 

 

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When God Moves You

Is there an area of your life you are seeing an invitation to adventure? What doors is God opening? Closing?

Is your heart willing to trust God’s got this? That He intends good for you?

Last year we had to move from a rental house, due to owners selling. We weren’t expecting to move! We were given 19 days’ notice that the owners were selling. Oh the emotions that rise at those words!! This wasn’t in OUR PLANS! We were settling in-why do we need to change our living situation?  This isn’t fair!! What a burden and a lot of work! I don’t want to do that work right now! God was closing a door and I didn’t want to go elsewhere.  Since I didn’t have a choice on my physical location, I got busy. But, what was my hearts home like? It had bitterness, frustration, depression, weariness inside. I needed a fresh perspective!

God had closed many doors in those  weeks. We couldn’t find a rental home or apartment that was within our price range and was a safe place to live. A friend graciously offered the use of her RV fifth wheel, for 3 weeks. We had trouble finding an rv park locally.  Then there is the issue of what to do with all our stuff?  We made a few calls and finally located a unit. (most of them were full) Where we were living and where our stuff would be were not going to be close, but you make do. We felt like we were hearing no’s every time we turned around, BUT GOD DID PROVIDE-just not as we thought!

 

Fidalgo Bay, WashingtonWhere am I seeing God in all this?

*the rv park is on the bay, it’s a beautiful area

* opportunity to rest, after moving and get settled

* He’s changing our hearts and minds to be willing to follow where He leads

* the timing of our move, right as commitments are ending and the relaxation of summer is before us

* we moved before we made several hundred dollars’ worth of purchases for that particular house we were renting. The house was on acreage and had a LOT of grass to mow, a rider was going to be purchased.

* living in an RV removes opportunity/space to fill my schedule, garage and mind w/project to do’s. It GREATLY simplifies my life!

* God prepping us for this with years of downsizing/simple living. Also, being forced to get rid of a LOT of stuff that was weighing me down, turned out to be a relief and a burden lifted.

* we can focus on what is important to us

 

Psalm 18: 16

“He sent from on high, he took me; He drew me out of many waters. “

Psalm 18: 19

“ He brought me out into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.”

 

LORD God,

Thank you for your invitations and opportunities! Thank you for your patience w/me! You are awesome, good and loving. How good it is for my soul to know that. I wish to know you and love you more each day. It is you that draws me to yourself. I am so prone to wander and insist on my way! Open my eyes to see invitations and blessings, rather than burdens. I am so glad to have your presence always with me, even when I don’t feel it. May I rest in the knowledge of your presence.   Amen

 

 

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The Freedom of letting go

journal coffee planner

I’ve started going through my old journals. The intent is to glean what lessons and experiences I could write about, and then get rid of the journals. At that point, I’ve already had the benefit that writing gives, why continue to hold on? There is freedom in letting go!

The journal I picked up was from 2009. That was a year in the middle of a few REALLY HARD years. We had family members that were struggling, many financial troubles, a small business that took time– but wasn’t providing enough to meet all our expenses, a stressful move and many other issues that I’ve since forgot. It was interesting to re-read about that year. I had forgotten a lot and was glad to see I’ve grown. Those experiences were no longer a source of stress and bitterness.

How freeing it was to realize I wasn’t going to go back to the place God had set me free from!

I’ve had healing in relationships that weren’t good then. The business that was struggling has been shut down. The LORD has provided steady income and we have way less stress.  It really felt wonderful to see the growth, let the past go and throw the papers aside, to be burnt later. I don’t want to re-read again, and certainly don’t want others to read.

God has healed and brought us far, why would I hang on to reminders of emotional pain and struggle?

A few years ago, I started a business of helping people downsize. I take their unwanted items and sell or donate them.  A lot of people don’t want to do the selling, but appreciate receiving money for the sale.couch, pillows, coffee table, living room, cat, pets, home decor

Stuff can be such a burden! I love purging and take delight in helping people to be set free!

It all started when we had a kettle corn business. We would take the crumbs from under the trays and give them to people for their chickens and/or farm animals. One of the gals that came to pick up was attempting to downsize. She had lots of stuff and didn’t know where to start. She wasn’t comfortable meeting strangers and selling her stuff. I offered to do so for her, and so it began.

My thinking was ( and is) that this is a great way to help others be set free from attachments to things. Living simple is a much-needed rejection of the world’s goal of acquiring lots of stuff and materialism.  In doing without, we have opportunity to learn contentment and to trust God’s provision of our needs.

We have value for who we are —NOT for what we own!

 

A service like this is great for those that—

  • Are ready for to clean and purge. They are done hanging onto stuff that doesn’t offer them value anymore.
  • want help to get priorities inline with their values
  • Don’t want to do the pricing, listing and sales meets
  • Don’t have time for the work of purging, but could use the financial boost
  • don’t have a vehicle to take stuff to thrift store/mission/charities for donation
  • Have physical limitations that hinder such physical work

If this interests you, feel free to contact me. I would love to help you simplify!


Luke 12:15, ” Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions. “

 

 

 

 

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Celebrating Your Age and Season

 

Do you celebrate the season you are in?

Ecclesiastes 3:1

“There is an appointed time for everything.  And there is a time for every event under heaven”

I’m wondering how you and I might best do that-celebrate life and the season we are now in.  I know an elderly woman who struggles accepting the age she is. I wonder how many of us do this? Want to be older? Or wish you were younger? Talk about the “good old days”-forgetting that when we’re in those days, they aren’t always good at the time. We tend to romanticize things in looking back.

As someone who has become an empty-nester within the last few years, this season has not been what I thought it might be like. I need to process that and allow for what God has for me, at this time. Not always easy to do.

But, God picked the day we were born. He knew what the days of our lives would look like, even before we were born. He allows everything for a purpose. This seems to be a reoccurring theme for me, I wrote about it here also


There are possibilities and opportunities right where we’re at.


As one who tree lined road-open opportunitydoesn’t have children at home, I now have more available time. What am I doing with that time? Am I honoring God in it? What opportunities to pursue? When I look at this picture  I see a road leading to opportunities. What road are you on? What lies in front of you?

For me, I have 2-3 different things I’m pursuing. One of them is writing. I want to grow as a writer. Blogging helps with that desire. I have time for learning new things.  I’m loving the time to grow in my creativity. It is amazing to me how unique and creatively God made us! We can create, learn and grow!

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

“I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor-it is the gift of God.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Deception and God’s Rescue

My heart is heavy with realizing how I’ve been deceived and strayed. I thought I was wise, a mature believer. But, if I was so wise, how come I was deceived? I thought I would not be led astray by false teaching. Surely, I can recognize New Age practices and beliefs! The deception is SO INSIDIOUS!!

I didn’t realize I was embracing false teaching. It didn’t seem like it, it seemed like these new beliefs and practices would lead me closer to God. It didn’t.


We meet the God of the Bible in the Bible, not in mystical experiences!


It makes me sad to realize others, as well, are being deceived, and don’t realize it. New Age philosophies have  infused the Church and the body isn’t seeing it. That grieves my heart.

This humbling is good for me. While painful and grievous, it’s giving me a right spirit before God. I’m feeling pretty ragged these days. I’m glad that’s not too much for God, and He comforts. He alone offers redemption.  I’m re-learning that I need to trust what I know about God and not allow experience and emotions to rule the day.

 

2 Corinthians 10:5

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ”

Hebrews 5:14

“ But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”

 

 

Bible-water-cup of coffee/tea

How am I being trained for Holiness and to discern good and evil?

Currently, that looks like the following–

–Limiting books of a spiritual nature. If I’m not going to take the time to vet out the authors beliefs, I’m not going to read their book. Too many authors are being touted as Christians, but are part of the emergent church movement or other false teaching. It doesn’t matter that the Christian community says their okay, God’s word doesn’t. I’ve had too many times of giving such people credence, no more. I don’t want to keep being deceived. The Berean Method needs to be applied.

–Allowing God to speak through the Bible, to renew my heart and mind.

–Being mindful of who I’m allowing on my social media feeds. I’ve recently cleaned house! There’s not much there anymore.

–paying attention to the red flags–breath prayers-contemplative prayer-meditation-practicing the presence-Lectio Divina.

 

I’ve been totally encouraged by God’s mercy! It is amazing to me that even when I stray, God seeks me out, rescues and comforts me. Praise God!

Hebrews 8:12

“ For I will be merciful to their iniquities and I will remember their sins no more”

I Peter 2:25

“For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls”

 

What encouragement, hope or challenge have you received from the Bible this week? Let’s encourage each other with God’s word!

 

I’ve previously talked about my experience   here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christians, Working and Mysticism

As I was reading my Bible recently,  I was struck by how much Christians are commanded to work. I keep coming across verbs for the believer.

feet in shoes-walking
ready to get moving!

We are to work and be active in the faith God is growing in us. We are called to action. Not to earn our salvation, that’s already done by Jesus; but, rather, in response to God’s call on us.

Proverbs 12:11, “ Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.”

Psalm 34:14, “ Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”

I Thessalonians 4:11-12, “ and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. “

2 Thessalonians 3:12, “ Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living”

Proverbs 31:27, “ She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

2 Timothy 2:21, “ Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work

James 2:17, “ So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

James 2: 22, “ You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works”

Psalms 90:17, “ Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!”

Proverbs 16:3, “ Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.”

Colossians 3:23-24, “ Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

 

I haven’t valued this Biblical truth enough. I was practicing contemplation and looking for God in the mystical. I didn’t realize that in practicing contemplative prayer and practices, I was adhering to new age beliefs. It greatly hindered my obedience in working. The more I focused on solitude-quiet-practicing presence of God, the less inclined I was to work. The focus on the spiritual seemed more important.  It seemed the right thing to do; but, was in fact, disobedience against God.

One of the books I noticed that was written about this topic is this one

God has given me work to do, it’s in  front of me. No need for mystical experiences. How freeing when God rescues and cleanses us free! We can go about our days, doing the work that is in front of us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Gift of Tomorrow

“I’ll see you tomorrow”,  words I heard a couple of times recently. We had traveled to Anacortes, walked on the ferry going to Orcas Island and then Friday Harbor. It was the husbands’ day off, I joined him for a day off of work and responsibilities. The people saying I’ll see you tomorrow did not have the day off. They had finished with their work shift and were leaving for the day. It got me thinking of how often we use those words, often without thinking about them.

Later, I was having lunch with a friend and we had a brief conversation about how much we do with tomorrow in mind. We put money in a retirement account, we plant a garden, we exercise, we go to work-all with tomorrow in mind. We hope to benefit from our planning and work.

I’m a planner, I get the idea of planning for tomorrow. That being said, since losing our oldest son, I’m more aware of how fragile and temporary life is. We need to hold onto our plans loosely.

We are not guaranteed tomorrow.  We are not in control of our days, as much as we like to think we are. God alone is. He alone is sovereign. Certainly we can make choices and plans, though keeping in mind, God is the one who has our days numbered and knows how many tomorrows we’ll have.

  If we wake up tomorrow and have another day, it’s a gift from the LORD.

Ecclesiastes 8:15 ESVBible & coffee cup--looking for what Bible says about tomorrow

“So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will  accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given him them under the sun.”

Proverbs 27:1 ESV

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring”

James 4:15 ESV

“Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

Are we keeping in mind the things of this Earth are fleeting? Knowing things are temporary can put life into proper perspective. We can then let go of what is not important. We are set free to enjoy and celebrate today.

How are you enjoying the gift of today?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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