Tuesday, December 14, 2010


The last couple of weeks have been fun (read sarcasm here, folks).

About a year and a half ago, “The Hub” and I did a major remodel job on our 33-year old house. He did a lot of the work – he’s really so handy.

However, to accomplish everything we wanted to do, we had to “empty” the house of just about everything.

Last Tuesday, I admitted that I have had the “hoarding disease.” So, there was a LOT of stuff to get rid of to empty out the house.

And I’m not good with getting rid of things…

Because to me, they’re not just things – they’re memories! I’m sentimental to a fault. I have trouble letting go. And I insisted on looking at EVERYTHING before it went out the door to the Goodwill store, the garage, or Dumpster Land.

It was a pain-staking process. That’s how I looked at it anyway. “The Hub” said it was more like a pain-TAKING process. But I digress…

The remodel job took just over 8 months – perhaps a little slower because we did a lot of the work ourselves.

But it finally got DONE!

It’s been a privilege to have a “new” look in a home that I’ve owned for 27 years!

And so, for a year or so, we’ve been relaxing and enjoying “Kirby’s Kabin!”

All was good with the world…

Until “The Hub” came up with this novel idea.

“Hey, wouldn’t it be nice if we could park at least ONE of the cars in the garage?”

Rumor has it, that’s what garages are for – they are not large storage spaces – who knew?!

So, the Great Garage Clean-Out Project has commenced…

I’m not having a good time.

It was VERY, VERY hard doing this in the house. And the garage represents “all the other stuff that wouldn’t fit in the house but I just couldn’t part with…” And I am NOT wanting to go through all the trials and tribulations of sorting it all out again.

But…it has to be done.

So, armed with a face mask (it’s dusty out there) and surgical gloves (it’s filthy out there) and the proper cleaning outfit (it’s dusty and filthy and yucky out there), “The Hub” and I have been attacking The Pile….

Of stuff, and more stuff.

It’s almost as hard as it was when I dug through the Hoarding House. There’s still a lot of things that aren’t things – they’re memories. And I still have to fight my urge to “hold on” to things of the past.

For instance, there’s the bedroom set that my dad and mom took me out to buy. I was 14 at the time. I’d spent the past six years sharing a bedroom with my sister. But we had just moved to a new home, and I was going to have my OWN room. As if that wasn’t great enough, they decided that it was time to buy my OWN furniture!

I can remember wandering through the furniture store, looking at all the lovely bedroom sets. And then, there it was – MY furniture, MY bedroom set. It was a pale green, with nice little white accents. (We’re talking the 1960’s here…) We bought the set, and I anxiously awaited its delivery.

I set all the pieces – a twin bed and headboard, a night-stand, a dresser, a desk and chair, a mirror – in all the places I had planned out. It was wonderful!

And now it was time to say goodbye – after 42 years – to an old friend.

There’s just no one in our family, or anyone we know, that wants an outdated, well-loved bedroom set. And I just know that somewhere there will be someone who can use it, who needs it…and it isn’t me anymore.

So, “The Hub” graciously took pictures of it, so I could hold on to the memories, and we packed it off to Goodwill.

This hasn’t been fun – I’ve already determined that this is the stuff I NEED to keep. And yet, I have to get rid of more. There have been plenty of tears…

It reminds me of my life.

How I’ve done a major “re-model” of my heart. Gotten rid of a lot of non-spiritual stuff. Let go of a lot of sinful things. Refinished and repainted – turned an old, prodigal heart into a faithful follower once again.

And it was hard.

But I’ve enjoyed the new life, the renovated life of faith.

However, there’s still the garage…

The secret, inner places where I put all the “stuff” I didn’t want to give away. The things that I’ve insisted holding on to. The things that are stashed away in shelves and drawers. The things that aren’t in my main house – the house that everyone sees on the outside. The things that are dusty and filthy and yucky…

But God is saying to me, “It’s time to empty the garage.”

Oh no. It’s going to be painful. These are the things I DON’T want to give away, Lord. The things I WANT to hold on to. I’ve done this once, wasn’t that good enough?

“No, My child, I want to dig deeper.”

And so, lately I’ve been “suiting up” – girding myself with His Word, praying my heart out – and entering into the garage of my heart.

And it’s hard.

Because some of these things aren’t things…they’re ME.

But I’m not alone in this process.

HE IS WITH ME – every painful step of the way.

Helping me make MORE room for Him…

And that is completely worth it – even though there have been plenty of tears.

Is it time to work on your garage?

“Create in me a clean heart, O God…” (Psalm 51:10)

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”


  1. Yes I think it probably is, guess it has already started - thank you for this Sharon, may Our Lord strengthen us both. Nita.

  2. We have already decided that when the new
    year comes we will start the chore of
    cleaning out the attic and basement and
    doing some de-cluttering. I love being
    organized and cleaning so I am actually
    looking forward to this.
    Have a blessed day in the Lord!

  3. (((Sharon))) I am sure it is hard to go through things and to let go of them. I think the only reason I'm not a hoarder is because of all of our moves and when you move the same thing over and over again, it loses some of its specialness, if you know what I mean. Heck, I even dumped my wedding dress a few moves back. I think I shared this with you before but I'll share it again, it is really easy to let go of things when we remember what Jesus had on earth, nothing, because he knew how glorious heaven was. And also, going in with the attitude that you are helping others by donating your stuff is a good thing too! Imagine some other person looking at that bedroom set and seeing it was a good price at Goodwill and being able to buy it for their child, perhaps it is the first bed the child will have of his/her own after sleeping with a sibling or even sleeping on a couch or floor. And it is good to take pictures like you are doing.

    I'm cleaning my "spiritual" garage these days, it is hard to admit and let go of some of those things too, but it is so neat that Jesus is right there helping me along :)

    (prepare for the rain ahead!)


  4. This post is just so perfect Sharon I don't know where to start. My sister moved this month and so did my mom. So many "treasures"....or were they? Put in the right perspective, they were just un-needed things. I love your analogy... “re-model” of my heart...! So perfect Sharon, I so loved reading this!
    I think you should enter Marty in the iheartfaces photo contest! Even his name is so fitting!

  5. Nita - Yes, personal "garage-cleaning" is tough. I will be praying for both of us - I know that God will strengthen us through this process. Part of His reason for working on the "garage" of our hearts is to make us stronger Christians. A warrior for the Lord needs to know how to STAND FIRM.

    Sandy - Oh boy!! If you come up with any secrets that this old "pack rat" can use, send them on! Actually, if I'm truthful, though the process isn't always fun, the end results are so satisfying. De-cluttering feels good - both in our surroundings, and within our hearts.

    Betty - What an encouraging comment. Thank you. Yes, when I think of Jesus, and the "nothing" He had in this life, it does help to put perspective on things. And really, all that stuff does kinda start to "own" us, you know? Your many moves probably have helped. It HASN'T helped that I've been here in this house for 27 years!! But, we're making progress. And it does feel good to think that someone will be able to use our things. (HONESTLY, now we're going to have RAIN??? Could I keep the same type of outfit on longer than two days at a time??)

    Anita - Yup, I've got to relearn how to define "treasures" in this life - they are mostly unnecessary compared to the immeasurable riches of the life that is coming. Glad you enjoyed reading this! (Are the details on your blog about the contest??)


  6. I really like this analogy. I actually have a pretty clean garage so that's one rare area where you and I are not identical twins. (Of course, if mine had a garage DOOR instead of a typical south Georgia gaping hole, it would probably look like that attic of mine.)

    And so, the analogy speaks a whole different conviction to me. I tend to keep "clean" that which is easily seen from the outside and hoard it all in the Innie Paradises.

    Wanna blog about THAT little gem for me? Hmmmm?

  7. Hi Sharon -

    I can somewhat relate to your "cling drama." Yes it can be challenging to move on. But once the grieving process runs its course, you can realize the rewards.

    Once we cooperate with our Lord and do as He requests, the benefits far outweigh what we desire to hold on to from our past etc. The Lord gives us better than what we surrendered. Initially, it does not seem that way because before the rewards there are some journeys in the wilderness. But O the land of milk and honey awaits... We must go to it...yes, we must...and we shall...in the power of JESUS, our Savior and Lord!

    Philippians 3:13,14 - KJV
    Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.

    I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

  8. You are right - it is time to not only clean our house or our garage - but it is a good time to clean ourselves out. Let go of people who have hurt us or made us mad.

    Hey good luck with your physical cleaning - taking pictures is a great idea.


  9. Debbie - I don't have an attic (typical southern California) - so I'm thinking that your attic and my garage are equivalent. So, we're still twins - just maybe fraternal. Hmmm - you've given me a little seedling of an idea. I'll let you know when it sprouts into a post...(Do I have your permission to call it "Innie Paradises" - really.)

    Sandra - Thank you for such an encouraging word! Again, this comment would make a great post - think about it. You are so wise to remind me that "holding on to Egypt" is really settling for something less than the Promised Land that God has in store. I am eager to reap the reward of "forgetting the past" and "reaching forth" toward His blessings.

    Sandie - You know, I think I'm a pretty nice gal - and yet, I have found that sometimes I keep little grudges inside of me. Ask my husband, I'm a master at the "silent treatment." But this truly is a dirty little corner in my "garage" - it needs cleaning. I also have to get rid of that other shelf that hoards my need for approval. Really gets in the way of making room for GOD to work!! (The physical cleaning is making progress - YAY!)

    Thanks for a good word, friends!

    GOD BLESS (this mess!)

  10. Hi Sharon -

    Glad that my comments were encouraging.

    Yes, I may do a post as you suggested. Thank you for mentioning it. I did a very lengthy post today that was not at all on my "agenda" until I read an e-mail this a.m. from someone. Afterwards, our Lord put the subject post, "GOD, AND JESUS HAVE BEEN REMOVED..." on the GOD AGENDA for me to do this a.m. I did it. That so sapped me, that presently, I am not feeling too "posty." But I did make a note to myself to pursue your suggestion because our Lord "witnessed" to me that your suggestion should be pursued. Again, thank you, Sharon.

  11. Sandra - Been so busy last couple of days. I will head over to catch up on your blog when I finish responding to my comments here. As always, you are a diligent daughter of the Lord - listening to His voice, and obeying!



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)