Urge to Purge
Happy New Year! Along with a new year comes a sense of cleaning out and cleaning up with the urge to purge. I don’t know about you, but after celebrating with family and friends and taking down the decorations comes a desire to get things in order with a fresh start. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, I make goals. Resolutions somehow aren’t as important to me as setting goals even though they kind of mean the same thing. I have found if I set weekly and monthly goals, I am more apt to achieve them than if I say, “this year I want to…”.
I have been seeking the Lord and asking what He would like for me to do this year. What I keep hearing in my heart is “Simplify”. Something which seems so easy, yet when I think about simplifying it can become so overwhelming. According to Webster’s dictionary, simplify means to make less complicated. Isn’t this something all of us should want?
Last January, I left a job to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to write a book, begin blogging and allow God to pour into my soul. However, what I didn’t anticipate was how easy it was to fill up my day with household tasks because I work at home and constantly see things that need to be done.
This year I am simplifying my work day. I’m going to work six hours a day writing and finishing my book. This will also give me the opportunity to stick to my goals of exercising, eating healthy and resting properly. More importantly, simplifying will allow me to spend more time with God because none of this will work without Him. This means I will not be answering my phone during my working hours unless it is work related. I realize I need to be more focused and intentional during my work hours if I want to achieve my goals. Maintaining a regular work schedule will also keep me from being frustrated or annoyed at myself at the end of the day because I didn’t accomplish what I intended to.
My clothes closet is another place I need to purge. I clean and organize my closet four times a year, but my biggest problem is that I have way too many clothes in way too many sizes. Over the years, I have fluctuated between six different sizes. I need to quit hanging on to clothes and asking myself, “What if I lose more weight and I could fit into those pants?” or “What if I gain weight and now I need to have THOSE pants to fit into again?” I need to “STOP” and purge my heart and attitude and wear what fits me now and get rid of the rest. God provided once and He will again. Besides, what better motivation to purge than to say, “These clothes are way too big and I can’t fit in them anymore.” The birds don’t worry about what they are going to wear or eat and neither should I.
Another area I need to purge is my mind. Do you ever feel like you have so many thoughts which seem to fill up way too much space in your head and you can’t concentrate on anything? Sometimes, I feel so distracted by what is going on in my head and around me. This year I am simplifying life by being more intentional about what I watch on TV and limiting my time with social media. I want to live in the moments of life, rather than trying to capture every moment. An example of what I mean would be to simply enjoy a beautiful sunset created by God, rather than trying to capture the perfect picture of the sunset. In my quest to get the perfect picture I have missed too many sunsets.
I know there are other areas in my life that I have the urge to purge such as a storage closet and kitchen pantry, not to mention decorations to downsize, but for now I will work on the areas I have already mentioned, knowing the urge to purge doesn’t end because God is always giving me something new because He is ALIVE! There is a great freedom in letting go of what you shouldn’t hang on to, even those things you don’t even realize are weighing you down. When you purge you are making new space to allow God to use you for His glory. You are no longer confined by your “stuff”. That allows God to place new things, ideas and time into your hands to do His work.
What is God calling you to purge? If you could simplify your life by purging the old, what would you get rid of first? January brings with it a new year and a new season to get rid of what you don’t need or want so God can bring you what you do need. Pray and ask God to speak to your heart. You aren’t alone in this process. I am right there with you!
In addition to physical and mental purging, January is a great time to assess where we are at spiritually and see if we need to do some spiritual purging as well.
Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.” (NLT)
Spiritual purging brings us to spiritual maturity. It is difficult to move forward with God when the weight of the world is weighing you down. Let God purge those areas in your spiritual life that you need to be free from in order to fulfill God’s calling.