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Minimalism from a Biblical Point of View —

Biblical Minimalism© is "a complete, whole-person release of anything unlike Jesus, a letting go of everything that hinders us from following Him wholeheartedly and single-mindedly, and a relinquishing of all that brings us under bondage to this earthly, very temporary life." Cheryl E. Smith

Monday, February 24, 2020

"For When You're Living in a Fantasy World" - Guest Post by Linda Stoll

"And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
Luke 12:15
(NKJV)

Graphic Design by Zach Smith
Image by MichelleHaswell from Pixabay

"Do you have a "fantasy self?"  The incredible culinary whiz.  The super-fit, all-star athlete.  The award winning musical virtuoso.  The fabulously creative entrepreneur.

Acquired a whole lot of stuff along the way to becoming someone you never quite became?

Kitchen cabinets jammed with stacks of unopened gourmet cookbooks and expensive cooking widgets {that were maybe used once or twice}.

A garage packed with all manner of big-ticket sports equipment {from at least a generation ago}.

The cache of musical instruments stuffed in the back of a musty closet or two {from way back in elementary school}.

Overflowing boxes laden with dusty, unused craft supplies {from the '80s}.

Clothes bought on a whim stored in a rarely-opened garment bag {with the tags still attached}.

Painful piles of memorabilia from a love, a friendship, a relationship {that's long since departed}.

Writer and blogger Francine Jay muses,

"Do you have a fantasy self?  And if so, how much of your clutter belongs to it?

All too often, we hold on to stuff because it represents who we think we should be, rather than who we are.  Sometimes our fantasy selves are meant to impress others; sometimes they’re relics of our past; sometimes they’re fantasies about our future.

Whatever the case, it’s important to remember: acquiring stuff for your fantasy self doesn’t make it a reality.  Most of the time, it only leads to a lot of “nice” clutter you never actually use."

Check out her list of 10 fantasy personalities.

I've said good-bye to the pasta machine I used once.  Hundreds of carefully cut-out, never used magazine recipes stashed in wrinkled old folders.  The dozens of once-loved cross-stitch books.  The piano that saw hour after hour of faithful practice.  Stacks and stacks of paper and cards and notes from eons ago.  Photos of people I couldn't even identify.  My husband's trumpet from high school.  Some collectibles and lots of tchotchkes that have long since lost their charm.

Most recently it was a whole, dusty file drawer of every note and test I ever took, every handout I ever laid my eyes on, everything I ever wrote through college and graduate school. {Yes, I saved a few papers ...}

There's lots more to go. 'Cause I'm not now who I was then.

You, too?

What kind of stuff is heading out your door these days?"

(This article was first published HERE and submitted by author for this Biblical Minimalism repost.)


Bio:  Linda lives with her husband of almost 44 years,Tim, in a little town tucked between the ever-changing bay and the deep blue ocean in Massachusetts.  She loves her work as a pastoral counselor to women and remains enthusiastically devoted to nurturing her online blogging community.

Her dearest claim to fame?  Two daughters, their husbands, and seven grandchildren, the littlest who is now living in heaven with Jesus.

Linda would absolutely love for you to visit her blog right here and check out her favorite online discoveries on her LinkedIn site.

17 comments:

  1. So fun to share with your friends and followers today, Cheryl!

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    1. And, it was such a blessing to have you here, dear Linda! Many blessings to you, my friend!

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  2. Hi, Linda! Yes, I do have some clutter, especially old notes/cards, that I need to go through carefully and purposefully, in order to discard most of them. Other than that, though, there isn't much in our house that we don't use on a more or less regular basis, especially when it comes to cooking. I'm not living in a fantasy, but in the here and now.
    Blessings!

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet visit and kind words, Martha! God bless you!

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    2. Sorting through those personal momentos is the hardest kind of sorting! Letters, notes, photos, cards from those we love can hold a very special place in our hearts, especially if the writer is no longer with us.

      I like what you said about 'carefully and purposefully,' Martha. So very beautifully put ...

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  3. Hi Linda, why do I find it so hard to part with some things and others I just toss without even thinking. I keep telling my husband we have to start purging so our only child, a son will not have to sift through all of the stuff. That is a heavy burden to leave behind for our son. Blessings to both of my friends, Linda and Cheryl!

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    1. Pam, I think you hit the nail on the head when we look at the potential impact all our possessions will have on the next generation, who, most likely, will not have the same fondness for all the items we hold dear!

      That's a superb motivation, isn't it!

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    2. That is one of the things about our minimizing journey that has been so relieving - knowing our dear son won't be laden with so much stuff that he won't even know the significance of after we are gone. Linda's right, it surely is a great motivator! God bless both of you sweet friends - this minimizing isn't for the faint of heart!

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  4. Awww, Lina. You're speaking my language. It's been a few years since I've decluttered my home. I'm currently in the process of doing this, very slowly. :) I love your thoughts about parting with things that reveal our fantasy selves. What a great perspective to use when evaluating whether or not to keep something.

    Go YOU on getting rid of stuff that no longer defines who you are!

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    1. Thank you for your visit and kind words, Jeanne!

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    2. I think the key to doing this well is exactly what you say, Jeanne - doing this very slowly.

      It keeps the process from becoming overwhelming and lets us be thoughtful in the process.

      I tend to sort through stuff in layers, so what I might not be ready to get rid of now might be ready to be released next year.

      This works and tends to take the pressure off!

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  5. I decluttered several years ago when I moved but I am finding it is time to go at it again. Thanks for the inspiration to get going.

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    1. It's amazing how quickly things build up yet again, isn't it!

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    2. Linda is such an inspiration and dear blessing to us all! So thankful you are inspired to declutter again, Mary!

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  6. This spring I will packing to move back to the states. What to sell? What to keep? are questions I am already asking. Thank you for another good filter. Is this something that is me- not a fantasy me or a me I used to be?

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    1. We will welcome you back, TJ! I'm guessing you'll have wonderful stories to share ...

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    2. God bless you in your decision-making as you prepare for such a big move, TJ!

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I love hearing from you, dear readers! Let's chat!