Hoarders, the Mind Edition

Yesterday I went to my favorite little store where I make ridiculous decisions on things I buy, never spending more than $10 in this store. No, it’s not Target either. It’s this little thrift store I have come to love that is relatively close to my home.

For some reason, this store is a gold mine for books. I have found so many amazing books by authors I love there. Take yesterday for example, I got books from Elizabeth Elliott, John Piper and Henry Blackaby to name a few. Six books total, and I spent $9.56. I have gotten inspired by things there to craft and re-purpose. It’s my little soul-shop on random Saturdays.

I joke about being a book hoarder because I love to read, and finding good books is my specialty. I very rarely ask for recommendations simply because I don’t like to be influenced by others’ impressions. I have one friend who I will ask what he’s read or would suggest only because I trust his expertise entirely in this area. He has yet to steer me wrong. But I purge as well. Once I have read a book, and unless it was one that I can pinpoint the life change from it, then away it goes to McKay’s. Currently I have about 15 books in the guest room piled up ready for a trip. I rarely keep fiction books, with the exception of the very worn copy of Wuthering Heights, the Harry Potter collection (one day my nephews will like those books, one day), and a British author I have followed since college’s collection.

The same can be true about beliefs in my life. Some I hold onto for nostalgia without realizing it, only taking stock when things pile up and my life screams “NO MORE!” Who else but me is responsible for my values, experiences and beliefs? We tend to collect so much in this life without pausing often to take stock and purge from it what we no longer need to carry or shouldn’t carry with us.

They can weigh us down, cause us to view every experience with the same lens as that first one, and ultimately become overwhelmed with the piles of burdens. While life won’t be neat and orderly all the time, I think we could all do a better job of purging long-held beliefs or situations from the mess within in order to provide a cleaner existence for ourselves and others.

We clutch at memories of how it used to be, rather than forging a new path in a new adventure. We cling to what was rather than grasp at what is now. We choose long-held beliefs instead of attempting understanding something new in order to feel safe and secure. With a new year I find myself no longer wishing to cling to thoughts that bring frustration or anger, no longer piling up situations and circumstances that should never have been kept.

Being a mind hoarder only brings burdens to carry, weights to bear and sorrows to drown in. Hoarding wrongs, rights and beliefs that aren’t healthy only affect you long term. They eat away and rot out your foundation, to a point where no one wants to enter that realm with you.

It’s January 11th. This year still has that newborn scent, full of hope and joy. You get to decide if it feeds on the burdens you’ve brought or the joy of a fresh start. Clear away what you have been hoarding within, address what needs to be addressing, and then allow newness to flood you. Stop hoarding and start renewing.

Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
    the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
    What can man do to me?

Psalm 118:5-6

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2

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