Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lent: 40 bags in 40 days

If you are paying close attention, you may recognize this idea from last year. I wanted to join in on a movement for Lent to get rid of 40 bags of stuff in the 40 days of Lent. Well I got off track and I gave up. But I am realizing more and more lately that getting sidetracked does not mean the end of your goals. I am constantly recommitting myself to things I want to accomplish. And I really do want to make my house a better place by getting it cleaned up.

Three bags from the 2013 challenge
I've been making baby steps, but I've been making them fairly consistently. I like getting to the point where I can actually see progress. So I am going to give this another try. I can't promise to update it every day, and I won't promise to do one bag every day; some days might be two or three and some days might be none at all.
The main places for me to focus on are the dining room and the basement. Those two places have become quite the catchalls around here. There are baby things in the basement that I'm pretty sure I won't need again (and are replaceable if for some reason I did need them). There are kids' toys that need to be purposefully rotated or gotten rid of. There are more books than I care to admit down there.
The dining room is a multi-purpose room. I don't particularly mind that; we don't have enough rooms for each function to get its own space. What I need is for each function of that room to be...functionable. If there are going to be kids' toys in the dining room, the kids need to be able to access them themselves. If I am going to keep craft supplies in there, then I need to be able to see what I have.
The concept that less is more is very slowly becoming integrated into my head. We have so much junk, I can't even manage to make use of the stuff we've got. I've been a collector for a long time; mostly out of a fear that we won't be able to acquire something we need after I get rid of something we could have used. Part of this 40 bags in 40 days challenge is to give away stuff we no longer need as a way of sharing our treasures with the less fortunate. But honestly, a bigger part of this is internalizing the fact that no matter what we have or don't have, we will always have what we need because God will always take care of us.
Edit: I wrote this post at the end of February to get ahead for March. As we were getting ready for Mass this past Sunday morning, I asked the kids if they had any money for the collection plate. Henry and Frances ran to their piggy bans to get out some change. Henry looked at me and said, "Mommy, if we keep doing this, we're gonna be the ones that are poor!" I started to step in and say something to him, but Frances beat me to it. "No way Henry. We're rich; rich in God's love!!" I couldn't top that answer, so I left it at that.

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