Thursday, June 19, 2014

On Purging, Enough, and Serving Others in Unexpected Ways

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the fear that comes when security is questioned. Full disclosure: If I could buy anything, guaranteed security would be it. Since that doesn't exist, I must question how  the goals we have in life, and how we can best achieve them.

I do not want stuff (or the quest for) to consume me. This doesn't come from a boastful heart. My struggle with anxiety coupled with claustrophobia manifests in my hatred of nick-knacks.  I don’t like tight spaces. When I see people with cluttered houses, a very real fear wells up inside me. 

Several members of my family (and friends) would disagree. These kitschy items make their home more personalized. As a child, dusting was one of my chores. My mother had (and still does) the shelves on the piano lined with little trinkets. Every week it was my job to move them, wipe the surface down, and replace them.

If I were more noble, I would have a distaste for clutter and the accumulation of stuff in an attempt to serve others. (Like Marla. Are y'all sick of me blogging about thoughts inspired by her yet?)

We live in a resort location. I want my home to be open to friends who are in town. I want my family to feel comfortable dropping in. The less stuff we have, the easier it is to clean, the more welcome people are. Or at least in my mind.

Recently, I decided I needed to get rid of bath towels. After all, how many towels can one couple use? But in my zeal for order and tidiness, do I overlook ways that keeping items would also serve others?

This weekend, I had guests galore. Friday night, a few of my girlfriends spent the night - one brought her husband along. Between the hot tub, pool, and morning showers, we went through plenty of towels.Thankfully I hadn't gotten around to the purge yet. I only have 2 beach towels, so the bath towels were in high demand!

After they left, I had about an hour to wash sheets and towels as well as clean up the kitchen before my family arrived - 6 strong. I felt bad texting them to bring their own beach towels, but I knew we'd all be headed back to the pool. The little man was sleeping over, so I was thankful for the 3rd set of king sized sheets I have, so that I could make the bed while the linens were still in the laundry room.

The point of all this rambling? Sometimes a family of 2 really does need 20 bath towels. My life is very different from Marla's. I shouldn't covet her minimalistic life any more than she should covet the square footage of my house. 


Finding joy in what I have, both possessions and life experiences, is key to reaching this seemingly illusive prize.

I am blessed, far beyond what I recognize. 
For the blessings unseen, unnamed - today I am thankful.


  1. Love you, friend. You're a blessing to our family in lots of ways. xoxoxo

  2. That's the problem! I was thinking this about some dishes I have. I hardly use them, but occasionally when I have a big group over I do. I'd like to clean that area out, but I know when I do, I'll wish I had them. :)
    I better go visit Marla. :)

  3. I did my part for the day in regards to purging! I gave away that metal weiner dog that was perched in our landscaping. Sad to see it go, but the things I do for you my love! :-)

    1. you DO love me!!!!
      now to get rid of that rooster...

  4. My purge has resulted in 2 large boxes of clothes to go to Goodwill and I haven't even gone through my winter clothes yet.

  5. Summer is always my time to purge when I am off school and have lots of time to go through things. I truly believe that getting rid of towels is never a good idea. We have a pool and hot tub too and you go through them and you never know how fast they will go. Keep the towels!

  6. We each have different ways that work best for our families. This is definitely one of those areas where there's no right answer for everyone. I think you have good reason for that many towels, but it'd be wrong if you never used them.

  7. You and I are so much alike its freakin scary. I actually got rid of a bunch of towels this weekend. P has been out of town for work, so I am purging...shhh don't tell him!

    I would also buy security--I wish. I think thats why I coupon so much, and I am so protective of my represents security in uncertain times.

  8. Thats me above....don't know why it published as unknown!

  9. I want to be a minimalist!! But it's hard when my kid has books, magnets, and toys scattered through my living room (plus all my stuff and my husband's stuff!!). And while I'm trying to not go crazy with the cleaning, we are trying to purge and we have taken a page out of Misti's book -- when Alice gets a new toy, she gets rid of another one. Hopefully "giving a toy to a baby in need" will later translate as showing her all that she has and how she can bless others. That's the GOAL at least. =) We'll see how it goes.

  10. must be the season for purging! I am thinning out my childcare supplies ... things that are simply moved from one location to another by either me or the kids & never really used or played with, are on their way to the consignment store soon!! As I am drawing my childcare business to a close in the next 3 years I am venturing further into minimalism.