Finally, Something I Already Do

This quest toward simple has been more than a little frustrating already!  In fact, I have to admit that as we barely enter the second month of the year, I’ve already contemplated changing my one word to NAP.

If you’ve been following along the past few Wednesdays, I’ve been sharing the controlling principles of simplicity that Richard Foster outlines in his book, Celebration of Discipline.   First, I explained why I don’t have a Mac Book {even though I’d LOVE to!}.   Then, I admitted how big my but is and had to delete a game from my Kindle.

Suffice it to say, this journey has not been what I would call fun … I’m learning all sorts of things about myself:

  1. I like stuff!
  2. I like cool stuff!
  3. I like gadget-y new stuff!
  4. I like stuff that gives me new ways to waste time!

In case you are wondering, these are not the things I had hoped to discover about myself 33 days into the new year.

So, imagine how happy I was when my apparently not-at-all-simple self read the third principle offered by Foster:

Develop a habit of giving things away.

Oh my word!  Y’all … I totally do this!! *insert a very happy “Happy Dance” here*

  • I clean out my closet at least twice a year and give what I remove to Goodwill.
  • I give away books that I believe will encourage others.
  • I go through my daughter’s toys and clothes regularly and give what I can to others who can use it and donate the rest to charity.

Suffice it to say, I was feeling mighty proud of myself … until I realized that I also:

  • Buy new clothes to replace what I’ve given away.
  • Buy new books to replace what I’ve given away.
  • Buy the girl new clothes and “stuff” to replace what I’ve given away.

Somehow, I don’t think this is exactly what this principle is intended to accomplish.   Perhaps the goal is not so much to maintain an equal amount of “stuff” but rather to diminish my possessions.    Not diminishing for the sake of diminishing but having less for the sake of understanding more.

I’m feeling a purge coming on … and hopefully some empty spaces that don’t get refilled.

How do you cultivate the habit of giving away without also developing the habit of replacing?

14 Replies to “Finally, Something I Already Do”

  1. I am far from perfect in this area too. But I keep telling myself it is just stuff. Unless I LOVE it or it is useful do i really need it? There more stuff i have the more time it takes up (cleaning, organizng, maintaing) I still have more than I need but I’m getting there.

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      It is a two steps forward, three steps back process for me, Katie! But I’m glad to hear from someone else that is on the journey! Thank you.

  2. For me, I’ve found that hording “stuff” and not being willing to part with things I don’t use is often a sign of a lack of trust in God. It’s like I’m saying, “I can’t get rid of this because I might possibly need it some day and there’s no other way for God to meet my needs in the future.” Really? Somehow I doubt that. I need to believe that giving something away, something that can actually be of use to someone else, is an act of sowing – and God will reward my generosity and willingness to be obedient to Him when my time of need arrives.
    Natalie recently posted…Cut From a Different ClothMy Profile

    1. Ugh…how ’bout “”hoarding instead of “hording”. I should just not try to do things in a hurry. 🙂
      Natalie recently posted…Cut From a Different ClothMy Profile

      1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

        🙂 I noticed but didn’t stop to think about it.

  3. I do my closet cleaning at the end of winter and at the end of summer. Stuff I know can’t be handed down to the smaller kids or will be to little the next time that season comes around is what I get rid of! As for as toys that is pretty easy and do that several times a year and reorganize their room and put toys in different places, then it starts getting played with more. Summer months are the easiest for me to get rid of toys because they are outside not worrying about toys so much!

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      I think it is easier to eliminate during the spring and summer … I find myself saving more as the weather turns cooler. Wonder why that is?

  4. This is a good reminder for me as I’m reading Organized Simplicity and planning to start going through the closets. I feel like I’m always getting rid of stuff, but there’s always more!
    Jessica recently posted…And then we were four…My Profile

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      I feel the same way, Jessica! I am constantly emptying drawers and cleaning closets … but there’s always more to be eliminated.

  5. […] I shared how growing in simple has been far more complex than I […]

  6. “Not diminishing for the sake of diminishing but having less for the sake of understanding more.” Love this!! Such an awesome principle! Thanks for linking up this week, friend!
    Rachel recently posted…Friday Feedback link-upMy Profile

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Thank you, Rachel.

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