Minimalism and a minimalist lifestyle have become the new catchphrase in recent years. The idea is when you remove the unnecessary stuff, you free up time and space to focus on the things that matter in life. The famous organizer and author Marie Kondo took that idea to a new level. Rule 6 of the KonMari Method says, “Keep only those things that speak to the heart and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service-then let them go.”    

A few years ago, my husband and I became empty nesters. As our youngest son married and moved out of our home, it suddenly became apparent that we had too much square footage in our lovely house. The second story of the house was seldom used. It was time to downsize and move to a smaller place. We began sifting through all the childhood mementos; long-forgotten trophies, crayon-drawn pictures, and unidentifiable craft projects. All had sentimental value but were they sparking joy?

It became my lot to make those heart-wrenching decisions to keep or discard. I ended up buying one trunk each for my two grown children and filling them with the treasures that I felt they would cherish. There was a hand-sewn quilt from their grandmother, dishes from their great-grandmother, school memories, and pictures—precious heirlooms we can never replace. But so much of what was left was just “stuff,” things accumulated over the years. Items we had moved from house to house took up space but were no longer useful.

There is definite value in taking stock of your home, life, heart, and spiritual walk from time to time and deciding what can be removed and what is an irreplaceable heirloom. Hebrews 12:1 states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (ESV).   The previous chapter, Hebrews 11, listed all the heroes of faith and how God commanded them to leave the comforts of home and step out into the unknown. They had to be willing to let go of all the “stuff” that seemed important to grasp and fulfill God’s greater calling for their lives. It was time to let go of the good to grab the great. 

What is cluttering your heart and mind or weighing down your walk with God today? Maybe long-held offenses, disappointments, fear, or regrets? It could be a desire to people-please, pride, self-doubt, or jealousy. Sometimes as women, we can walk through life dragging a suitcase full of worry, unmet expectations, bitterness, or hatred because of past situations and circumstances.

Take inventory of your heart. If there are things that don’t spark the joy of the Lord, clear them away and place them under the blood of Jesus.

Pray the prayer of Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” When we do the hard work of surrendering those things to God, we make room for His Spirit to move into the empty spaces we’ve created. We can have more of God’s joy and peace when we have less of the world and its stresses and chaos. We can truly experience “when less is more.”


Shelly Stringfellow is the blessed wife of one husband, Roy, for the past 38 years, proud mother of two exceptional adult children, Candace and Jordan, and Mimi, to the two cutest grandbabies ever, Ellainya and Selah. She loves reading and writing but is not a fan of ‘rithmetic! She attends Lighthouse Church in Princeton, Texas, where her son-in-law and daughter pastor.

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