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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Homemaking » Finding Room in the Box

Finding Room in the Box

 Not long ago we had a “get organized” weekend.  You know, one of those times when we try to get into closets and things and get them a bit more organized and in order.  As I was working on a box that was overflowing with books, the Holy Spirit prompted me about something and I wanted to share it with you.  This particular box was one of those Rubbermaid plastic boxes – about 2 feet tall and maybe 3 feet long.  It had set in our bathroom closet on the floor and was a catchall for everything that had no regular place to live. J  There was a multitude of different things in the box and I decided that it was time to deal with this thing.  So I brought it into my bedroom and put it on the table and began to empty it out. 

Now I must add first the feat that it was to get this box to the table.  This thing was so overflowing that I couldn’t move it without an avalanche occurring.  Things were piled so high it was like a Jenga game ready to topple at even the slightest breath and come crashing down.  How meticulously things had been balanced one on top another.  And yet it was clearly inevitable that it could not possibly maintain this ridiculous balancing act.  I even commented that the amount of effort it took for people to find a way to add another item in the box could have been much easier spent just putting the item where it belonged in the first place; a statement which, of course, was met with a round of “Oh, Mother.”

 So – after taking my life in my hands, not to mention my pour toes which were the victims of things falling out of the box I made it to the table.  One by one I began to remove the items.  As I dusted and sorted things I began to develop a little system for where things needed to go and how they could be placed.  It didn’t take long to become clear that most of the items were unnecessary to begin with.  There were several things that the girls didn’t want and so they were put in the box rather than being thrown away.

 Why?  Why didn’t they just throw them in the garbage and be done with it?  Well, because they were things that still had some use.  Like an old CD that was the type of music we no longer listen to.  It had been discovered in an old storage box in a closet and the finder felt it would be wasteful to just throw a “perfectly usable” CD in the trash. And there was half empty bottles of lotions and such from Bath and Body Works – items that had cost money- and yet the scent was so strong that it was obviously not just to soften dry skin.  Thankfully, the girls don’t desire to wear this kind of thing anymore.  They realize that this is something that a Godly young woman, seeking to walk in Holiness before her Lord and before her brothers and sisters in Christ, should not be putting on.  And yet they had at one time valued it and now just couldn’t throw it in the trash. The rest of the items in the box were things that were usable and worth a place in the home – books, notebooks, some old movies that were still decent and edifying, that sort of thing.

When I had finished emptying the box of all its contents I was ready to begin dealing with the items that were in each pile.  One pile was for usable items – these were things we would keep and they would be returned to their “home” so that they could be useful to us.  Another pile was for storage things.  These were items that needed to be kept for the future but were not needed at the moment and so they needed to be placed in the storage room down near the barn.  They had value in our lives but not for right now. And then there was the trash; the things which for whatever reason were no longer relevant or needed in our lives.  These things had been kept far past their usefulness and just needed to be gone.  These were also the items that had caused confusion in the first place.  

 I want to expound a bit on that last statement.  How had they caused confusion?  Whenever we hold on to things in our lives that have no purpose and no usefulness, they begin to take up the space, time and emotional energy that really are needed for the other things – the necessary things.  Once I had removed those unnecessary items from the box there was plenty of room for everything else including the lid!!!  But to be completely honest, once I had put everything where it needed to be, we actually didn’t even need the box anymore.

 Now just a moment to look at this in the deeper perspective:  As I was dealing with this box and all of its contents and the Holy Spirit was speaking to my heart about it, I realized that this is an analogy of our daily lives.  So often I am in contact with families that seem to be perpetually overwhelmed with life, business, situations, activities and even relationships.  The incredible thing is, so often they will bemoan and complain of all of it and yet find it so difficult to cull out those things that have become useless endeavors. You know, excuses are really the most defeating part of our lives;  all the excuses we have for not doing those things that we need to do. 

 For us, we could come up with a dozen excuses for not dealing with that box in the closet.  We fussed about it, complained, blamed and commented on how it needed to be dealt with, how it was always in the way, how irritating it was, but we would not make the effort to deal with it.  But freedom comes when one day the excuses stop and the effort is made.  And then everyone was blessed. 

 I especially want to comment on activities.  As the holidays approach, I hear of so many folks that love the celebrations but dread them because of the work and exhaustion.  I want to encourage you to not hang onto to dead and useless manmade traditions.  The freedom and peace that comes from ridding our lives of those things that ultimately are fruitless is incredible.  And allow me to say – having fruit is one thing – but if that fruit comes with worms and rotten spots and distress in the harvesting then is it really worth the effort made to have it.  Is there anything good left in that fruit?  Is it nourishing to your body, mind or spirit?


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"It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him." Lamentations 3:22-24

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