Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sacred Space

 not storage space. That's what I read last night, to think of the space in our home as sacred. W.O.W.!

I seriously have never thought of it that way. Rather more like a plastic trash can, with sides that give when they are stuffed too full. (Thinking about this right after eating Thanksgiving dinner seems more than a coincidence.) So we bought a good-sized house, probably the size home of the average American, and of course it had lots of closets, where you can stuff your stuff. So we did.

It didn't help that this house came fully furnished. I'm talking fly swatter, toilet bowl brush, furniture, boat, 2 jet skis, and 69 silk plants.

But I've used that as an excuse for the past three years too. If the house had been empty all our stuff would still have been too much, it still would have been pushing at the outer walls.

Ann Ortlund has been a 'we'll never meet' type of mentor to me for the past 20+ years. Her book, Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman, quoted this: "Have NOTHING in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." (William Morris)

Hauling something from home to home to home for the past ten or twenty years, with good intentions of fixing it or glueing it or sewing it or putting it in a scrapbook or turning it into a gift or losing weight to wear it does not qualify it as useful. My husband's old letter jacket, saved for the past 40+ years - when we finally decided to give it to the local playhouse as a costume - we saw that the underarms were pitted out from sweat 40+ years ago. Eewwww...... Certainly not beautiful. Certainly not worth hanging onto and hauling around forever.

We're having a neighborhood party this weekend, so decorating is underway. I want to put up the sweet little tree that was given to me by a group of young ladies three years ago, after I did a six-week, learn-to-sew class with them. To put it on my sewing table (decorations are thread spools, pin cushions, etc.) I had to clean out the room. Today I'm taking an ENORMOUS box of fabric and quilting books to a friend at church, for her to give to her mom who quilts. I'm also sending machine parts and several basic sewing books to my sister-in-law, telling her she can keep our MIL's old Necchi, won at the State Fair about a gazillion years ago. I do not need another machine, it's stingy of me to hold onto it when my SIL does not have a machine (or at least all the parts to make the one sitting in her garage work. Shame on me.)

Don drove away with a truckful of stuff yesterday; already this morning the back seat of the car is full. If the car's sides were flexible they would be bulging. The walls of my sewing closet, however, are not.

Thinking of our homes as sacred space is revolutionary for me. To think that God has blessed us with this home, and what we bring into it, what we hold onto, what we display, can honor him, or not - that's revolutionary thinking!

If you've been reading here for awhile, and are NOT in the mood to declutter, I apologize. You might want to skip over to somewhere else for awhile, for that's what's on my mind these days. To celebrate Christmas, and the gift of Christ, by making our home a sacred space feels quite right to me. I've also tackled losing that 10-15 lbs that's been hanging on, so once this house is in better shape, you're likely to hear about healthy eating and exercise, horror of horrors! 

3 comments:

Kathy ... better known as Nana said...

Thanks for the encouragement to keep on top of the decluttering ... I did some major decluttering when we moved into this house 3 years ago, but I don't want to have to do this again in another 3-5 years. (I do make an exception for things but that have sentimental value. My mantra is that if it hasn't been used since we moved in or have deep sentimental value, it's out of here.)

George said...
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Bev said...

Kathy, I've definitely walked by something, considered giving it away or tossing it, and made myself stop. Tuck it away, think about it awhile longer, some things truly cannot be replaced and I don't want to act rashly either. It's funny, too, that those things we're sentimental about usually don't look like much to anyone else, but mean the world to us.