Monday, November 4, 2013

Healthy Breathing

"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue..."
2 Peter 1:3

Every now and then, we get the decluttering bug around our house.
It seems like it hits all three of us at the same time.
Zach will start going through his room, cleaning out drawers,
pilfering through his closet, searching for things he no longer needs, plays with, or uses.
Kevin will begin looking through the garage, 
and helping me look around the house to see if there are things 
we can and should part with.

I don't know how we accumulate the amount of "stuff" we do.
It is like it multiplies and grows and expands.
When it all boils down, how much stuff does a person really need, right?

Since the fall season began,
the "bug" seems to have bitten again.

It must be the cooler weather or something,
but we've had the urge to condense and simplify,
deciding what things we want to keep,
and eliminating things we no longer use or want.

Of course, in the process, we are finding things we haven't seen in years.
The other night, Kevin brought down some boxes from the attic for me to look through.
Looking through those boxes made me feel like I've lived more than one lifetime..already.
Some of it was from way back in my childhood....
little things I have held on to all these years.
A little doll named "Pollyanna" that I used to play with all the time,
a little black chair for her to sit on,
trophies I earned in school,
an old autograph book, signed by people I haven't thought of in years,
my diary from when I was a girl.

I sat there and read every bit of it.
Some of it, I could remember happening.
Other things, even some of the people, I couldn't recollect at all.

Next, I moved on to boxes of stuff from the first several years of our marriage.
Journals I have kept, detailing the events of our everyday life,
cards and letters and keepsakes, 
my bridal bouquet,
pictures of friends and co-workers,
an entire box of things I kept from Dad's funeral.

So many those boxes!
Peering into them was like pulling back a curtain that has been long-closed.
Seeing some of the things brought back the most pleasant emotions.
Seeing others made me feel sad and deeply depressed....
keenly aware of how life has changed,
how much we have aged,
and how very little there is in this world over which we have any control.

We were out and about over the weekend,
and we saw a guy wearing a t-shirt that said,
"Inhale the good, exhale the bad."

I love that.

I wanted to go up and tell him how much I loved that t-shirt,
but the opportunity never came up.
I've thought about those words off and on ever since.

In every situation of life, we are faced with a choice.
We can find the good things, inhale them, savor them, cherish the best parts, and be happy....
exhaling all the bad and just letting it go.
Or we can dig out all the bad stuff, dwell on it, let it stew and simmer,
until we have reached the rock bottom layer of the molly grubs.

I've been holding on to some of that stuff for years and years.
Every time I look at some of it, I feel anxiety....or worse.
It takes me back to places in my life that I'd rather forget ever happened.
So, why am I keeping it?
Maybe it is time to exhale....the bad.

The other day we participated in a yard sale with several others.
While we were getting ready, I went from room to room,
looking at the stuff we have accumulated since we had our last big decluttering.
If I looked at an item and it made me feel anything all....
it made its way to the boxes we had waiting to carry off to the yard sale.
If it made me feel happy, peaceful, or brought a smile to my face,
I held on to it.

Kevin and Zach did the same thing.
We began an intense, deep purge of anything that made us feel anything other than joyful.
There is still a lot more to do....
that was only the beginning. :~)
I am still finding things.
Instead of leaving them out in clear view in the house,
having to look at them every time I glance their way,
I am going to continue my quest to "cleanse",
putting them in boxes and bags to either donate or sell at a later date.
This way, I don't have to see them at all....
and the enemy will have one less weapon to use to bring me down.

"Out of sight" truly is "out of mind" for me.
My memory has become very feeble over the past several years!
If I don't see it, chances are I won't even remember it....
which, in this case, is a good thing.  :~)

The enemy of our souls is loaded with bad stuff.
Things he wants to slip into our lives.
Evil that he wants to sneak into our homes to infiltrate our thoughts
and influence our mindset.
Poison that he wants us to ingest and inhale.
His goal is to inflict the bad into our "breathing" and what we take in.

There is very little in the outside world over which you and I have control.
Home is the exception.
Thankfully, we have dominion over what we allow and do not allow to thrive in the realm we call "home".
I love today's Scripture,
"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue..."

God gives us everything we need that pertains to life and godliness.
He is the One Who has called us to live glorious, virtuous lives.
Everything He gives promotes living a righteous life.
However, satan comes around, walking like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour,
and seeing what he can destroy, kill, and steal away from us.
It is up to us to walk free from his traps.
To surround ourselves with things that
will create an atmosphere of peace and harmony and will be conducive to holy living.

Maybe it is time for all of us to exhale and eliminate the poisons.
To "lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us,
and let us run with patience the race that is set before us..."
Hebrews 12:1

It is hard to run and breathe properly when your lungs are full of toxins.
It is difficult to live a Christian life when you surround yourself with damaging influences.

Sometimes we set ourselves up for failure and discouragement by hanging on to the hurtful parts of our pasts.
Sometimes it is best to even let relationships slip from our grasp....
if they are tearing us down, instead of building us up.
It is hard enough to swim upstream and keep our spiritual heads above water
without dragging unnecessary anchors and leeches behind us.

Maybe it is enough already.
Perhaps it is time to close that door...or chapter....
so that we can live in this

I feel lighter somehow....knowing I've unloaded things that conjured bad memories.
The Lord is helping me to learn to let go....if it doesn't bring me joy.

Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly.

Breathing clean, pure air is a very important part of living a physically-healthy life.
Selectively breathing in only the good things and purposely breathing out the bad
will do wonders for the prosperity of our spiritual health.

A situation recently came up in my extended family in which someone
was accused of saying something she says she didn't say.
It has upset her and hurt her deeply.
Today, I talked with her on the phone,
and after hashing and re-hashing the situation over and over,
I finally said,
"...just put this in the Lord's hands, and let it go."
If she doesn't, it will become like a ball and chain to her...
smothering her joy and happiness....
making it impossible to enjoy life.
Sure, she could go back to this one and that one and try to defend herself,
explain her position in detail and try to make the others see the purity of her intentions.
But, at this point, it would only add more fuel to the fire and produce more strife.
Minds are made up.
Emotions are raw.
Feelings are hurt.
It is best to exhale the bad....
and press forward.
Things like this can literally eat a person alive inside,
leaving them completely drained and spent.
And for what?

It brings satan great pleasure to see a child of God vexed in spirit,
cowered down beneath his tactics, and completely miserable.

The joy of the Lord is our strength.  (Nehemiah 8:10)
If we lose our joy, we become weak...and vulnerable....
to further attacks of satan.

So, take a deep, clean breath of God's wholesome Word,
breathe in His goodness,
bask in His love,
and empty yourself of every bad, demoralizing, depressing, discouraging thing.
As you do, take a moment to inhale the cool, crisp, autumn air....
let it sink deep into your lungs...
then exhale....
and let it go....all of it.

There, now....don't you feel better?


  1. Hi Cheryl, I am so glad I came to visit your blog. I was not born or raised in the U.S. but in my over 20 years living in this blessed nation, I have learned to deeply appreciate country living and primitive decorating. Therefore, as soon as I hit your home-page I was delighted by the feeling that your blog exudes. It is the sense of peace that comes from the simple things, the things made with one's hands. I am not gifted with my hands, but I so appreciate everything hand-made. At any rate, I'm rambling here : ) I just wanted to say I love your blog and your post...I have made it my mission to live a lighter life so de-cluttering is a main goal. Thank you so much for sharing and for those wonderful pictures. Blessings to you always!

    1. Thank you SO much for your kind, encouraging words! I am so glad you stopped by and so thankful I found your blog today. I just love primitive decorating, too....sounds like we have a lot in common! Wish we could meet in person, but so thankful God allowed our paths to cross this way. :) Please come back again. Love, Cheryl

  2. Your story reminded me of some things I still have in a box saved from long ago. Then I remembered my mother having to simplify BIG time. They were tearing down their house, to build a 4 plex and would be living in an apartment. She was burning all her treasures from school and weeping at the same time. I really don't think she needed to part with these things, but in her mind it was necessary.

    1. Your poor, dear mother! It must have broken her heart. I still have a box with my dear Dad's things, and now I have Mom's, also. It hurts to let certain things go, and I won't do it until I am completetly ready. God has sufficient grace. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment behind. God bless you, Cheryl

  3. Oh, dear Cheryl, you have blessed me so as I read your precious thoughts on cleaning house. This is especially powerful to me right now: "The enemy of our souls is loaded with bad stuff. Things he wants to slip into our lives.
    Evil that he wants to sneak into our homes to infiltrate our thoughts and influence our mindset. Poison that he wants us to ingest and inhale. His goal is to inflict the bad into our "breathing" and what we take in.
    There is very little in the outside world over which you and I have control. Home is the exception."
    Oh, you have made me think!
    Excellent post, and I am praying for you and your family and will continue!
    I'm so glad you came for a visit :)

    1. My dear, precious friend! You have blessed me beyond my ability to put into words. Thank you SO much for stopping by my blog and leaving such encouragement behind. I SO appreciate your prayers for us. It means so very much. I am praying for you and your family, also. You are precious to me! Love, Cheryl

  4. Hi Cheryl! I just want to say that I can can relate to you. Had to exhale much so that I could be filled with God's living breath.
    Thank you do much for God's given words. They are priceless, encouraging and cleansing. Yes, inhale the good and exhale the bad. Have a nice day and I am so happy to get to know you. Looking forward for more wisdom from you:)

    1. Thank you my dear, sweet friend. I so appreciate you stopping by. Hope to hear from you again. God's peace be with you! Love, Cheryl

  5. This is a post you should hold onto. It ministered to me today. Thank you.

    1. Thanks, Laura! So glad it did. Have a blessed day. Love, Cheryl

  6. As usual, my friend, I could relate so well to what you said. Oh! If we could always remember to "Inhale the good, and exhale the bad" that would certainly help us heal from life's sorrows. God is good! He has given us wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ--you, Cheryl--to exhort and encourage. I am so glad I took the time to read this tonight. Love, Deborah

    1. I am so happy you stopped by, my dear friend! Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement. You are such a blessing to me. May the dear Lord bless you and keep you in His care. Love, Cheryl

  7. Simplify. Yes.

    Thanks for linking up with Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday. Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Happy Thanksgiving back to you, too! Thanks for stopping by....Love, Cheryl

  8. The part, "...just put this in the Lord's hands and let it go" is so true, and often so hard for me. Truly we do sometimes let the things God has given ("all things that pertain to life and Godliness") get crowded out with lesser things. What a blessing this was! God bless you and I look forward to reading more here.

    1. I am so thankful you stopped by! You are always welcome here! You blessed me in a special way by your comments. God's peace be with you this Thanksgiving Day and always! Love, Cheryl