There is a dream I come back to. When I was in late high school, I dreamt that my home was on fire and everything was burning. As I left the house I grabbed my Bible and nothing else. We lived, but none of our other possessions made it.
I come back to this dream because it represents how I want to feel about my life. I love decluttering and do not tend to be sentimental about many physical items, but there is a motivation there too: if Jesus called me away, could I happily leave everything material item behind?
The amount of items that make their way from overstuffed secondhand shops to landfills is astonishingly high. I am not talking about this from a sustainable perspective, but from one that allows us to ask ourselves: why did I have these items in the first place? Why do I buy so much when I don’t lack much at all?
Some is reasonable, of course – broken or worn items, toys you grow out of, downsizing. But how much was unnecessary to begin with?
I am speaking to myself here! I love decluttering, but I also love buying! I need to remind myself that getting rid of something and having a space does not mean it needs to be refilled.
This past year I’ve loved borrowing books from my family; it’s a way for me to read something new, and usually helpful, without spending more money. While I worked at a bookshop I tried to be mindful but I still found myself buying books fairly regularly. While there was a discount, many have since been donated which shows I could have just as easily borrowed them from a library or tried to find them online.
Something else that has helped me is feeling more comfortable in my style of clothing, which has cut down on buying a jumper just because it’s nice. While there are lots of nice jumpers out there (the new knitted ones of this season have tempted me!), I have a few great staples that I happily invested in, and now don’t feel like I need to rush out and buy another ten poorly made ones that won’t last three months.
So many of the books I have read this year point to contentment… being faithful with what we have and not comparing ourselves to others… surrendering what we do have to the Lord. It is a lesson I am constantly learning, but I feel so clearly that God has been teaching me to trust Him with what He has, or hasn’t, given me. And being servant hearted with what I do have. It’s such a relief to know we can trust Him with what is in our lives at any moment, knowing that He has given it to us.
I am so blessed to be working again after being unemployed from October last year until March this year. While I don’t need to think about spending in the same way, it is still important for me to be wise with what I have. And to feel so thankful when I find a little gift for my room, like a pretty photo frame, and feel like God has sent it to me as a small joy.
I pray to always remember His goodness in all that I have, no matter what I have.