Sunday, January 06, 2008

Getting rid of junk

Pastor Don started his sermon today in a way that was so apropos to what I am going through right now. He talked about the junk we all tend to collect. He talked about almost being at the point of checking the lane to make sure no one is coming before opening the garage door, so embarrassed was he about the mess in there. My husband and I feel the same way. Things have gotten so out of hand that we bought a pickup truck a couple of weeks ago, partly because we need an extra vehicle, and partly because we need to haul away a lot of junk...and not only from the garage. We have three rooms in the house where walking through the room and finding things is a challenge. Embarrassing!

Yesterday my 35-year-old son spent a couple of hours trying to get rid of some of the junk he's been storing at our house. I need the space for my studio. Unbelievable the stuff he has hung onto all these years: notebooks from elementary school, a pirate ship he made out of popsicle sticks when he was in grade five, an incomplete set of dominos in a broken wooden box - something he played with every time he went to Grandma's house when he was a toddler. Then there's the toy box Grandpa made for him for his first Christmas, lego, a collection of Mad magazines, a favourite tshirt from when he was nine, and a drawer of socks and underwear from his teen days. Unbelievable!

The preamble to Pastor Don's sermon led to a talk about the emotional junk we have in our life and how we need to deal with that if we are to be spiritually mature. In his notes he wrote, "God wants to transform your whole life - that is really what growth to spiritual maturity is all about - but for that to happen you will have to allow him into the junk rooms of your life and cooperate with His Spirit to clean up and clear out the junk that has accumulated over the course of your life." I hope my emotional junk rooms are not as bad as the junk rooms in my home!

One friend I spoke to after the service didn't know if she could go through with the series we'll be doing at our small group - studying the book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality and accompanying workbook by Peter Scazzero. She didn't think she'd be able to summon the honesty that was going to require from her. But as Romans 8:38-39 states: Nothing will separate us from the love of God, "neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation..."
Knowing that should allow us to be honest with ourselves and with others. God will love us no matter what is revealed.

In the words of Scazzero: "Emotional health powerfully anchors me in the love of God by affirming that I am worthy of feeling, worthy of being alive, and lovable even when I am brutally honest about the good, the bad, and the ugly deep beneath the surface..."


misha said...

if you take out the junk in your life, you're gonna have to deal with the empty space, with the spare time. i know that cutting out the junk has freed my time but i'm at a loss tonight on how to fill it.

anyway -- happy new year!

marja said...

So good to hear from you again, Misha. It has been a long time. And I seen you've started a new blog. I'll make sure to visit.

I hope your sense of being at a loss for what to do is only temporary. In fact, I'm sure it is. Just enjoy the clearing of the deck as a preparation for new stuff to come. Read a book, listen to music, write a poem, visit others' blogs as you're doing.

Happy New Year to you!

Merelyme said...

this is such a good post. i think it is easier to get rid of physical junk than emotional junk. i am always working on both.

marja...if you could...would you please visit my blog and comment on my last post about depression. i have received an "interesting" comment about depression...basically calling us whiners and lacking in self respect. i am thinking that this is a good opportunity to educate as i know you are so good at. so please come. it will be much appreciated.

bipolar_girl said...

Marja, thanks for the card. You're so sweet. Take care always

isabella mori said...

there's so much you're saying in this post ...

the other day, someone else wrote a post about the stuff that accumulates after christmas. in there she quoted something that i had heard before: "we shouldn't own what we can't properly look after". i'd really like to live that way.

part of the challenge for me (perhaps also for your son) is how to honour those precious memories and the people associated with them WITHOUT hanging on to the little material tidbits.

of course this also reminds me of something that's also connected to my post yesterday on guilt - how 12-step programs are to a large degree designed to deal with all that ... "stuff". people make an inventory, share it with someone else, and then ask their higher powers to help them get rid of it.

the brutal honesty that you speak of (again something that the 12 steps talk about) - i guess regarding the junk it would be throwing out without compromise anything and everything that we don't truly need.

Merelyme said...

just wanted to thank you for all your words last night and today on my blog. i think it made a big difference. you truly are doing a wonderful job with all that you do to promote better awareness.

marja said...

Merelyme, Thanks for inviting me to enter into that rather heated discussion. It IS good stuff to be talking about and a good way to build understanding. I'll be to your follow-up post soon.

Hey Bipolar Girl, So glad you received it. Hope you're doing okay.

Isabella, your quote from that other blog: "we shouldn't own what we can't properly look after" is a good one to keep in mind as we're cleaning up. I've got a feeling I should then clear up an awful lot of stuff. And yes, if we could only hang onto the memories and shed the material tidbits. I so much have to learn to do that. Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn't downsize, just to force ourselves to shed those material things.

misha said...

marja! my loss has certainly cleared up because the semester started. i now have plenty to fill that time, lol.

marja said...

I knew it would, Misha. Have fun with the books. In fact, I think you've inspired me. I think I'll open a book and read a while before I go to sleep.