It's a show about people who simply cannot let go of their stuff and, according to the network's description, "who obsessively hoard to the point that collecting overwhelms their families and their lives. Whether facing eviction, divorce, broken relationships or the removal of minor children from their homes, all the hoarders are in desperate need of help."
First, it's the kids' art projects and school work. Then, it's the boxes or gift wrap you can reuse. Maybe next, it's the empty, recyclable food containers that can be used for a household project. Or it's the bag of clothes, used pots and pans, box of whatever that somebody gave you that you could maybe possibly use one day. Before you know it, your closets, cabinets and shelves are full. So you buy more organizers. And get more stuff. Until one day, you are simply stacking stuff on top of stuff on top of stuff.
And you have more stuff than you can use or need, but you just can't let it go. Like a squirrel storing life-essential acorns for winter, you keep it...ya know, just in case.
From the outside looking in, it seems crazy, ridiculous and downright illogical. It's so obvious to everyone else that we that what we are holding onto is junk. Things we don't need. Things that may have not only become unusable but even at times unhealthy or disgusting. Just throw it away already, they yell.
But we don't. It's like we have become paralyzed and are physically incapable of throwing that thing away. We rationalize that it's somehow too valuable or too important to just give away or toss in the trash.
Friend, I have a confession to make.
I am a hoarder.
We began sorting through years of acquired stuff when we prepared to put our house on the market earlier this year. And it would never fail that when we came across something we no longer needed, we would begin wrestling with what to do with it -
- Trash it? (Never! Somebody, somewhere could get some use out of it.)
- Donate it? (Maybe. Except I'm pretty sure this thing is valuable and we could get some money for it.)
- Sell it? (YES! Because it's definitely worth money. A lot of money. Like $5, at least. And then we try to sell it, but no one wants to buy it. So it goes back into the pile of stuff to be sorted and wrestled over another day).
This is the cycle of our hoarding lives.
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of a hoard is "a large amount of something valuable that is kept hidden."
Once I started to think about that definition, I realized just how incredibly accurate that it is!
To us, our stash of junk is valuable or else we would be able to just discard it without a second thought (except maybe environmentally. I'm not a super big fan of putting all things directly into landfills. But that's a different soapbox....I think.)
And yup, we definitely keep our pile o'junk tucked away, hidden behind a white painted door in our basement - intentionally done so that most of our guests would never encounter the reality of our "stuff" stockpile.
But can I go a little deeper with you here?
If I am even more honest, my definition of value is actually corrupted; it's not a trustworthy version because it's actually rooted in the soil of fear. Like a doubting colleague, Fear questions my decisions and I end up believing that I'm not enough without this "thing" -
- What if you need that later on? Then you will have to go and buy it. You should keep it.
- Oh you can't get rid of that! Your baby made it. You must keep it. A good parent would treasure even the smallest work of art. (Therefore, you must not be a good parent).
- Do you know how much that cost? You can't just throw/give that away!
- But that was a gift! Somebody was thoughtful enough to give that to you; it would be rude to get rid of it.
All those questions may actually be valid - but you know what? The statements of guilt and condemnation that often follow are not. They are lies. They are deceptive chaperones that lead us down the path of believing that God will not provide for us and our tomorrows.
Friends, but the truth is that our Creator God is a good God and He delights in providing for our needs!
"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" - Matthew 6:26
"I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it." - Psalm 81:10
"If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn't think of such a thing. You're at least decent to your own children. So don't you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better? - Matthew 7:11 (The Message)
I want to encourage you that if piles of stuff keep overtaking corners of your home, take some time and sit before the Lord and ask Him to show you your heart. Are you having a difficult time letting go of stuff because at your core you are doubting that He will sufficiently provide for your needs?
Are you clinging to useless things because you believe providing for your tomorrow rests in the ability of your two hands?
Friend, that is not freedom. Our salvation, which comes only by Jesus' death and resurrection, invites us to live with open hands before our God and depend on Him to provide for us, every day. Our God is Jehovah Jireh!! The God who provides (see Genesis 22:8, 14).
I entreat you to believe that He sees your needs and He knows your heart. Come to Him with your requests, shoo away fears with His Truth and sit before Him with open hands.
The best way to combat lies is with Truth. Here are some more Bible verses to help strengthen you if you are struggling to believe the best about God and His desire to provide for you.
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With these things in mind, I want to live with you a little more open-handedly. I have had the joy of attending two amazing conferences and received such cute gifts in our welcome bags. But, truth be told, I don't actually need much of it. Sure, it would be cute to use or have..but I don't need it.
Sooooooo, I'm giving much of it away!
Head on over to IG and follow me at @RebeccaPierceCreative today because I will be listing all the items I have to gift to anyone who asks! Be the first to leave a comment, naming the item you want and I will connect with you and get it in your hands. :)
Thanks in advance for letting me bless you by giving it to your home instead of my hoard ;)
This is Day 6 of the October 2015 #Write31days Challenge. Check out the entire list of posts here.