Rid Our Hearts of What Doesn't Belong

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Here we are again at the beginning of a new year.  A new year means a fresh start and like many of us that includes decluttering our homes. We pack away our Christmas decor and prepare to organize our home and get it back in order after the holiday chaos.

I had 3 glorious weeks off of work this year for Christmas and the majority of that was spent going through closets, drawers and the attic.  There was so much stuff that I had accumulated over the years.  I had a collection of things that I bought and never used, things that I bought because it was $1 at a thrift store, and things that I had held onto because I may need it one day.  Honestly, our house had gotten a little out of control.  Our bonus room floor was completely covered and walking through it was like navigating through a mine field.  One wrong step and I could have ended up in the ER.  

The bonus room became my dumping ground for everything.  It was so easy to toss all the junk in there and close the door.  The sad part of it all is that room had been that way for months.  I knew it needed to be cleaned out but I kept putting it off.  As more time passed, the more stuff began to overtake that room. It was extremely overwhelming.  

One day I finally had enough and decided that it was time to get our house back in order.  I made 3 trips to goodwill and Charles’ hauled a truck full to the garbage dump. The sad part is that I still have more to go through.  I was amazed at how much stuff I had gotten rid of. There were things that I had been hanging onto for years because I didn’t want to let it go despite the fact that it was causing me unnecessary stress.

When we accumulate so much stuff in our homes and we do not tend to it properly, it can slowly begin to overtake us.  The stuff begins to consume our homes and impact the way we live.  I wasn’t at hoarder status just yet but I was getting close.

I started to see the bonus room floor once again as I was cleaning. I could feel the anxiety and stress slowly begin to fade away.  It was so freeing not to be surrounded by so much unnecessary stuff.  You know the stuff that no longer adds value to our lives and homes.

Through the process of cleaning and decluttering our home, I realized that oftentimes we accumulate things that doesn’t belong in our hearts as well.  These things such as anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, discouragement, heartache and pain can reside in the spaces of our heart. And if not dealt with, overtime these things can begin to consume us and impact our lives.

Colossians 3:8 says that we must rid ourselves of these things. It goes onto state in verse 10 that we have taken off our old self with its practices and have put on a new self which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

Have you rid yourselves of these things?  Are you new you in this new year?  

It is not an easy decision to make letting go of things that you lived with for so long.  However, you have to ask yourself is it adding value to my life or is it causing me stress and anxiety. If it is the latter, you are going to be much better off living without it.

Those few weeks of cleaning house was hard work.  It was tiring and exhausting.  The house was a disaster and I kept reminding myself that it gets worse before it gets better. I had to make some decisions during “The Great Declutter of 2017” on what I wanted to hold onto and what I had to let go of.  Honestly, there wasn’t much that I kept. The more stuff that I eliminated from our house the better I felt inside.  It was cleansing for my soul.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me
— Psalm 51:10

And dear friend, it can be for you too. I don’t know what you may be struggling with in this new year.  Heartache, anger, discouragement or unforgiveness may have taken residence in your heart. It is up to you to make the decision to hold onto it or to let it go. Ask yourself, “at what expense is this costing my life?” If holding onto these things is costing you joy and peace, then make the decision let it go and let God take care of the rest.  The decision may not be easy and it may require some hard work, dedication and prayer but it will be worth it. Ask God to cleanse your heart, renew your spirit and begin this new year with a new you!

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