The Stuff in Our Closets

June 1, 2020
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If someone peeked inside this mobile home's overflowing closets, they might wonder why stuff crams every corner. The answer is revealing. Gone-to-glory relatives leave stuff behind, like old family photos, to become the flotsam and jetsam that jam our closets and cupboards. Some stuff is still usable and so it remains in the cupboards. But is it needed? Probably not. I say "stuff" because I have no better word!

Ah, but the memories attached to things can cause us to keep them. It seems almost traitorous to dispose of such stuff. How can we remove it from our lives when it came from someone dear to us? Even though, or especially because, that person is long gone to glory, we find it tough to part with what they gave us. It's as if we are disrespecting them by parting with the item.

So what can be done with all our stuff? Lord willing, our plan might be to hold a family get together when the COVID-19 isolation is over, a "pick-through-Mom's-stuff-event", giving the kids first dibs on what they want. Then, the remainder of our excess stuff might be donated to a church yard sale or a charity.

There are some steps that may help us to cope when the memories associated with a particular item cause us to refuse to let it go. When we must face such decisions, to help us in this process, our Lord's words apply:

Matthew 6:19-21 – Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NRSV)

As we ponder paring down our stuff, especially while we have time during this COVID-19 lockdown, what comes to mind is guarding our hearts by making God the focal point of the decision-making process. We need to ask Him for guidance as we take these next three steps. First, decide where to donate the item. Second, decide whether we should hold a yard sale and when. Third, decide whether to place what remains in the trash bin or to take it to a recycle centre.

Dear friends, only God can free us from our captivity to stuff and bless us with the freedom that His loving grace provides.

Prayer: Almighty God, You created all that exists. We're asking for direction to deal with everything that You've given into our care so that it may continue to be useful to others after You've called us home, for we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.


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About the author:

Cassandra Wessel <casswessel4319@gmail.com>
Tionesta, Pennsylvania, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for sharing, Cass.


    Thanks for sharing Cassandra. God’s blessings.


    Amen Cass. Have a wonderful week.
    Blessings.


    Just finished doing exactly what you prescribe, Cass. Feels wonderful! God is in it. Love to you on the journey.


    Sandy,
    Thank you for your thoughts. I have to do some gutting out here. Just don’t know where to start.
    Blessings.


    Good morning Cassandra. I can so relate to your message today. I have so much stuff that to me are treasures (record collections, photo albums, trinkets) that to me are treasures, that someday my children will just donate or throughout.
    It has crossed my mind to start getting rid of my treasures while I am still here.


    Very timely and appropriate, Cass. Thank you.
    May the protests and rioting come to an end so no more injury and damage occurs and may George Floyd’s family and friends receive the love and support they need in their grief.
    Stay Safe and Stay Healthy.
    God Bless and be with you.


    Hi
    Thank you so very much for your spiritual lesson today. I am moving, I hope for the last time, to a senior’s apartment building and have also a ton of things to go through and get rid of.
    I have prayed that God will give me the strength to do with a right attitude with the Holy Spirit guiding me.


    My father was a hoarder and when my husband and I inherited the cottage that he built (which is now our home), we had a LOT of “stuff” to get rid of. Consequently, I am now the opposite. I get rid of things very easily, especially now as I get older, because I don’t want to leave it for my kids to have to do. Good luck as you go through your things. Blessings and stay safe.


    Thanks Cassandra, for today’s submission.
    It’s very enjoyable thoughts, and very practical in dealing with the leavings of those that have passed on.
    We all are facing those times, and one day our children will do the same.
    It’s enjoyable to read your sharing over the years.
    Keep on sharing, and may you be blessed always,
    (Quebec)


    Greetings Cassandra,
    Thank you for this most timely devotional. I’m sure so many of us are going through closets and cupboards at this “time on our hands” current situation. May our ever present and loving Lord guide us and really remind us that our real treasure awaits us in Heaven. May His name be praised!
    Blessings for this special writing you have submitted.
    (B.C.)


    I have a friend with trailer loads of stuff. It has cost her dearly in storage. The only child of only children, all her life is bound up in the stuff she has kept. Try as I might, I have not been successful in helping her see how it is hindering her life. I’m afraid her only child will inherit the stuff and it will be an anchor around his soul also. I may suggest that she take photos of the stuff before she lets it go to auction or goodwill. It can remind her of her loved ones and the life she has had. Me, I have diaries. Boxes of books. Not taking up a lot of room, but some day They will go. Meantime I have started a book. My testimony to God’s faithfulness, patience, mercy and grace and love. Maybe then I shall say goodbye to the books as well. Thank you for jogging my thinking. I may send your devotion to her. Bless you.


    I remember being told once, all the things we accumulate in our lives, and value, when we pass on, becomes someone else’s problem, “What are we going to do with grandpa’s “stuff”?
    Best to deal with it now!


    Thanks for the good advice, Cassandra.
    May God guide us in knowing what to keep and what to pass on.

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