If One is Good, Two is Better, or is it?

“God doesn’t want what we have. He doesn’t want what we have to have us.”

Craig Groschel

Once again I am amazed at the repetitiveness of our great God. Once again, I worry that He is only repetitive with me, because I’m hard headed. Over a month ago, I decided to tackle this Project 333 . Since then, I picked up a book that my mom has been after me to read for a long time. A dear friend of her’s recommended it from the depths of despair in her own life. She said that second to the Bible, this book had done more for her spiritually than any other resource. Then my mom said the author wrote much like I do, so I had to check it out. I highly recommend it, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. 

“…if I’m fearlessly blunt – what I have, who I am, where I am, how I am, what I’ve got – this simply isn’t enough. Does [God] not want me to be happy?” page 14

Then, a couple night ago, I needed some holy background noise, so I pulled up a LifeChurch.tv  sermon on my IPhone. Pastor Groschel is doing a series on “better” – letting go of the good in order to exchange it for God’s better – actually  God’s best.

All of these sources have been chasing me. Like curiosity being hounded by a frightening idea – I want to escape and to experience this notion: less of what I think I want, less of what I believe will make me happy in order to embrace the promised happiness of my heavenly Father. It is antithetical to my world. I’m bombarded by desire. Not a moment passes that I don’t admire someone else’s …, hanker for more …, envy another’s perfect …, dream of a better …, crave the extra or lust after the extreme.

“Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.” pg. 15

I wonder, do I cause much of my own anxiety because I am convinced that my life should be better? Because I am always lusting after a forbidden tree even while I have the whole garden in front of me? I wonder, would I have enjoyed yesterday more if I hadn’t been planning today?

I have spent much of this week culling through my closet. I know that I can live with less. I know, in my head and heart, that I don’t need this many options. But you have no idea how hard it is to select which options I want to keep. Just saying that makes me realize how spoiled I am – I even get to chose my options!

In the same sermon that I mentioned above, Groschel told of family “give away” parties. They set a goal of 200 items each. There are 8 people in their family – that means they gave away 1600 things! Imagine the reduction of chaos? the exponential space? the freedom of movement? the high of austerity (relative austerity).

I began by going through my closet. I also confessed that led to the accumulation of a couple new things (:

In tandem with that sentiment, I’m setting a goal of giving away one item a day for a year. I live near a Goodwill drop off location, so it shouldn’t be too hard to walk to the bin and relieve myself of one excess item everyday.  Will you join me?

Yesterday, I asked what is the first thing you think of when asked what you can’t live without. Now, I want to know, what can you give away? How will you do that?

Project 333, Here We Come!

This was not supposed to be an expensive venture. But isn’t that often the way with green things?

We decide to recycle more – so we have to buy color-coded, pretty recycle bins. We want to buy cleaner water so now we find ourselves making bi-weekly trips to the water store to fill up our monstrous plastic jugs – quite a bit more costly than the tap water we still use for other things. Now we can’t buy just any ordinary plastic, but it has to be the pricey PBA free, or glass. So also began my new adventure with downsizing my closet as a participant in Project 333.

Sunday, I decided to separate the nice from the spotted, the comfy from the frumpy and the wearables from the “I forgot I had those.” It was a quickly discouraging process. I have very few neutral clothes, very few interchangeable pieces, very few pieces that can be worn anywhere. Now I sound like the very lie I’m trying to refute, “I don’t have anything to wear!”

Within about two hours, Sunday afternoon, I had pared myself down to about 35 items. I decided I’m not going to be legalistic about this.

(That’s not a cop-out!) The whole point is to minimize not only my closet but my stress and my spending and my self-absorption. I decided not to include my heavy coats in my tally. I chose not to count my shoes and necklaces and certainly not my underwear and socks.

Aren’t you proud of me? I didn’t have to confess that!

I was also amazed at how many of my things have small spots, tiny holes and irregularities. Please don’t get the idea that I look threadbare and shabby all the time! But if I’m only going to have 33 items to chose from, I don’t want 17 of them to have imperfections. Maybe I need a few new items and to discard some of the old? We’ll talk about that later.

It is kind of exciting. There’s a funny thrill is discovering what I can live without. I think it will also be fun at the end of this month, to switch out my 33 items. It will be like shopping from my own closet!

For the time being, I took all my not-to-be-worns, and packed them away in a suitcase and closed the door to the guest room. Poor Brave thought I was moving out!

 

Off the top of your head, what’s the ONE item in your closet that you would pick first – the one item you couldn’t live without?