How "The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up" applies to Lent

By now, you've certainly heard of Marie Kondo's bestseller "The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up." It touts the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing. Kondo encourages readers to hold on to what brings joy and release what does not. This book has sold over one million copies in the U.S. Clearly, it's touched a nerve. We have too much stuff and we know it. We want to pare down and streamline our living space and our lives. We want joy. Lent is a time for de-cluttering, too, but for the soul. We need to strip away the excess activity or whatever it is that distances us from God, our joy. We sift through our busyness and make time for stillness and sacrifice. It's a time to re-focus on what matters.

To be honest with you, both my heart and  my house need some tidying up.

Regarding my heart, I want to release worries and concerns (verbalized or internalized), my own pride and sin, prayer-lessness, and more. In terms of my home, there are  knick knacks on my dresser, unworn clothes in my closet, and random personal effects that need to be let go.

In Luke 10, Jesus sent his disciples out to share the message of love and healing. He charged them: "Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road." Traveling light was key to their focus and purpose (and probably peace and joy, as well). 

So, I'm in. I want to travel light, to be more focused on my faith, the people around me, and joy. I want to lessen the physical clutter around me and the spiritual/emotional clutter within me. So every day for the next 40 days, I am letting things go. They may be physical, as below.


They may be emotional. Yesterday, I gave away a worry about a family member. The game will be sold at a thrift store. It's out of the house, for good. The worry, not so much. I just might accidentally pick it back up again. But I'm taking it day by day. At least for one day--yesterday--I let it go. When my concern came to mind, I released it to God, by faith. I laid it at His feet, for Him to take care of, instead of me. (He's better at such things, by and large.)

What are you doing to mark the period of Lent? Are you eager to streamline your life, to hold onto what brings you joy and release what does not? Join me!