40 Days Lighter: My Journey through 40 Days of Decluttering

declutter-photos

I was recently inspired by a Facebook post from a friend sharing a link to participate in 40 Bags in 40 Days, a challenge that asks participants to declutter their homes, work spaces, email inboxes, among a host of other “non-stuff” ways to declutter and incorporate healthy, beneficial habits. The challenge is aligned with the period of Lent, where many people give something up for the period of 40 days.

I found this particular idea to be a timely one, as I have recently been in a season of “letting go” – of unhealthy habits and routines, and of things that no longer have a place in my closet, home or life.

What I quickly discovered is that once you get a taste of the freedom that release brings, a new, simpler yet satisfying way of living begins to emerge. I also discovered that giving into the process of letting go of the “way I’ve always done things” has made so much room for new habits, opportunities, and simple joys that I didn’t imagine achievable at this stage in my life.

Over the next 40 days, I would like to share with you, my experience as I take daily, intentional steps to release the “extra weight” in my life. (I’ll talk about dropping the literal weight in an upcoming post!)

During this time I’ll share my journey to release the emotional baggage that this newly embraced way of living has revealed, that still hides in the corners of my heart. I’ll talk about shedding the doubts and fears that have held me back from bringing my dreams to life. I will also be making observations on my journey to become more consistent in the spiritual disciplines of worship, prayer, fasting, reading my Bible and meditation.

And of course, I will be setting aside time each day to write, and provide even a small update on my progress through this challenge.

I hope that you will join me in my journey, and that you might take a journey of your own to live a lighter, freer life.

I can’t wait to be 40 Days Lighter!

P.s. Here is a list of some of the tools/books I’ll be using/reading as I go through this process:

Garbage Bags!

A Journal

ESV Journaling Bible

Fitbit App

You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit by James K. A. Smith

the life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo

Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun

 

Now is the Time to LEAP!

  

“For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.” 2nd Samuel 22:30

Leap: verb \ˈlēp\ – “to spring free from or as if from the ground” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leap)

With almost 2 months of 2016 nearly complete, many of us have reached or are reaching that interesting point in the year, where if we don’t get moving on the goals we have set, or changes we planned to make, transformation more than likely will not happen. Not this year anyway. This is the point where we often begin to lose some of our excitement, our enthusiasm, our momentum in pressing forward on the new path we have forged. New routines are becoming tiresome, challenges and obstacles begin to pop up EVERYWHERE, and often times, much of the crowd that started the race with us has since dropped out. This is the defining moment where we must either choose to dig deep and push ourselves, or resign ourselves to complacency, stagnation, and ultimately defeat. 

Now is the time to LEAP!

When I think of the physical action of leaping, I imagine those cartoons or highly imaginative and implausible shows we used to watch. The character would look across a canyon or high ledge, seemingly measuring the distance to their desired landing place, backs up a few paces, and with every bit of energy and gusto they possess, leaps – arms flailing and sometimes eyes closed – to the other side. The camera often pans inward highlighting the character’s point of focus, putting peripheral distractions out of view, and keeping only the landing place and beyond in sight. The character appears to compress and expand like a literal spring as they dig their heels into the ground, assuming the appropriate form to jump up and over the deep chasm below.

David, King of Israel offers up the words of 2nd Samuel 22:30 in a song of Thanksgiving unto the Lord as he reflects on his victories in battle and his deliverance from the threats and attacks of King Saul. He rejoices that God has given him the ability to overcome the troops or armies and enemies that opposed him, rescued him from the hand of his most formidable foe. 

Today, I have good news for you – God will do the same for us too!

God promised to give us strength to carry out our purpose. In the case of 2nd Samuel 22:30, we see that He gives the ability to overcome whatever challenges or obstacles or opposition may stand in our way. He will even give us the “bounce” we need to pass over the walls the enemies of our destiny – fear, doubt, insecurity, negativity, complacency, lack, and procrastination – have erected to shut us out. 

As we prepare to close out the month of February (including the coming Leap Day), let us ask God to restore our focus, block out the distractions, cause us to look beyond our obstacle to our landing place, take the necessary steps to accelerate quickly, assume the position and LEAP!

***NEW Action Series***

Coming into the New Year, one of my primary goals for 2016 was to be a woman of intentional action. I made up my mind that I would no longer talk about “it”, I was going DO it! 

In order to record and share my journey to a life of intentional, deliberate, and prayerful action, I will be starting a new “Action Series”, highlighting a particular action word each week through brief, thoughtful and encouraging posts, to help keep us moving forward. 

Each Tuesday, I will introduce a new theme to be examined from various angles for seven days, and I hope that you will join me on my journey! First up – LEAP!