Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Blessing of Stewardship

I love springtime for so many reasons, but one of my favorites is that somehow, the cool breeze and warm sunshine motivate me to thrust open the curtains and get cleaning.

I write about this in my e-book, Spring Cleaning for Normal People, and in it, I share a three-step process to use in ten areas of your home over the span of two weeks. The idea is to work just a little bit each day for a few weeks, so that you don’t burn out or get overwhelmed before finishing.

This process deals with the physical clutter.  It gives you practical ideas for dealing with the stuff.

spring cleaning
is merely a band-aid unless you frequently take some time to evaluate your inner life and heart. This is because holding on to clutter is merely a symptom of a deeper heart issue -- and this is the place where the root needs to be nurtured and fertilized.  And sometimes pruned.

As we manage the stuff in our homes that God has entrusted to us, the question for all of us is this -- 

"Where do I put my trust?"

Do I put my trust in the stuff around me?  Do I hold on to things because,  I'm able to find a use for them around my home or they add beauty to our environment?  Or do I hold on to things out of fear?

 • Am I scared to sell our plethora of unused children's clothes given by my mother-in-law because it might damage our relationship?

• Even though our unloved Christmas china would sell for a pretty sum, am I holding on to it because I feel like it defines who we are as a family?

• Do I hold on to my old high school notes, the souvenirs from my European trip in college, and the ticket stubs from our honeymoon because if I let them go, I'll forget that they were important?

All of these questions point to heart issues; a conflict of interest between our material things on Earth and the author and perfecter of our faith.  It's good to wrestle with this conflict regularly, so that our hope remains in heaven and nowhere else.

This isn't to say having stuff is bad.  It's not.  Many, many times the material things in our life truly are blessings, and in light of these things, we must be thankful.  God blesses us richly.  Heck, nine times out of ten, He blesses us beyond all we ask or imagine, with things we don't even need.  He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
But while on Earth, we constantly need to be mindful of our status here as stewards, not as owners.  And stewardship means to manage well.

 Let's manage the stuff that truly is a blessing with honor and integrity, to the glory of Him who gave it in the first place.  And the things that are no longer a blessing for us -- let's bless someone else by giving it away or selling it.

Because with
spring cleaning, that's all decluttering
really is -- thanking God by fully enjoying His blessings in our life, and passing on everything else so that it can bless someone else.

How will you bless someone else with your "stuff" this week?

By Tsh Oxenreider

** Since I shared this post 

Organized Simplicity

This book spends the first half sharing compelling evidence that our modern-day homes are too big, that they too often don’t represent our values, and that once we revamp our budgets, calendars, and purpose, we can our house a place that just makes sense.

The second half maps out a ten-day approach to jump starting a new lifestyle in your home—clutter-free, filled with only the beautiful and useful, and as a haven that just works for your family. It’s more than a how-to book; it challenges you to think differently about that place you call home. Does bigger really mean better? What purpose does each room serve?
Order your copy here:


Amy's Blah, Blah, Blogging said...

Wow, that really spoke to me. I was literally just talking to a friend today about simplifying life and getting rid of things. I can't help but think when you hear an echo as loud as this one, God is trying to tell you something! Thanks for sharing.

Jocelyn Christensen said...

That was great, thanks!