Day 7: Trash Out Tuesday

I read a book several months ago called 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.

7 jen hatmaker

Doesn’t that sound like something you’re just dying to pick up and read???

No? Me neither.

I admittedly only read the book because:

#1 it is written by Jen Hatmaker. She is hilarious and I love reading her stuff. She’s a preacher’s kid, pastor’s wife and REAL.

#2 the ebook version was on sale for cheap.

I started reading and the more I read, the more God kept speaking to me, “Starr – this is you. This is where you are. You have to do something about your excess. It is out of control. I’m calling you to be different. Don’t settle for normal anymore. The American Dream is not the goal.”

That message has been marinating in my soul for several months now. I’ve made small changes, but nothing drastic.

Here’s a sample of what I read that is shaking the very depths of who I am:

How can I be socially responsible if unaware that I reside in the top percentage of wealth in the world? (You probably do too: Make $35,000 a year? Top 4 percent. $50,000? Top 1 percent.) Excess has impaired perspective in America; we are the richest people on earth, praying to get richer. We’re tangled in unmanageable debt while feeding the machine, because we feel entitled to more. What does it communicate when half of the global population lives on less than $2 a day, and we can’t manage a fulfilling life on twenty-five thousand times that amount?

It says we have too much, and it is ruining us.

(7 by Jen Hatmaker)

Yes. My stuff is ruining me.

I’m Starr and I love my stuff. It is time for that to change.

I have piles of clothes everywhere. I can’t keep up with the laundry, because there is too much. I clean it all up, and it comes right back. Excess. And it is suffocating me. It is suffocating my family.

piles laundry room

This past July I went to a place far away to see what it is like to focus less on stuff. In Brazil, they didn’t care so much about the stuff. It was a different pace. It was a different way of living. It was a slower pace.

This lady was so proud to invite us into her home – with boards that you could see through as walls and floors. Yet, she was so happy.

house brazil

And this entire village welcomed us as we brought shoes from Samaritan’s Feet to hand out 1 pair of shoes to each person.

brazil team

And how many shoes did I pack on my trip to Brazil in my 3 suitcases? And how many shoes do I have in my custom closet with shoe holders at home?

shoes closet

Embarrassing.

On this very first #trashouttuesday I’m going to start with my closet.

I’m going down to 150 items of clothing and shoes (this is a start – I can’t even guess how many total items I have currentlyΒ  – it is well into the HUNDREDS – I throw NOTHING away y’all – clothes from college, yep!). I’m even asking Brian to help me count my starting point to know how much excess I have been living with for the past 33 years.

No matter how many times I tell Brian I’m cleaning the closet, it gets right back like this:

piles closet

I need a simplified life. I need to make more room for God and less room for stuff.

Time to get real.

How about you?

I have until Thursday to pack it all up. I’ll update you on my progress.

Join me? What excess can you start chipping away at in your life?

~Starr

4 comments

  1. I’m with you! I have entirely too much stuff and I plan to start getting rid of it. I’ll keep you updated on how it goes. The book is getting to my soul, what I’ve accumulated is sinful!

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    • Mom, so glad you decided to start reading this book. The words will stay with you long after you finish reading. It will start to make you question so much about this life we lead. We can start the change. We can be the change we want to see. And we can leave a lasting legacy in our family that isn’t about stuff. We can do so much more. I’m tired of just thinking about it. Time to do something. And btw this is the best day of Brian’s life! Jk πŸ™‚

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  2. It must be a season to get rid of excess because I too have been doing the same thing. I have clothes that I might wear if I lose a few a pounds or gain a few pounds. I even have clothes that someone gave that are to short for me but I thought I might find a use for them. How silly is that. I don’t like to get rid of things but at the same time my clutter is driving me CRAZY. I must do something about it. God said then clean it up Karen and get rid of it. Very easy. Let it go.

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    • Karen, I do the same thing! Hold onto stuff because we might use it one day! I think part of that comes from us being crafty and resourceful people. Our intentions are really good – we are trying to avoid having to spend money on something in the future by keeping what we have now. But, it is coming at the cost of our sanity and emotions. And our budgets will help with the cost thing, right? πŸ™‚

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