Friday, January 15, 2010

Message - too many possesions

I'm reading through the Bible this year in THE MESSAGE translation. I'm using the book to the left if you want to join me - just buy it now on Amazon or at your local store and jump in at whatever day it arrives ... it's not like you don't know how the book begins!

So the other day (day 6), I was reading about Abram and Lot returning to Negev from Egypt -- where Abram passed his wife Sarai off as his sister and let the Pharaoh take her into his harem - paying Abram handsomely in livestock and possessions for the privilege.

It says, "By now Abram was very rich, loaded with cattle and silver and gold" (Gen 13:2), and that, "Lot, who was traveling with Abram, was also rich in sheep and cattle and tents. But the land couldn't support both of them; they had too many possessions" (Gen 13:5).

And that's the part that jumped out at me: the land couldn't support them because they had too many possessions.

I don't know if you are anything like me in this new year, but I'm looking to streamline, organize, de-clutter, and once again re-evaluate my spending habits. I'm quite certain I have more possessions than I need. And my land - my home - doesn't support it well. My house has the smallest closets you've ever seen. I kid you not. My kitchen pantry is 24" wide by 13" deep. That's 2 feet by 1 foot, people. Plus, my coat closet and linen closet are the same size! See, I told you. I don't know why the builder made these closets so small - or why I thought I could live with them!

(my tiny kitchen pantry)

The next line in Genesis 13 says, "They couldn't both live there—quarrels broke out between Abram's shepherds and Lot's shepherds." I assume they were fighting over who got to graze the limited pasture land ... who got to decide how the limited closet space and budget would be spent.

Too many possessions.

I'm not a "neat freak" by any stretch, but it does bother me when things are piling up, or cluttered. That happens either because I don't know where to store it or I don't really have the space for it. And when I'm bothered by the mess, I get testy and easily irritated. Same goes for my husband ... quarrels can break out.

So today I'm readying a load to take to the women's consignment shop and another load to take to Good Will. And if I have the time and energy later, I'll clean out that pantry. I'm pretty sure that box of blackberry Jello has been in there for 3 years.

What's the status of your closets? Clean and organized? Or busting at the seams?

Do you suspect you have too many possessions to live with harmoniously?

At least, I bet you feel happier about your own closet space after hearing about mine!

You're welcome.

Giving thanks today for my warm home with tiny closets.


  1. I'm busting at the seams over here, and my closets are a little bigger than yours. Can you come clean mine out too?

    Thanks for making me face that.

    :0 Kimber

  2. Hmmm - I've been facing this question for some time but never made the connection to a Bible passage :). I have way too much "stuff" (it's not really even about the closets) and have been putting off facing it. Thanks for the prompt.

  3. Okay, I've got way more closet space...and I am bursting at the seams. I've been trying for six and a half months to declutter..but haven't had the energy to get it all done...stuffed it in every closet space and attic space in the house :-) Thanks for the scriptures...

  4. The more people you have, the more things you have. I love sharing our stuff with others. I am going to forward this post to my sweet friend who heard God tell her the same thing. She and her husband are empty nesters. She counted 27 pillows in her home-sleeping and decorative. She is making a change!!! I LOVE how God speaks to us!

    He shared this message with me last year and I purged!! He also told me buy no more-even at yard sales. It was WONDERFUL but I can see that it may need to be an annual event! My neighbors could not believe the stuff I hauled into the front yard to sale. They wondered where I had it all. It robbed us of space and of time because I was constantly caring for it.

    Cheers to you friend!

  5. We live in an apartment and after surgery in 1999 my oldest daughter paid to have someone come clean for me. Well, I finally took over the payment, but they don't clean like I would. Some things I just was not able to do, but before Thanksgiving I decided it was time to give our apartment a thorough clean up. The ladies did some but you can't expect them to do what I would do. I started with my refrigerator (it took me two days, but I did it). Well, my husband caught the bug and he started cleaning out closets downstairs. He gets up sometimes like 3 am, can't sleep so he goes and watches TV. That's when he started cleaning. We did everything even to pulling out the stove and cleaning the floor underneath. He use to rebuild grand pianos so he brought home some old English Polish and a felt pencil with brown dye in it and we redid the kitched cabinets, I mean he went over every thing in the house. Now that may be the last time.

  6. Amiable fill someone in on and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you as your information.

  7. I am a empty nester. Two years ago my husband & I either gave away,sold or donated our worldly possessions. We kept only a very few things. We now live in different parts of the country. We sublet apt or homes. The places have everything you need from pots & pans to pillows & sheets. It has been so cathartic! The freedom from 'too many possessions' is unbelievable! Do I miss my 'stuff'? Truth be told, on occasion I do. Then I go to one of my three kids & visit my 'stuff' Or I think someone less fortunate then I now has some nice stuff. It was not an easy decision for me. My husband has wanted to do this for many years. So with MUCH prayer I followed my husband in this new adventure. God has bless us greatly! Remember we will not be remembered by our stuff but by our love for God & each other.
    Enjoy de-cluttering!
    Blessing & Peace Mary

  8. That is facinating, Mary. I'd love to read more about your journey in that - you should start a blog about it! :)

  9. Jennifer ReneeJanuary 18, 2010

    I have good size closets but I have too many possessions that I haven't used in years. I really need to work on getting rid of things.
    Rachel here's the recipe I told you about for Pear Pie
    9 INCH baked pie shell
    1/2 cup brown sugar--packed
    1/3 cup flour
    3/4 cup milk
    1 can (one pound, 13 oz) pear halves
    3/4 cup pear juice (from the pear can--drain the rest)
    2 eggs slightly beaten
    2 tablespoons butter
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1/4 cup white sugar
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 container cool whip
    Bake the pie shell first and let it cool. In a sauce pan blend brown sugar, flour . In separate bowl combine milk and reserved pear syrup. Stir eggs into milk combination. Stir egg mixture slowly into the brown sugar mixture. Cook, stirring constantly so it will not burn on the bottom. Use medium heat. Stir until mixture boils. It will thicken. Boil one minute. stir constantly or it will burn. Remove from heat. Blend in butter and vanilla. Pour into baked pie shell. Chill at least 2 hours. Just before serving, blend granulated (white) sugar and cinnamon. Roll the drained pear halves in the sugar mixture. Place them on top of the chilled pie custard. Top with cool whip.
    Serve and enjoy!!

  10. Thanks, Jennifer Renee - sounds yummy.

  11. This is so interesting because at the beginning of this year I started feeling this desire to gut my house - to just clean it out and simplify. I actually do give away at least one bag of stuff to Goodwill and have been doing this for many years. That's a good place to start - with one bag per month. I find that if it's simple, I can do.
    But I think this year I'm going to up it to 3 bags per year.
    Now I understand why older peole say not to give them anything on their bdays because they don't need anything. Does that mean i'm in the "older people" category - yikes!

  12. Sunday January 17 Parade Magazine in many newspapers had an article about a family of 4 ( with two teenage kids)who decided to downsize and give away half their stuff and move into a smaller house. They gave half the money from the sale of their bigger home to charity. What a challege to us to give away half our stuff. I guess I'm challenged to get go of possessions at my home, I keep finding inspirational thoughts from others such as; "Clean house like you are moving" and "live without loving stuff". And to read your blog on the same subject encourages me too.

  13. Anonymous, I saw that article in Parade recently too. My husband had read it and saved it for me to read. :)

    Impressive. And chanllenging!

    ~ Rachel


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