Wednesday, February 13, 2013

40 Bags in 40 Days Year Three: Lightening my Load

In 2011, I had an epiphany about Lent.
Instead of giving something up and forgetting I gave it up and slipping and giving in, I decided to do something radically different.

Instead of giving something up, I decided to get rid of something.
A lot of somethings.

And thus began the adventure of 40 Bags in 40 Days.
You can read about it right here.... I started that epiphany post with these words:

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

We estimated that we took approximately 80 bags out of our house that year. Some went to Goodwill, some (clothing) were passed on to friends and some went straight into the trash.

In 2012, I continued the tradition and Mr. Steady hopped on board.
While I was sifting through the house, he decided to tackle the garage. We filled more than bags last year; we moved boxes upon boxes of stuff! We took advantage of our little town’s free dump day and filled our front yard with stuff, stuff and more stuff to be carted away. I was slightly ashamed that we hauled out even more stuff than we had the year before. Where were we keeping all this stuff?!
[And that didn’t include the 8 boxes of Christmas stuffed we’d hauled off to Goodwill in December 2011.]

Every time we do this I feel lighter afterward. Watching the physical weightiness of our life get hauled off does wonders for my disposition.

And so this year marks the 3rd Annual 40 Bags in 40 Days.
I still live in the same house with the same eleven rooms, seven closets, one basement and an enclosed front porch. Part of me is ashamed to say that I still probably, without much doubt, have forty bags worth of stuff that needs to get the boot. And part of me realizes that God’s been doing a work on me since we started this in 2011 and He has helped me to see my stuff, the quality and quantity of it, doesn’t define me and is not all necessary. We truly can live without a lot of the stuff we have. Don’t get me wrong, I love my timesaving gadgets and gizmos. I love pretty pillows that match my decor and all these books upon books upon books we have around here and I don’t think I could ever give away a blue Mason jar…. But I’m learning bit by bit to hold my stuff a little more loosely and to give it away a little more freely. Oh, I’m still selfish by far, but this is a process and I’m in the process of it.


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