Wednesday, March 23, 2011

He must become greater than my stuff

I am not giving up anything for Lent this year.
Instead I am giving away.

It is my goal that in the 40 days of Lent I will have 40 bags of usable goods to give away or more probable, 20 bags of usable goods and 20 bags full of trash. Regardless of whether it be trash or treasure, 40 bags of stuff will be leaving my humble abode.
In my home are eleven rooms, seven closets, one basement and an enclosed front porch. In each one of these spaces is stuff. Stuff I love and a lot of stuff I don’t.
It is now spring and I’ve got that itch for some spring cleaning. Unfortunately, I don’t quite have the drive.
I need a reason.
Something to push me to proceed.
I found it—40 Bags in 40 Days.
The challenge is quite simple- you clear your home of 40 bags of stuff; stuff you don’t love, don’t need and don’t use, plus a few bags of useless stuff, trash and debris. The stuff that’s trash gets put out for garbage pick-up and the stuff that could be someone else’s treasure gets packed in the car and hauled to places like Goodwill, Salvation Army and similar local stores/charities.
This challenge intrigued me. I didn’t come up with it on my own. I found it online one day while I was wandering off on one of my rabbit trails that I’m so very fond of following even though I really do not have the time… Google 40 Bags in 40 Days and you’ll come up with a great list that gives you the general idea. Here’s one to get you started.
I let the idea percolate in my mind and on my heart for a few days… prayed on it, thought on it some more, checked the on-hand status of small, medium, large and extra large trash bags and decided to give it a trial run.
So I cranked up some praise music, grabbed the big black bags and tackled the project of cleaning my drawers.
My dresser drawers.
One Hour Later….
4 bags to give away
1 bag to throw away
And a much neater dresser with drawers that all actually shut.
5 bags
in one hour
I figured this was quite doable.
To make the time spent doing this wonderous challenge so much more than worthwhile--- I decided on mixing it up with some praise and worship and some prayer time. While I purged, stuffed and hauled three bags out of Mr. Conductor's room I prayed for this little boy who daily lights up my life in ways I could never have ever dreamed possible or to have ever known/thought that I was missing things before him-- all-boy and all-him that are truly wonderful ordinary everyday miracles.... I prayed for him to remain close to God all his days. I prayed for his future- including his wife and children. I prayed for foundations and faith and work ethic and courage and integrity and steadfastness and real joy and so much much more.
When I was cleaning out my drawers I was singing, humming and fling-boogieing to some great worship music. I was raising the praise and feeling like I was hanging out with my Jesus. 
These 40 bags I'm collecting-- which in all honesty, are (all that are non-trash) currently residing in the hall and on the porch… are the symbols of all that clutters my life, sucks up my free time and keeps me from meaningful, quality quiet time with God. I’m streamlining my home and streamlining me at the same time. I am finding this de-cluttering time to be wonderful worship time. I’m using this time to grow closer to God in ways I never really did when I chose to fast from something during Lent.
By my seriously conservative estimates, I am quite sure I have more than 40 bags of stuff to get out of my life. This is just a good start. 
No, I’m not giving up, I’m giving away. Giving away burdensome clutter and useless bric-a-brac; letting go of needless things and filling my life with more simplicity and deeper worship.
By getting rid of my stuff, I’m making more room for God in my life. I like to think of it like this- I’m cleaning house spiritually while cleaning house physically.

John had it right when he stated, 

“He must become greater; 
I must become less.” 
John 3:30

Less of me and my stuff
More of Him--- of His greatness and His Great Stuff
As for me, Lent isn’t about what I am or am not giving up this year, it’s not even about what I’m giving away; it’s about what I am gaining and growing in the giving.  It’s all about Him.

>>>>>> More 40 Bags in 40 Days:

2012: Year Two

& A little post about a different kind of Spring Cleaning


  1. Awesome idea! I love this post!

  2. Wow, I already feel inspired. Wonder if my husband would go along with this. I did my son's room three weeks ago and got 5 bags there - mostly worn out, stained up, wadded up, half moldy garbage stuff, and a bag or two of stuff worthy of handing down to someone else.

    Thanks for the inspiration and the well written post.

  3. I am here from Ann’s. I know it’s Sunday, but I read the Grateful lists until Saturday with the weekends left for Walk with Him Wednesday. And so, here I am

    40 bags in 40 days – what an awesome project. Even though it’s not your “idea” YOU are implementing it – so it’s yours now!! And what you wrote, that what you’re collecting are “symbols of all that clutters my life, sucks up my free time and keeps me from meaningful, quality quiet time with God.” Amen. I won’t have 40 bags – but I will do this today. I’ll settle for two bags.

    God Bless and keep you
    May His face shine upon you…
    and all of yours.

  4. P.S. the more I read you - the more I know why I read you :)



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