So if you have read any of our previous posts you may have come across the “40 Days 40 Bags” that Su penned. I had taken my dad to a midday Ash Wednesday Service that day and left Su alone for just a short period of time and wham – I am stuffing bags the next 40 days! What?! So what did I do about it!? I TOLD HER ——-of course I will do it. 🙂 That’s what we do. We take on things together. Good/bad/funny/sad. All of it. I started stuffing bags. I have had bags so far that contained clothes, kitchen appliances, and magazines. But my favorite one so far is my bag of bags. When I pulled it out of the closet I literally laughed out loud. Who in their right mind has a giant bag full of every shopping bag you have brought into the house. (ME!) If there ever was a national emergency where all the bags were gone and the call went out for anyone who had bags to help supply that need – I could have answered that call for thousands. Not really, but seriously, why did I have all those bags. So I pulled them out and they are now on their way to be recycled. To hopefully become something more useful than a giant mess in my coat closet. Truthfully, I am glad she put us up to this task. I started the process of down-sizing several years ago and it has been interesting. In the past 7 years I have transitioned from 2,500 sq ft. to today I am in 1001 sq ft. with a possibility of one day soon going smaller. This process is not easy but it is freeing. Stuff – just stuff – holds you back more than you know. When you fill your life with stuff, you have less time for the important “stuff” (your relationships with family members, friends, and Jesus). So Su and I are now 7 days in and I already feel lighter. 33 more bags to go!
Let me start by saying I am not Marie Kondo, not even close. I’m just a girl…standing in front of a house….asking it to be clean and organized. but seriously 🙂 …
40 bags in 40 days.
let’s back the train up for a sec and start with a History & Current Events lesson (it’s the teacher in me yall) Today is Ash Wednesday, which is also the 1st day of Lent. For some, Lent is a 40 day period of giving up chocolate, caffeine, sugar or something else after Pancake Day (see previous blog 🙂 ). Traditionally, it’s seen as a time in which to reflect upon the life and death of Jesus.
The number of the day is 40!! (ah ah ah) The 40 days of Lent represent the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness at the start of his ministry. Jesus fasted during this time in the wilderness, so the concept of giving up something during the 40 days of Lent comes from this as a way to understand what He went through and as a way to prepare our hearts for Easter Sunday.
so how does 40 days become a 40 bags thing…
We have filled our house – overly filled- with things we have to have(!!), that we think we NEED. These “things” can weigh us down on so many levels- physically, mentally, even spiritually. Our stuff can literally keep us from doing what God has called us to do. more stingy feelings- man this is tough for me even to type! i don’t know about you but i don’t want to live that way!!!
so here’s what we’re doing!! every day for 40 days, Lu and I are going to fill a bag- most days it will be a grocery-size bag- and get rid of them! Some bags will be trash, some bags will be donations. you may be thinking 40 bags, that’s a lot!! no way I can fill 40 bags… but break it down! one day you clean out a drawer, the next is your pantry, then your car (you know you can fill a bag with those empty starbucks cups still in there am i right?!), and then under your sink, etc 🙂 Make a checklist of places in your house, then make a chart to check off a bag a day! The point though is not about cleaning out, organizing or patting ourselves on the back for a clean house (although that is a serious accomplishment for us)… our focus for these 40 days is to declutter our lives- inward and outward. We don’t want to be held down or back from what God has put us on this Earth to do. We’re gonna take these 40 days and remember what matters – and that’s Jesus. Stuff doesn’t matter.
Lu here. I am supposed to be the voice of reason in this duo but that isn’t always the case. So it’s Friday – it’s March 1st and it’s unusually cold outside. We have had a bit of a hard week so how should we spend our day. In comes Su, my faithful and most fun companion in crime. There’s a Lakewood Lemonale Launch she says. Now the voice of reason should say “maybe drinking beer at noon on a Friday is not how we should spend our time” but instead what comes out of my mouth is “pull up the directions!” So here we are Su and Lu with our commemorative glasses
Some might think this is a waste of time but not us. It’s makes us laugh and it is definitely cheaper than therapy. Joy is sometimes a hard thing to find but when you have someone who brightens your day – you stop and say “pull up the directions!”