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Limiting stuff

My husband and I made a big decision last week: We’re moving house. But we’re not only moving from House A to House B, this is move to intentionally re-shape our lives.

Exciting stuff.

This decision comes after months of questions and ponderings of the significance of place, why we need to belong to a community, and asking how to live more intentionally alongside others so that our journey is shaped around life in Christ. (This in itself is another blog post!)

The move is one that comes with significant life-changes: we are moving from being only two of us to living closely with others. We’re moving from having our own stuff, to emptying our lives of many of our possessions.

Getting rid of stuff was the factor that made us think the move was a bad idea. After only being married for 18 months, we’ve been able to set ourselves up quite nicely! Why undo all that hard work?! In some ways this change doesn’t make sense - yet we can’t shake the idea. We’re told to make ourselves independent, build up our lives, and, as a young married couple, we’re told to insulate ourselves from others as we ‘figure out life.’ Well, figuring our life has led us to need more of others and less of stuff. We are limiting the stuff in our lives in the hope this frees us to experience the world in new ways.

I’m not going to say that this new step is a ‘sell your possessions and follow me’ moment. It just feels obvious that this is what Jesus is leading us into. Keeping company with him does stuff like that: making the odd sound like the only option.

It’s with a mixture of excitement and dread that we look at our bookcase… and wardrobe… and kitchen… and music collection… and ornaments… and furniture deciding what are the necessary companions for life’s next season. We want this, heck, we’ve chosen this, but it doesn’t feel like a spiritual thing. It just feels hard: hard to part with things that are also filled with memory. We find ourselves swinging from ruthless indifference to unjustified attachment. Why?

We’re scared.

It’s a vulnerable place before God when you have nothing. Maybe I am learning to know God in the simplicity, the emptiness, the spaces, the pause, and to know that I am loved in the midst of all of these places. And this change won’t bring about a ‘zap’ or instant transformation of ourselves into super-awesome-Christian-beings choosing God before ourselves every minute of every day … but we trust this small step with God who is working with us, in us and through us.

 

THE MUSE:

The opportunities for self-limiting come in all manner of shapes and sizes. Is there something to limit in your own life? In your experience, is limiting something hard? Freeing? Both? (Share below!)

THE MOVE:

Make a self-limiting choice this week that gives you more freedom to see God at work in the nothing, the spaces, the emptiness and simplicity of life. Perhaps it is to limit stuff. Perhaps it is in choosing to limit a commitment to one thing, rather than keeping all the options open. Maybe it’s the unlimited food options we have that need to be explored…

 

Kirstin is just an ordinary girl, seeking to learn how to live rooted in the Great Love of God the Father, Son and Spirit. Kirstin loves conversations over a good coffee about sharing together life, community, brokenness, Jesus, world issues, art, and the weather. She and her husband Rowan enjoy fumbling along with God, finding out what it means to respond to the world’s need and God’s gift of life to them. 

2 thoughts on “Limiting stuff

  1. Great questions @Kirstin Cant! When I was in YWAM limiting stuff was the way I lived. It’s been a while, and it totally becomes easy to become content with loads of stuff. Sometimes I wonder if I could still jump on a plane with almost nothing and survive in a totally new place.

    1. Thanks Jon. My friend Cate and I have had conversations about the limit of a suitcase while travelling – how often that is liberating rather than too constrictive to life’s needs.

      I also find these lyrics challenging from Stu Larsen’s song: The Mile.

      “I’ve only got one pair of shoes, comforting these weary feet. Cos a man who owns to much, is like a song without a beat, left feeling incomplete”

      Hmmmmm!!

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