Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Stuff ~To revive womanhood

It started a few months before I said "I Do" to the man of my dreams.  My sweetie and I went to Service Merchandise (Yikes, that makes me sound so old!) and we began to register for all the things we wanted in our home.  We put lots of things on our list: towels, dishes, pots and pans, silverware and decorations.  It was so fun!  When we arrived in Plattsburg, New York at the Air Force base where my hubby was stationed, we began unpacking.  It was so fun setting up our new home!!

We lived in that first home for almost a year before we were restationed in Mississippi.  Right before we moved, we had a yard sale.  It was amazing how many things we had for sale!  Some were gifts I had registered for that I realized didn't really work for me.  Some were things I had picked up in that year of marriage.  Some were yard sale finds or clearance items.  We had clothes, tools, kitchen things, crafts.....where did all of this stuff come from??

It wasn't my last time to ask that question.  When we finished up deputation and prepared to move to the mission field we began going through all of our stuff once again.  Even though we had tremendously downsized in order to move to a motorhome for depuation, we had a lot of things! Where did all this stuff come from?!

Then, when God called us back to the states for medical furlough, we left everything but a few suitcases.  When God provided a home for us, he also provided the things we needed to set up that home.  It was amazing to watch.  Wonderful people from our church brought us silverware, casserole dishes, towels,  you name it....they provided so much for us to be able to set up our home since our things were still overseas.  It was amazing to watch God provide.

As we moved to our home in North Central Florida, I've had fun buying things that would work for this place.  I've fallen in love with teal and white.  I've enjoyed being crafty with quilting, crocheting and cricuting.  We've had fun working around our property, with our goats and chickens.  It's fun to make the outside look pretty.  All the while we've gathered more and more stuff!

It was about 2 years ago that I realized we were drowning in stuff.  It was starting to be overwhelming.  I looked around my home and every surface had something on it. I looked in our closets and saw too many clothes.  Some fit, some didn't.  Some were for this summer, some were for winter.  Some we liked, some we didn't.  My kitchen cabinets were overflowing and I really wasn't sure what I had and what I didn't and where everything should go.  Whew!  Not so peaceful of an atmosphere!

Looking back on my desires for my home, Peace was one of them.  For this Momma, peace wasn't what I was feeling. We had too much stuff!  And since I am the keeper of the home, it was my responsibility to keep it well.  Stuff was getting in my way of that.  So, we began to make a few changes.  As I began to make these changes, peace became more abundant in our home.  We weren't drowning anymore. Does it mean our house is spotless?  Nope.  Not at all. It's still very (very, very) lived in.  In fact, I had a friend come over yesterday and I had to move over the pile of laundry on the couch needing to be  folded.  :o)  But, we have found some things that help to make our home more peaceful.  We've made some choices in our home that make us only moments away from a presentable home.  So if things start to feel chaotic or disorderly, I try to stop and ask myself these questions:

Do I have too much stuff?  Is this a problem with having too much inventory in my home?  (Quite often, I have found, this is where the problem is) 

Are my closets, cabinets and drawers too full?  How much should you keep anyway?   I have found that the answer lies within my home.  The size of the "Home" for those things dictates how much I need.  For instance, I have a basket in my pantry to hold my dishtowels.  I keep as many as will fit nicely (not overflowing all crazy)  If I see that it is not easy to put the dishtowels away because the basket is overflowing, then I  know I need to go through, pick out my favorites and toss the ones that are causing this space to not function correctly.  This goes for any area in our home.  Are the plastic leftover containers spilling out of the cabinet that they belong in?  I then empty that cabinet and put back my favorite containers until that cabinet is about 3/4 full.  Once it's full, the rest of the containers are put in a thrift store bag to be dropped off so they can be a blessing to someone else.  If the "Home" something belongs in becomes the parameter of how much I can keep, it makes things so much easier.  It really isn't a space problem that we often have, it's a stuff problem.

Have I used it this year? Sometimes we like to hold onto things thinking we will use it in the future.  But, I'm learning that if I didn't use it last Christmas then I probably won't use it next Christmas either.

Does it fit me now?  I confess, it's easy to keep clothes hoping to fit back into them.  But, when you see those clothes you're reminded you're not completely where you want to be.  Is that really the best way to start your day? I don't think so.  Keep a couple of clothing items that might be your favorite if you ever get back down to that size, but don't keep a whole wardrobe.  Honestly, if we ever lost the weight to be in that size again, it would be more inspiring to know you could buy new things that are more current.  

Is this a matter of delegation gone awry?  Is someone in my home not quite taking care of their stuff properly?  If this is the case, then ask yourself why?  Why are they not putting their things away. If it's a matter of laziness, then talk to your children about it.  I'm not talking about giving them a speech.  I'm talking about having a heart to heart with them about why you want your home to run smoother.  When they realize that it's easier for you to create peace in the home when their things are in their proper place, and when you explain what the benefits are to having peace in your home, then they can more easily jump on board.  Remind them of the benefits!  Do they not want to have to constantly pick up?  Then learning to put things away as they use them will helped.  Do they want more time to do fun things as a family?  Explain that when things are picked up, it's easier to pull out a game or go for a walk, or put a puzzle together.  There are benefits, so make sure they see them! 

 (As  side note, I am talking about children here, not husbands.  You are called to serve and love that man of yours.  Does he have a habit of leaving his things out?  Does he seem to think the laundry hamper is a basketball goal, but his shot seems more off than on?  Take a step back dear sister friend and realize "Even on your worst days, you are living someone else's dream."  There are many women that would love to have a man to pick up after.  It's all a matter of perspective.  Look at the good things he does.  Make a list and make it where you can see it.  If he leaves his socks on the floor and tools on the kitchen table, it really isn't the end of the world.  Serve that man of yours as unto the Lord.)

Is it a matter of that it is hard for them to put their things away?  If their closets are too full, or if something doesn't have a "Home" then they won't be as likely to keep their stuff picked up.  Make it easy for them to put it away!  Have a home for everything then make sure everyone knows where that home is.  Label it.  Make it pretty.  Make it easy to put away.

Let me add....this is a never ending process.  I must purposefully go through my things and ask if stuff is overtaking my peace.  I go through on a regular basis because things keep creeping back in.  If fact, as I type, I am thinking of my closet.  Yup! It's time to go through it again!!

I hope these ideas will help you as they've helped our family.  Reviving womanhood means not letting the "stuff" of this world become more important than the people God has put in your life.  Don't let stuff rob you of peace!


  1. This is great advice Kami and I agree that the maintenance of the home and the decluttering to keep it peaceful is a never ending process. I'm still downscaling. It takes time.

  2. I don’t agree with not making your husband accountable . What kind of example is that to your kids? He is to serve you as well.

    1. Dear Anonymous, I have found that too many women try to take a "Momma" role with their husbands. They nag and complain and if they serve their husband it is begrudgingly. On the other hand, when I lovingly serve my husband "as unto the Lord" I reap so many benefits! For instance, this morning, on Father's Day, my hubby had a load of laundry going and the dishwasher loaded. Then, he made a huge pot of homemade clams linguini for all of us for a special lunch after church. It was so yummy!! He serves me and our family in so many ways. When I first got married someone told me, "Treat him like a king and he will treat you like a queen!" And that's so true. My girls have seen me serve their Daddy and I love how they have adopted that philosophy of loving on him too. Likewise my boys have become gentlemen that take care of their Momma's every need. If I'm carrying a load too heavy, they rush to my side to help me. If there are no seats available, they always offer me theirs. It's amazing what serving someone else does. Love abounds. I love how our home operates. It really is a matter of perspective.

  3. I am anonymous. I only wrote a short comment because I was not sure it would go thru. Not a techie! I misinterpreted your original comment . I am 70 yrs old and have been a Christian since 1969. I have been married for almost 42 yrs to a wonderful CHristian. We met and married after knowing each other for 54 days and living 3,000 miles apart in 2different countries. It’s been quite a ride. I sent you a homemade Xmas card to your church address. I enjoy your blog even though I am sure I have a more liberal approach to life in general. My church is basically pretty conservative. Greetings from CAnada!

    1. What a beautiful love story! I love how God puts two people together at the right time and right place. Even 3,000 miles apart! ;o) We made so many wonderful memories while living in Canada. We miss many things; dear friends, the beautiful parks and walking trails, collecting fiddleheads, the snow, and especially the poutine!