Useful. Beautiful. Joyful.

I like to shop.  I like to buy things – especially on clearance.  I like to think of moving things around in my house or buying new things for my house to make it prettier or more functional or whatever.  A lot of people do the same, right?

But lately that part of myself has been in conflict with the other part of myself – the part of me that craves simplicity, cleanliness, more money to give elsewhere.  Months ago Matt and I began to scour our house for things we didn’t really need any more.  We got rid of a ton of stuff (possibly a literal TON of things).  We sold them all at a yard sale over Memorial Day weekend, and made a good deal of money from it all.  It was a very successful purge and sale!

So someone tell me why I still feel like I’m surrounded by my things?  Why do I feel like I have another purge coming on?

I follow Paulo Coelho on Twitter.  Many years ago I read and loved his book “By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept” and I have a few other books by him that I want to read.  He tweets really insightful things, and I have enjoyed following him.  Last week he tweeted this:

Oh how that has been resonating with me lately!  I think it’s time to go through my house and REALLY get rid of things I don’t find useful, beautiful or joyful.

I think the same can be said about my spiritual life as well.  How many incorrect theological beliefs, painful memories, unfounded anxieties, etc. do I hold on to that aren’t useful or beautiful or joyful?  I know too many people who have held on to pain and anger for far too long.  These things have a way of growing in our hearts and pushing out all other thoughts and memories that might be useful, beautiful or joyful.  I don’t want that for my life.  I CAN’T have that for my life.  I want to make room in my heart and mind for grace and love.  Don’t you?

How much stuff do YOU hold on to that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful?  

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>Update

>It has been 16 days since my last post. I’m so sorry to have been gone for so long! It has been a hectic time for us lately. We moved to Veedersburg on October 28th, and have been trying to get settled ever since.

Our last day at Emmanuel was very emotional. It hurts so badly to say goodbye to so many people that we love. I know we will see each other time and again, but I’m still sad to leave. One week later, we enjoyed a wonderful first Sunday at Veedersburg and Hillsboro churches. These congregations are so different from Emmanuel, but we’re thankful to be here for the next chapter in our ministry.

Moving day went very well. In 7/12 hours our movers packed our old house, drove 90 miles, had lunch and unpacked into the new house. They were SO quick! Also, these guys were polite, respectful, gentle with our belongings, and they really seemed to have fun doing a job I would hate! On top of that, they ended up charging us $500 less than they had originally estimated!!! If you’re ever in the market for a moving company, I would highly recommend Two Men and a Truck (www.twomen.com).

We have been living among cardboard boxes ever since, and I am OVER IT! We are slowly getting everything in order, but some days there just too many other things to do besides unpacking. We’ll get it done soon. I’m determined to have it totally done by Thanksgiving.

This is my first week working at home part-time. My office days on Monday and Tuesday went well, and the rest of the week I have been working here at home. I’ve spent a lot of this week getting my office set up, and I think I’m almost comfortable. I have a nice, big desk right under a window that looks into our back yard. I also have a TV in my office that somehow keeps me from stressing out! It’s nice to work at home in my PJ’s, with my kitties and hubby around. It’s also very nice to be able to eat at home three meals a day!

As good as things have been, I do have to admit that I have had a difficult time transitioning to our new town. There is next to NO shopping anywhere near here, so a simple trip to Target take hours because it’s 45 minutes away. Last week I was a total pain in the butt to Matt too – don’t worry…I apologized. I think I’m starting to realize that when I’m stressed out I get really bossy and crabby. It’s something to work on.

It’s been a crazy time here, but soon I think things will settle down. Hopefully I’ll be regular on the blog again. Peace!