I find there are two types of people: compulsive ‘keepers’ and obsessive ‘tossers.’ Which one are you? When you have items on the counter top or clothes busting out of your closet do you have the urge to purge or do you hold on tight to your possessions?
I’m constantly sorting items that aren’t useful anymore and filtering them out of the house. Stacks of papers, mail on the counter, files on my desk, I pitch it. Clothes that don’t fit right or no longer suit my style land in the donation bin in my closet. I love the feeling of a fresh start with nothing holding you back or taking up unnecessary space. If the item carries a specific role and meaning for our family, it stays. A place and purpose for everything in my house keeps me feeling in control from my ‘mom command center.’
But have you ever thought about how did we acquire all this stuff in the first place? It seems each day our accumulation grows and our possessions can start to crowd us out. Did I really need another dress? Was it necessary to buy another throw pillow? Don’t the kids have enough toys?
However, it doesn’t stop at just physical items. I see the spill over of gluttony happening in all parts of my life. How many senseless things have I asked Alexa to spit out for me? How many late night Instagram stories have I watched through bloodshot eyes? How many times have I let another Netflix episode start in 5, 4, 3, 2…? One more book, one more event, one more goal, one more commitment…it all leaves me feeling choked out from the very things I treasure most. My health starts to take a back seat, my relationships suffer and my quiet time is overlooked. My energy is spread too thin because I’m addicted to consumption, our culture is.
Why does it feel so easy to let go of an old pair of shoes and so hard to let go of a friendship I’ve outgrown? How can I so easily donate a book that’s sat on the shelf for years but I fight giving my brain rest from social media? Why can I toss a broken toy without a second thought but rest for a run down heart feels impossible?
John 15:1-2 says, “I (Jesus) am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” Pruning hurts because saying ‘no’ is hard, creating space is difficult. God knows how hard it is to remove people, commitments and white noise from our life so He does it for us. He does it because He knows the fruit we were created to bear. God knows our plot map and our yield and loves us through all seasons and growth cycles.
God won’t allow anything if He’s not at the center of it. We serve a loving Father that so tenderly cares for His people who weren’t meant to be drowning in a sea of physical, mental and emotional ‘stuff.’
Though the process of pruning is difficult it is a worthy process. Refinement offers the best version of ourselves which we need to meet the next chapter we were planted for. Trust when the process feels like it’s coming undone it’s just really coming together.