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Archive for the tag “uncluttered”

Christmas Uncluttered Day 9 & 10

And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good. 2 Thessalonians 3:13

Clearly I missed you all on days 9 & 10 BUT our family did not miss adding items to the “give away” box. With the busy schedules and events of the Christmas season, I found myself exhausted. My daughter and I fell asleep watching TV together on day 9 (can’t blog with my eyes shut.) and after a full day of work and kid activities on day 10, I thought it in everyone’s best interest to wait and write to you this morning.

We have now added 330 items to our “give away” pile! The pile is growing so tall and wide that it has literally taken over the kitchen. Although already overwhelming, my goal is to organize and move it to the laundry room (this weekend) so that we at least don’t continue to fall over it.

Only 10 days in and we are exhausted. My family is exhausted hearing from the “Donation Nazi” (me), I am exhausted reminding them to put their items in the box, and we are all growing weary every time we look at the rapidly expanding pile staring us in the face every time we walk through the kitchen.

As we were driving home from school this week, the kids calculated how many items we would give away by Christmas Day and were shocked at the thought of it (of course, I already knew the final count and had to laugh at their facial expressions). “We will have nothing left!” My response? “Exactly! Isn’t that awesome?”

No matter how exhausting this journey is, I know that it’s for good. There are other families out there who have nothing and will be so grateful to receive our “give away” items. In fact, as much as I hate to admit it, they are going to receive brand new items. You know, the ones that have never been opened, are still in the box, still have the tag, or were only used one time.

I hope I’m not alone in this life of excess. I pray you too will join us on this journey if you haven’t already. It’s challenging but we will not grow weary in doing good.

Merry Christmas,

Paige

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Christmas Uncluttered Day 8

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

Today I’m dragging from lack of enthusiasm with our family project. I found myself going to each family member’s room and asking for their items for the “give away” box. Clearly they’re over Christmas Uncluttered. I was even referred to as the “Donation Nazi” (but they all still participated and slowly added their items to the “give away” box).

Once today’s effort was complete, we stood around the overwhelming pile of items while complaints were shot at me about how this project is taking over the kitchen! I proceeded to let everyone know that I would move it to the laundry room before the weekend. Wouldn’t you know, the response was, “How can you do that, the laundry room already looks like this?”

This journey is so eye opening! We want so many things and then when we have them they become distracting, in our way, and causing affliction in our lives. Call me what you wish but I’m certain if we are joyful in our hope of God, patient in affliction from others, and faithful in our prayer life, God will take care of it.

I’m so grateful for Christ’s love and protection.

Merry Christmas!

Paige

Christmas Uncluttered Day 6

Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

The “give away” box is already stuffed and overflowing! And my husband is already warning me that this activity is going to take over the kitchen. Clearly I need to find a new storage spot for our give away items. I thought about taking a picture for you but it’s really embarrassing yet quite humbling to see the excess that we have accumulated (I will post a picture eventually), especially when our family has now designated 140 items to give away in just one week!

On one hand, I am so proud of my family for participating in this Christmas activity with me. On the other hand, every where I turn I continue to see excess in our home. The majority of what we have given away is clothes but there are still clothes spilling out of every room – clothes to wash, clothes to fold, clothes to hang up, clothes to go to the dry cleaners, clothes to give away and more. Just seeing all of these clothes is exhausting but I am so thankful that God calls us to go to him for rest for our souls when we are burdened. I keep telling myself that this activity of giving this Christmas season is a good thing! And when it seems overwhelming, I know it is short lived and I am comforted by God along the way.

I hope you too are able to lean into God when you feel overwhelmed or burdened.

Merry Christmas!
Paige

Christmas Uncluttered Day 4

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

Everyone in our family continues to place items in the “give away” box each day and each day they are more interested in putting items in the box (and some wanting to put more in the box than is requested for the day). In fact, two of our three teens have begun the long process of cleaning their rooms and starting a pile of items to give away each day. I’ve never seen so many clothes!

I started Christmas shopping today and found myself struggling with conviction as it was difficult to make sense of giving away our possessions yet replacing them with new things. Are we defeating the purpose?

Jesus demands, in Matthew 6:19-21, that his disciples give their full allegiance and devotion to God (“Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven”) rather than to the accumulation of wealth (treasures on earth). He gives three reasons for this admonition: (1) material things offer no security, since they are themselves susceptible to destruction. (2) the quality of personal character (the heart) is determined by the object of commitment and devotion (3) the attempt to divide allegiance between God and money is doomed to failure; it can lead only to self-deception and the despising of God.

Christmas is already becoming more meaningful as I consider Jesus’ demands to give all of ourselves and consider – the treasures stored up on earth vs. treasurers stored in heaven.

I pray you too are experiencing a meaningful Christmas and remembering our eternal treasured.!

Blessings,

Paige

Christmas Uncluttered Day 3

The king is pleased with words from righteous lips; he loves those who speak honestly. Proverbs 16:13

The joy of parenting – especially when we see the fruits of our labor! Day 3 was a day of honesty in more than one way from the same teen in our family. Not that others in our family aren’t honest but today was a special day. This morning, on the way to school, he humbly and honestly admits (without my prompting), that he forgot to put his items in the “give away” box last night but will make sure he gets them into the box after school. Gotta love it! How many times have we talked to our kids about the importance of honesty (and many other important character traits critical for excelling in life)? Just like the king, we parents are pleased with words of honesty. And what a blessing to witness when one of our kids “get it.”

Then tonight, as I was searching for my Christmas Uncluttered items, I found myself struggling to depart with a few sentimental accessories. Luckily my humble and honest teen was standing next to me and provided a gentle and honest “No, you shouldn’t wear that…,” followed by a silent look on his face of “…ever!” Before thinking about these items further, I quickly pushed them deep down into the bottom of the “give away” box so that I wouldn’t see them and be tempted to pull them back out. It’s only Day 3 and I’m already a bit anxious to say the least! If I’m sentimental and struggling to give away three items, how will I give away 325? Maybe today’s scripture should have been “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I’m sure I will recall this verse often in order to get through the next 21 days.

I hope you too experience the fruits of parenting and the humble honesty our kids can bring us. Join our family on this journey to a Christmas Uncluttered! Clearly we are beginning to receive as much as we give.

Merry Christmas!

Paige

Christmas Uncluttered Day 2

Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2

Hmm, Day 2 was interesting. Items are starting to show up in the “give away” box that one person doesn’t want and another person says, “Wait, I might want that!” What?!? Now we want to trade? On top of that, big brother is trying to donate little sister’s toys! I, on the other hand, am a purger by nature and find myself in need of giving all of my 325 items away today. Waiting, and only giving the correct number of items each day, is helping me to wait with anticipation and remember the reason for the season, the coming of the Christ child.

Just like the captive people of Israel who were permitted to return to their country, we too have been held captive my material possessions. But this family activity is giving our family the opportunity to talk, laugh and play together more often which is showing the great things God has done and is doing for us.

If you are joining us on this journey, I hope you too are experiencing the same.

Merry Christmas!

Paige

Christmas Uncluttered

Every Christmas I try to get creative and think of something meaningful for my family to do. One year, we participated in random acts of kindness by doing things like purchasing a cup of coffee or something special for a friend, or by paying for the person behind us in the fast food drive-through. Another year, we read a book called The Christmas Jar and have been saving change to give to someone in need (I’ve been told that we’re using too big of a jar because it’s taking so long to fill it!). We will get that one done one of these days…Each year is lots of fun and keeps the Christmas season exciting!

That brings me to this year’s meaningful Christmas activity. I decided (just yesterday because that’s how I roll with them) that our family was going to unclutter our lives and embrace the power of giving rather than receiving as we create more room to wait, hope, expect, and prepare ourselves for the birth of Jesus.

This year (starting today), we are giving items (clothes, shoes, toys, etc.) away each day through Christmas Day. For example, December 1, each person will give away one item, December 2, each person will give away two items, and so on. Christmas Day, each of us will give away 25 items. Of course, my husband (the math guy), asks where we will put all of this stuff. “Minor detail” I tell him. Although, his question peaked my curiosity to figure out how many items that would be by Christmas Day. Don’t tell my kids but each of us will have given away 325 items by Christmas Day! And with a family if five, that is 1,625 items that we will have given to someone in need and in turn uncluttered Christmas!

I hope you will join us on our journey to a Christmas Uncluttered. My “give away” box is in the kitchen and already collecting items. It’s going to be so exciting to see what each person chooses to give away each day!

I will keep you posted.

Merry Christmas! Paige

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