Friday, March 8, 2019

Seek Ye First

Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

It seems to be a current trend in our culture to embrace the de-cluttering and downsizing of our living space.  It's not a bad thing at all, because the hope is that by removing the distractions, the things that possess us, we can focus on what's truly important in the day to day:  Loving God and our neighbor.

Now, I'll be the first to say, that if the possessions you own don't own you, you're in good shape.  They are far from being idols that hinder your spiritual growth.  You are well on your way down the positive path of keeping Christ front and center in your life.

But organizing all that "stuff" into a neat, minute, uncluttered package?  That can present a challenge!

During a recent trip to my mother's, my husband, Danny, discovers the popular show, Tidying Up, featuring minimalist extraordinaire, Marie Kondo.  He is inspired to make some changes as to how some necessities are stored in his bureau.  So when I return home, I'm met with this:




Okay.  I get it.  But, hey!  I'm the laundry queen in our house, and now I have to learn a new method for folding clothes?  Can you teach an old dog new tricks?  Long story short, I'm adapting.  Slowly and methodically.

Because Danny means the world to me, I really want to go all out to support his efforts in reorganization.  And yes, I have to admit, this system does make sense, even if it involves extra effort on my part as you can see by the steps a rolled up T-shirt entails.






Yes, lots of steps to minimalize the space the T-shirts take up.  But you know what?  With every extra move I make, I am reminded of how much I'm blessed by Danny's love for me, and how much I love him in return.  I thank God for His blessings on our marriage, through bad times and good.  And I know it is a marriage that is made strong, and true, and solid because we both choose to seek God's kingdom first and foremost.

So, my friends, I urge you to purge the clutter from your lives, the unnecessary things that hold you hostage from knowing a full commitment to God.  Seek His kingdom and His righteousness, and all will fall into place as it should.

Amen!

28 comments:

  1. Oh my...I am getting "hit" by this decluttering theme everywhere I look, and I know it is something that I MUST address if we are EVER going to sell this house and "downsize" to a smaller one. It is just a bit overwhelming for me, so I must choose someplace to get started. We did recently clean out our bedroom closets and donated a lot of clothes to charity (and to the rag pile for our son the carpenter). But I have so much more to do, and just can't get motivated. Thank you for a little more nudging to get started....this looks like a great idea for our son's drawers...the one son who still lives with us and has WAY too many socks and t-shirts... Have a blessed weekend, and yes, Lent is a good time to start this process, both materially and spiritually. I get it...and I am working on it.

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    1. Yes, Pam, the decluttering and downsizing can feel so daunting - I know it does for me, too, and I'm not planning to move! But knowing you, you'll tackle it in due time and reach your goal. One small step at a time . . .
      Love and blessings!

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  2. I agree and understand the message in your post today, Martha. Sadly, I am not like that. I have lots of things that need de-cluttering and throwing away. They don't possess me; they are mostly old bits of papers, articles I have written, books, magazines clippings and so on. I keep them for no reason whatsoever and because I just do not have the time to read, check, and then decide whether to throw away or not.

    God bless.

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    1. I hear you, Victor. I'm a sucker for keeping birthday cards, etc., and need to go through those soon in the effort to declutter. Danny blindsided me, so to speak, with this new arrangement, but it is really working for him. As I hang up my shirts/pants, there's no "rolling" for me. Glad possessions don't possess you!
      Love and blessings!

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    2. Same here, Martha, I CANNOT bring myself to part with old birthday cards, pictures the kids drew when they were little, old Christmas cards and family photos that people sent through the years... I'm too sentimental. You might call me a hoarder. But, I'm working on this very thing during Lent - what a good time to 'give it up.' The treasures of old.

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    3. Debra, I do have to agree with you that there are some things you simply have to hang onto, just organize them in a way that makes sense and de-clutters our living space. Danny has been dealing with his recently deceased mother's possessions, and that includes cards and photos. I'm glad he has such a good eye for how and why certain things need preservation for future generations, but he's not as sentimental as I am, and I'm thankful for that!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Looks great! I would love to purge, downsize, de-clutter...
    First Lent, now this... I may have to stop reading your blog.
    --joking of course.

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    1. No, Ryan, don't stop reading - lol! Yes, the hits just keep on coming, so it seems. I'll try to lighten up in future posts.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Pretty funny, Martha! And I relate. One of my highly organized siblings did a head-shake thing over the arrangement of my clothes. Instead of saying, "Stay out of my closet!" I took her advice to hang all the hangers the same way and group colors together. She's also a frequent traveler, who taught me to roll clothes instead of folding flat to fit more into my luggage and avoid creases! It works!

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    1. Thanks, Mary, for sharing your own experience with organization. We will be taking a trip at the end of the month, and I'll definitely be rolling up my clothes in order to fit more in the suitcase. And pretty much, my closet is arranged so I can find the type of shirts/pants/sweaters I choose to wear. Saves time!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. We've little remaining in the way of physical clutter; but I wonder if Ms. Kondo's message might be applied to our thoughts … even the way in which we spend our days. Have a blessed day, my friend!

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    1. Now, that's an inspired idea, Mevely! Sometimes the clutter in our own minds prevents us from thinking clearly, or simply being able to sit quietly before God. Love your take here!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. I am AMAZED at Danny taking the initiative to not only clean out his drawers, but organize them. HE IS A KEEPER!
    Blessings, My Friend!

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    1. A keeper, indeed, Loralu! I'm a most fortunate woman.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. I just did a huge purge and it sure felt good!! Five large bags of clothing went to a friend's church for distribution to the needy. Feels good to clean out a bit and get reorganized! Great post.

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    1. Good for you, Terri! It does feel wonderful to give away our gently worn clothing and other items to people who can really use them.
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Oh, boy! I have lots of clutter to purge since the last one of my kiddos moved out. I've been avoiding it until recently I began tackling a little bit at a time starting with my own closet.
    Also, my friend (and yours) Patty Schell wrote a post on Marie's show and tied it in with decluttering our spiritual life. Take a look: https://pattyschell.com/2019/01/16/tidy-up/

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    1. Beckie, I do remember Patty's post, but thanks for sharing the link so others can visit her. And I hear you about having to clean up/reorganize after our children leave the nest. It can be slow going, but a little bit at a time will finally get it done.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. I have not yet embraced the tidy up trend, although I do purge and clean up from time to time. Like the junk drawer I cleaned out recently, discovering things from 15 (!) years ago.

    But I have to say that I just love the way you told this story. It really wasn't about tidying up. It was about love. Loving Danny. Loving God. It warmed my heart.

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    1. Galen, you hit the nail on the head - it is about love. When we love someone, we can't help but want to do things that make them happy, even if, at first, it seems an inconvenience. Now that I've gotten used to this routine, I don't mind it in the least.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. Can I send you my laundry and have you fold them for me and then send them back? I'm blessed when Jo decides to fold my laundry or hangs them up when she would rather throw them in a pile and let me sort through them. LOL Sure seems like a lot of work to roll those shirts. You must love him

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    1. No doubt, I love Danny, Bill, but I must confess that I was not thrilled when first presented by this project. However, love covers a multitude of sin, does it not? And I think Jo has a handle on the laundry and a handle on you, all for the best!
      Love and blessings!

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  11. Amen, and amen! I couldn't agree with you more! I recently did this for our son's t-shirts when I saw that they wouldn't all fit in his chest drawer. I used this method, and it truly works! I love it! God is so good to help us along as He sees us letting go of this world and all the excess to follow Him more closely and completely. "He must increase, I must decrease" is the cry of my heart!

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    1. "He must increase, I must decrease." I say that to myself a lot, too, Cheryl. It should be the cry of all of our hearts.
      And I think it's wonderful that you have tried this method, and that it works so well for you. It is pretty amazing!
      Love and blessings!

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  12. Oh Martha this post is a bit convicting (may be A LOT convicting). Clutter abounds in my life--visible, physical clutter, as well as inner clutter. While I've worked some on it, I just can't seem to get the rhythm going to propel me forward. However, I'm encouraged, because the Lord has helped me make progress over the last few years. Therefore, no matter how bad things may look today, they were significantly worse ten-eleven years ago.

    Seeking first the Kingdom of God is what I desire do each day--clutter is holding me back to a degree, if I'm honest. With the Lord's help I can and will make progress!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Oh, yes, Kim, with the Lord's help, everything is possible! Just to be clear, I'm not anywhere near as naturally organized as Danny is, but I'm learning. A place for everything, and everything in its place should be our motto, right? You'll get there, my friend, you'll get there!
      Love and blessings!

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  13. We downsized several years ago, and I've never looked back, and since we live in such a tiny space, I am always looking for ways to keep things simple and tidy. Before seeing Marie Kondo's style, I started rolling my clothes, and it is amazing how much you can fit in a drawer by doing that, and also be able to see them, although it does present more work in the laundry/folding dept! There is a lot of value in letting go of things that clutter and pile up, but I still think it is very important to hold onto things that are meaningful too. There is a balance there, I believe. Always enjoy your thoughts and insights, Martha, I wish you well with the changes in your laundry folding {smiles} Have a blessed week!

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    1. Yes, Marilyn, it is important to hold on to the meaningful things, but store them wisely. So cool that you all downsized a while back. It does feel good, doesn't it?
      Absolutely more work in the laundry department, but well worth it in the long run. May you have a marvelous week, too!
      Love and blessings!

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