The Live Lightly Challenge

God’s been really working on my heart and calling me to rethink my lifestyle.

Ok, wait a second before you go judging… 🙂 First off, if you know me, I hope you know that I’m not exactly flashy. I don’t drool over name-brand purses, I hardly ever wear jewelry, and I’m still wearing the same pair of Payless tennis shoes since 2007.

But fancy purses and expensive shoes aside, I’ve still managed to aquire an awful lot of… stuff… And it’s becoming more and more obvious that God’s plan for me is to live lightly. Why? Well, here are a few reasons He has revealed to me.

  • Owning so much stuff is expensive. Looking back on my history, it seems as though I make a pretty considerable move every two years. By considerable, I mean across state lines, not just to a cooler apartment. This most recent relocation from Northern Virginia to Western Pennsylvania was especially stressful. I hired a moving company to do the hard work, thinking I was giving myself some relief from the stress of moving. Nope. My moving truck broke down leaving me with nothing but an overnight bag for nearly three weeks! That was my first wakeup call. When that moving truck finally arrived, I was ashamed at the amount of stuff that was unloaded – most of which I wasn’t even using! There are a lot more lasting things I can invest my money in, and I will save so much money {and stress} by owning less “stuff.” 
  • I often find myself clinging to what is familiar, instead of clinging to Jesus. With every move, the transition seems to get more difficult. I’m sure that’s because I’m getting older. I’ve become a bit more cautious. I’m still adventurous, but I don’t jump in with as much gusto that I used to. And in times of uncertainty like a big move, we look for what’s certain, what’s comfortable, what’s familiar. My things! I can see them and wear them. Familiar books can be reread, favorite bowls or plates dug out and all of a sudden my life looks like what I’m used to. But God calls us to cling to him during uncertain times. “Do not worry about tomorrow… Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.” {Matthew 6:33-34} Why is it so hard to cling to God when it’s unfamiliar? Well, that’s obvious. We have to look harder to see Him. He’s not as visible. But I know he’s there. By living lightly, I leave myself nothing tangible to cling to when I need a sense of security, and force myself to cling to God alone.
  • It’s one of the costs of following Jesus. When he sent his disciples out, he specifically told them, “take nothing for the journey – no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic {Luke 9:3}.” What does that mean to me right now? Well, I’m preparing to be used. I am waiting for him to send me out. And when he does, I want to make sure I’m ready to go. What if he calls me to go to Guatemala and work in an orphanage? What if he sends me to India to work with rescued girls? Even if he were to call me back to Arizona, or to Northern Virginia, my “baggage” does not reflect my readiness to follow very easily. And I don’t want to give him any reason to think I’m not willing and able to go wherever he wants me to go – whenever!
  • It’s about giving to someone who needs it more than I do. In John 21,
    Jesus asks Peter three times if he really loves him, and each time Peter says yes. With each response and with no hesitation, Jesus calls him to prove it by saying “feed my lambs,.. take care of my sheep,.. feed my sheep.” By meeting the needs of others, even through giving my clothes away to others who need them, I am not only showing them Christ’s love but also showing Jesus that I love him. In one of his parables, Jesus also says that, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” I’m not willing to have the reputation of someone who is perfectly capable yet unwilling to meet a need. Especially when so much has been given to me.

I’ve been milling this over, and praying about it, and talking about it with a few friends for quite some time. Enough thinking already, it’s high time for action! So here’s my gameplan: I’m choosing 25 items of clothing to donate on April 1, and will continue selecting one item of clothing each day during the month of April. I’ll keep you updated throughout my destash. I’ll go through the good, the bad, and the ugly with what I’m saying adios to. I don’t want anyone to assume that I think this will be easy.

I don’t think it will be. {I’m already nervous about the end of the month and what my dress stash might look like.}

But it will be rewarding for all the reasons I’ve listed above.

Will you join me?

It’s not too late to start!

Here’s a picture of my day one pile to get you thinking!  I’ll tell you more about what’s all in there next time!