Sermon on the Mount 2014: Day 11

Of moth and rust

by

Today's Text: Matthew 6:19-24, 1 Timothy 6:10, Proverbs 4:23

Text: Matthew 6:19-24, 1 Timothy 6:10, Proverbs 4:23

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy”
– Matthew 6:19a

Have you ever had a moment (or two) in your life that caused you to look around and think, “I just want to sell everything and move to another country. Start over, live small, help people.” Many of us have, and the extreme emotions behind those feelings usually fade in a few days. Life returns to our normal.

In those brief glimpses, we have an idea of the true value of things. We see our worldly possessions with new eyes.

Having stuff isn’t bad. A home full of memories and charming decorations isn’t a sin. It’s not that Jesus has a problem with treasure—it’s our heart toward our treasure that is the problem. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim. 6:10, emphasis mine). When we have our hearts set on that new car, those vintage collections, or another Target run (even though on the last one you wonder if you slipped into a coma on aisle 4, because how did it end up costing that much?!) — these are the desires that cause us to stumble.

When our worldly goods are a tripping point for us in our faith, it’s time to look and see where our hearts are really tuned. If you are storing up treasures on earth in hopes someone will be envious of your life—or because you’re fearful of what the future holds—Stop. Think about where your “things” will go someday. To the trash? To someone else? Maybe a Buzzfeed article called “20 Ancient Relics Once Considered Cool”?

You can’t take it to heaven.

When you die, what do you want to go with you? Tears of sorrow and rejoicing from those you loved well on earth? A content heart, knowing you’re meeting Jesus with hands open wide? If I bind up my heart and mind with money and clothing and “stuff”— is there room for Christ? We want our hearts to be bursting with Him, not our love of things.

Store your treasures up in heaven, where the rot of earth can’t destroy any of it. You may have the most beautiful car, boat or airplane in the world, but it’s going to be really tough to get it all into the funeral parlor. Once you’re in the presence of our Lord, not one of those earthly possessions will matter one bit.

11

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  • This is a great reminder of what is and is not important. Reality check!!!!

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  • Danielle Nicole

    Clear The Stage- Jimmy Needham. This song reminds me so much of this reading. God please allow us to clear the stage for you and only you!

  • Jennifer

    Keeping our mind on God despite earthly distractions is what I believe true faith is. Those who can turn their backs on human desires and live lives that make a difference are my spiritual role models. Perhaps one day I can have faith like theirs!

  • We’ve felt lead to be a single income family and it’s tough as the sacrifice is often more than earthly treasure! God blesses us and I am glad to come back to this- we can’t take it with us! Heart treasure is so much more valuable. treasures. I’m

  • As Christians, we all are guilty of storing up treasures on Earth instead of preparing for eternity. This life will be over in the blink of an eye, and what will we be left with? Nothing, aside from our kingdom work. My pastor’s sermon was about this very thing last Sunday. I felt convicted as I listened because I know I spend too much time, effort, and money storing up treasures on Earth and not preparing for eternity. What really matters is how we serve the Lord, and lead others to Him. What are we doing to store up treasures in Heaven? Jesus, please help me to hear your voice as you guide me in ways to do just that. I want to be faithful to your calling in my life.

  • My favorite !!!! We get so caught up into what we want what’s the next best new thing and we forget God is what is important to us.

  • Rebeckah

    My husband and I live in an apartment and I have so been pining for a house. This helped me put that into perspective and check my motives and heart on the matter. Thank you.

  • Joelle Madison

    I needed to hear this. Thank you.

  • Elizabeth Grace

    Not only needed this word today, but was so encouraged to see I am not the only one who need to hear it. My entire childhood was one that was never financially secure. We were definitely blessed with our basic needs, but there were a lot of kids and my dad worked hard to bring home what he did. I have been working jobs since I was 12 and somewhere along the way the mentality that: “if I work hard enough, I will have not only what I need, but finally some of my wants”.
    It’s amazing (and sometimes, in the moment, frustrating) how the Lord continues to use situations to remind me that He is my Provider.
    In the last couple years, we have had a very unexpected and unavoidable debt come into our lives. It has been a very heavy burden and we have done our best to get it off our backs, moving to a less expensive place, selling our 2nd car, trying to find 2nd jobs for both of us, cutting expenses, trying to say “no” to anything that is not necessary (not always succeeding), but it has and looks like it will be a long road still. If definitely affects everything we do financially. Because of Christmas coming up and continuing to have unavoidable needs come up, i have been a little blue thinking of living like this for ANOTHER year.
    But He has provided in so many incredible ways, I just need to keep trusting Him. And when I step back, i’m glad that he is not idle in pruning me to keep my heart dependent on Him and NOT on finances. Keep teaching me, Lord. I trust you to take care of us.

    • Emily

      Wow! I have a very similar story. Growing up my family was never financially stable. Mom was the breadwinner and my dad has been in depression for the past 20 years.
      God has called me to Bible school and I’m looking at my finances and thinking, “Lord, this is crazy. I won’t make it. ” meanwhile in the process, He has been pruning me too. I was convicted that I rely more on making my finances stable than relying on Him. Money became an idol in my life.

      God has continued to provide for me in amazing ways, and is continuing to help me say , “You are enough Lord, Your power is mighty. ”

      Thanks for sharing your story. It great to be in community with such honest women!

  • I can’t hear what people think of me when I’m dead. God is the only power and thought I want to glorify :)

  • Sarah Peterson

    Encouraging words for the morning! I can’t take my job with me when I pass. The boss I should worry about pleasing is the Lord!

  • I always think about selling all my possessions and moving to another country where no one knows me and starting over. I think about that all day everyday. I honestly believe that would make me happy. Living in a world of debt, my main focus is money, as most Americans my age (26) and who have a four year degree and are still trying to figure life out. Money is the root of all things evil because most people want richness of worldly things and not richness of spiritual things. Most of us think we are of this world and we are not. As for worldly possessions, the only thing I have is a car. I live at home. I’m trying to save so that I can get put of debt, move away to a deserted island and just serve the Lord. Lol j/k about the deserted island part anyway. I want to live somewhere where there is no pressure to have the most money, biggest house, nicest car and top Fortune 500 career. I want to live where your happiness and treasures are being built in heaven, waiting for your arrival.

    • Molly J

      Moniqua, it’s so encouraging to hear that someone else feels so similarly to me! After two mission trips to Costa Rica, all I want to do is sell everything and move there to see what God has for me. But I also know I have a responsibility to pay off my debt, as frustrating and overwhelming as it is (especially on a single girl’s budget). But I believe, for both of us, that if that is truly something He has for us, He will keep that passion alive in our hearts and give us the means and motivation to clear off our debts. Praying for you!

    • Kristina

      Live where your happiness and treasures are built on Jesus…right where you are…regardless of location the temptation is a temptation of the heart.

  • These past few months I have been waiting for God to pave the right path for me to walk along. I have realized that worry is a sin and can separate us from the love of God. As soon as I stopped worrying about my situation and started having hope and faith to believe that I am always in Gods care, he answered my prayers in the most incredible ways! Turn your worry into hope and faith that God has it all under control!

  • Our pastor likes to say “You never see a U-Haul behind a hearse!”

  • My most precious treasures, besides people in my life, are my memories. I obsess over photos and scrap booking. I suppose there are worse things but sometimes I know I’m missing out because I’m taking photos instead of living in the moment. These verses remind me that when anything other than God becomes our treasure, we miss out.

  • Alise, so true. We are going through a similar struggle because I haven’t been able to find work. Hubby and I were both unemployed for 4 months – talk about testing your faith! I’m learning the same truths – needs and wants are very different things. We are not out of the red yet but I’m not stressing We must do our best with what we have and trust that God will supply our needs. So we end up downsizing – no biggy. we have so much to be thankful for in North America. We can make it with less if called to do so. Nothing like a financial crisis to get me to focus on where my heart and treasures are. I love the comment in the devo about old relics for sale – that’s where all the stuff ends up!

  • “Making another Target run”!!! This girl’s been reading my diary lol! Good message full of truth. Just what I needed to hear. Grateful for SRT this morning.

  • It’s always funny to me the ‘coincidences’ of walking in the Spirit. We’ve been in financial lockdown for about nine month. every month I’ve had to pick and choose what bills to pay so we could just afford to buy groceries. Living frugally has never been my husband and my strong suit; this has been a huge learning curve for us. And just when we would think we’d do okay one month, something random would come up to put us right back where we were. But I know what God is/was doing. He was breaking my addiction to financial security. He was making me realize that He is wealth and treasure, not possessions or a solid bank account. We could live paycheck to paycheck indefinitely, because God is my Provider. This month I finally saw the light at the end of our financial struggles tunnel. We got to the end praising God for what HE’S done, not what we managed to scrap together. But this study reminded me, a day after doing bills, not to get a big head about having a few extra dollars in my bank account. That’s Gods provision, I have very little to do with it.

  • That is awesome! I want so bad for my family to stop focusing on “stuff”. We are trying to make changes, and took Ramsey’s class, but my husband won’t follow any “rules”. Don’t get me wrong. He is an amazing man. He, like many men, falsely believes that if we need to sell stuff or go on a strict budget, then somehow he isn’t providing for us. I would love to live with less stuff. My house is a mess constantly. I am looking forward to the day I can get rid of my oldest’s toys. He has so much stuff! And he is so attached to every piece of junk. I just keep praying for God to change our hearts. He is, slowly. But he is!

  • Jennifer R.

    This devotional really hit home for me today. My husband and I are working hard to get out of a little over 6 figures worth of debt (mostly student loans), doing Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. My husband is currently working 2 jobs, at 80 hours a week, just to keep a roof over our head. Im a SAHM to a 1 year old, because childcare is just too expensive. So we were like "how are we going to get out of all this debt on a 45K income? I mean, some months we barely get by because my husband's main job is commission based (you never know what some months will bring). So I started looking around and realized we have A LOT of STUFF! All STUFF I love dearly, but stuff none the less. And because I love it so, I realized that was even more of a reason to get rid of it. So little by little I've been selling our belongings. It's terrifying and liberating all at the same time. It's nice to be in control of our possessions and not the other way around. It's nice to know that they're going to people who need them more than we do. And it's even nicer to know every dollar we receive goes to paying off our debt. At the end of the day, these are just things that we don't really need. We like to have them, but we don't need them. And once we're finally out of debt we'll have the ability to give to, and serve, others abundantly. We might be sitting Indian style on the floor soon, eating rice and beans for dinner but like Dave says. "Live like no one else, so you can live and GIVE like no one else." <3

    • Sarahjane

      Absolutely in love with this ^^^

    • Devan

      My husband and I are in the same boat, and I have been doing the same thing! It’s hard to realized how much you originally paid ad how much you are getting for the items, but it’s good incentive to really scrutinize my purchases.

    • Priscilla

      Going through Dave Ramsey’s class now…lots of great nuggets regarding how to do finances Gods way :)

  • So easy to get caught up in what the worlds tells me I need, but the truth is that He is all I need. Thank you Lord.

  • This came at the right time. With it being “Tax Return Season”, money can easily burn a hole in my pocket

  • Reading this today has me thinking of Hillsong’s, “All I Need Is You”…”All I need is you, is you Lord.” He is all any of us need! Lord that you would be enough for me, today & every day. All I need is you.

  • Megan Matthews

    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, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭12‬:‭1-2‬ ESV)

    These “things” that capture our heart, hinder our relationship with the Lover of our soul. There comes a point when we realize we don’t need these “things” to make us happy, or fulfilled because all we need is Jesus to run the race with endurance. :)

    …Awesome message! Thank you!

  • When I am thirsty, I do lift my cup to Target or Starbucks sometimes to fill it. But, I never get quenched. When I raise my cup to The Lord to fill me with His love and grace, the fulfillment is so all consuming it can’t even compare to the earthly attempts. May I have the grace to remember this at every thirst.

  • Waynette

    Father help me not be consumed by things. I want to be consumed by You and merely enjoy the blessings.

  • Vita brevis….Life is short. Proverbs 13:7. One pretends to be rich and yet has nothing another pretends to be poor yet has great wealth. Keep a kingdom perspective sisters! We are just passing through. : ) love to you!

  • My brother in law pointed out something to me that opened my eyes to how I was serving money. He said that even worrying about money can be a sign that it is your master. If my actions and thoughts are constantly driven by how I use my money than I can easily lose out on the joy of giving out of love or even receiving in love.

  • Mrs.Walton

    This is one thing I can toot my own horn. We didn’t grow up with a lot of money or processions so as an adult I live the same way, very frugal. I find having close friendships to call on and babies to get down and play with much more satisfying than a new coach purse and diamond rings. Sometimes I’m very grateful for my childhood.

  • This is extremely relevant to me today. I just got home from a year abroad doing mission work and teaching English in Paraguay. While I’m home for six weeks one of my goals is to clean out my storage unit to get rid f the hefty monthly bill as well as the weight off my shoulders of so many possessions I’ve held on to for far too long. Me wading this today has reminded me once again that life’s not about the STUFF, but about the HEART.

    I’m looking forward to getting this weight of my shoulders and cutting ties with these possessions that are keeping me from living my full potential to do God’s work because I’m left with an expensive bill and a feeling of having one foot in FL with all this stuff and one foot in South America.

    • Cassidy

      Sorry for so many typos! Can’t figure out how to edit the post and I’m still getting used to speaking and typing so much English again!!

    • Goldie

      Well said Cassidy.

  • I know this passage is specifically referring to money, but I think the main principle can relate to other areas too. Guard your heart, you can’t serve two masters, store up your treasure in heaven not earth… I am prone to put my heart in my success academically, athletically… I treasure the approval and praise of others…. I must stop treasuring these things so much and focus on Christ. The treasure I have in heaven. And on living each day for him, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit storing up my treasure in heaven.

  • Michelle

    As a freshman in college, I don’t find myself worrying about needing the newest clothes or phones or anything like that. However, I’m constantly worried about how I’m going to pay for my books next semester. God more than provided for my first semester, so I’m trying to keep that faith, but it’s hard. This passage is such a great reminder that my “treasures” (I guess textbooks can be haha) aren’t going to stay with me. God will provide for what I need- NEED not WANT. This has been such a beautiful reminder! Thank you!

  • “Guard your heart above all else…” Note it says guard, not follow. Today’s society is all about ‘following our hearts’ by clever marketing and advertising we so easily fall into this trap. Me included. And I don’t have the money to spend, we live from week to week with no savings yet I still am tempted by the things money can supposedly buy. Thank you Jesus that following you and you alone doesn’t cost us…it provides for us! How amazing is the free love and grace of our beautiful Saviour.

    • Paige

      Beautifully said!

    • Leah

      Shemeva, such an important distinction! Guard, not follow, your heart.

      Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)
      The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

      I have long objected to “follow your heart.” We should follow Jesus not our hearts.

  • Tori Branch

    Just like drugs and or alcohol, money is also addictive and the want to have more has caused me great griefs and it has caused me to get further from God and it has made my mind cloudy and my heart cloudy as well. I do not want to be envious and I do not want to want “More”. I want to be more like Him. I want Jesus in my heart and He is enough. I pray that I may draw closer to Him and I pray for help in this area of my life. Amen

  • Courtney

    Thank you Lord for all my non-earthly treasures: your love, grace, and the hope you instill. (And thank you for my earthly blessings too!)

  • Emerald Lee

    Praying for you rachel!!!!!

  • Kaiulani

    It’s amazing how caught up in the “stuff” we have. I have had many thoughts where I just want to start all over– and I’ve begun to recognize those feelings– and take action in small ways! Great insight!

  • Tiffany Beaumont

    This devotion was so on time for me. I just got my first paycheck from my first “real” job. Right before i read my devo, I started calculating how I’m going to split it up, and what I should I get from the mall. And then I read this devotion lol thank you Lord for the conviction.

  • supersharayah

    I need to bind up my heart and mind with Jesus! He should be what fills both as he is the only one that matters!!

  • I’m in the middle of moving – always a reminder that I have way too much stuff! And so disorienting to feel untethered to a particular home. Thank you for the reminder that God is my home, and the challenge to let go of my grasp on material possessions.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Lara, I just moved too, and I can SO relate to that feeling! Praying for your transition!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Meaghan T

    I am encouraged by God’s loving kindness to forgive me for chasing after these things instead of him. He loves us all so deeply. Oh sin where is your sting? I repent and turn towards my beautiful creator. I was created for more than fancy things. I was created to show the world a piece of Gods heart.

  • Praise Him who is provident in all things!! Today’s devotion definitely convicted
    my heart. I’ve always loved the idea of a simple life but often, I find myself not reflecting that for other people. For example, this devotion convicted me about how I treat my best friend. I’ve realized that I need to stop pushing him towards feeling like he needs material things because he doesn’t. He struggles financially and often I condemn that by making it seem like he neeeds more things. Instead, I should continue to encourage him towards Christ. I’m so thankful to serve and be loved by a God who intentionally pursues and changes my heart everyday. Thank you, She Reads Truth for such a great source of wisdom and encouragement.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Thanks for the encouragement, Morgan! Beautiful words. We love having you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • Bree

      This is just what I needed to read today, your post, Morgan, included. I’ve realized recently that I’ve seen having an education and a good job as a reason to give respect, because there’s stability in those things. But that’s a lie. True stability comes from the love of Jesus, not from things and being financially secure. I pray I stop believing that lie and start finding my treasures in heaven, not in things of the world. Thank you, She Reads Truth and Morgan! Jesus used you both to touch my heart today!

  • How relevant is this for my life? I consider myself a lover of pretty things and I know I truly love collecting said pretty things, whether it be clothes/shoes/jewelry, or art, or lovely journals. Sometimes I view my Instagram feed and show my husband 4 or 5 things that I just have to have. My prayer is that God would help me to care less about seeing beauty in things and more about seeing the vast loveliness he offers us! I am truly thankful that God shows us glimpses of his abundant love through the beauty of this earth and community he surrounds us with!

  • Love how relevant this is with it’s target & buzzfeed references! My husband and I decided we would like to live simply, with less stuff, and a lot cheaper a few months ago. We have slowly been selling stuff we don’t need, making all our food from scratch, and aggressively paying off our student loans. It has brought so much joy into our lives and I’ve learned so much about depending on The Lord. My treasures are in heaven has been my mantra throughout and I have been looking forward to this day in the sermon on the mount. I’m freshly encouraged and excited to continue our journey to being debt free and living a simple, soul satisfying life. <3

  • Rachel Jefferson

    I am the worst spender! God, please help me to focus on what’s more crucial to my life. The newest clothing trends, or spending time with You, my Heavenly Father. I’ve been job hunting, and today, I am actually going in to pick up a few different applications, I need to focus my hearts desires. Am I looking for another paycheck, or to be a light to my coworkers and future boss?! God puts us in places for a reason, pray with me for the perfect job that God has in store for me! I love you all~

    • SheReadsTruth

      I love your heart, Rachel! Praying for you in your job hunt!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

      • Rachel Jefferson

        I got hired! The exact place I had wanted to work interviewed and hired me. It’s true, if we delight ourselves in The Lord, He WILL give us the desires of our hearts. Thanks for praying!

  • ^^^oh, obviously I did not mean to bind materialism TO me, but OFF of me! :)

  • Binding the spirit of materialism on myself this morning! This is definitely one of those, “I do what I don’t want to do” Paul things for me. I can’t stand that I like stuff so much. Lord, bind my wandering heart to thee!

  • Catherine

    Going into a job interview in a couple hours. The Lord really knows how to pick the perfect devotion for your day. I pray that I would focus on the purpose of my job instead of the pay. And how I can thank Him for this opportunity instead of focusing on what I can get out of it. Praying for contentment for whatever happens with this interview.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Catherine, praying with and for you! Asking He would equip you with steadfast peace and discernment. Keep us updated!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

      • Catherine

        Praise God! He hears my every prayer! After my interview I spent the whole day back and forth between worrying and crying out to The Lord for me to trust in his will. Oh and by the way, I got the job!

  • So I know I’m behind as far as up to date with what everyone else is reading but I’m loving this app and what it has to offer. This is my first post! Can you say excited?!? I’m so excited that God has led me to a place where I can share my thoughts with other beautiful women of Christ as well as hear others thoughts!

    I find myself getting caught up in the materials of the world all the time. When I graduated college and was trying to find a job, my biggest question was how much money can I make? Now isn’t that just ridiculous??? I was willing to turn down other jobs that didn’t pay as well even though they could have been jobs I would have completely loved! Now, I’m in a job that is a great job with great benefits and I know it can provide for me but I find myself unhappy with going to work. I know this isn’t where my passion is.

    With this devotional, I know just how important it is that we guard our hearts from stresses like this. I truly believe one could drive themselves into a place that is lacking in peace by trying to “keep up with the Jones’s.” It’s time to get back to that place of peace that God wants for me! This is my declaration on this beautiful Hump Day! :) God Bless!!

    • SheReadsTruth

      Shelbi, your post made my day today!! I\’m so happy you\’re here and that God is drawing you near to Him through His Word. I love your declaration and am praying for you! Love to you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • Taylor

      Shelby, your comment was inspiring.

  • Caroline

    This is so important to remember living in a culture obsessed with material things. We catch ourselves wishing we had the newest iPhone or the most popular shoes, when we should really be focusing on God.

    • SheReadsTruth

      You\’re right, Caroline! Thanks for sharing. We love having you here!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • roatandebi

    Oh may He help us to be “rich toward God” Luke 12:21

  • Claire Jones

    I constantly find myself wanting to leave the “American” life. It’s so easy to get caught up in what others have and living a life of comparison. This was such a great reminder to take a step back and remember what’s truly important: sharing the love of Christ with everyone around us.

  • Thank you Diana for sharing! I have been examining my desire for things, specially when they are so pretty and bring me joy. It has been a hard process and reading this confirms that The Lord is working in my heart. I want to experience freedom in Christ and desire to be satisfied in Him alone. I want psalm 23 to be the truth of my heart.

    The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (‭Psalm‬ ‭23‬:‭1-3‬ ESV)

    I would appreciate your prayers sisters!

  • Daniella

    I think the biggest thing that stands In this scripture for me, is focusing on what’s important. Period. Not worrying about what is evil or pure. Because we don’t know the answer for everyone. One mans car is a car. While one mans car could be an idol. That’s the condition of the heart. It’s about focusing inward. The bible is not going to list what I can and cannot love, want, need. But it will list to keep a focus on what is beneficial for me. I often just check myself, and not for guilts sake, but because I improve my self and grow. And that’s okay with me. It is sometimes challenging and other times it is like a weight off my shoulders. All bout’ day’ heart condition.

  • Lindsey Douglas

    This is one of my biggest struggles lately. I’m very confused about it. This really helped hearing that wanting to make your home nice isn’t a sin but I still struggle. How can you decide if your desires to dress in style or decorate aren’t pulling you away from God? Even if your heart desires only to present yourself well or your home well? Why do I really need to get my hair done? I do feel the struggle of serving two masters. I can’t seem to find a middle ground where I feel okay buying things we don’t NEED. I really would like to hear from others how they feel about this to give me some direction.

    • Blythejoy

      Anytime I find myself wrestling with something that could be considered a gray area (or easily debatable), I kind of love it. Yes, it can be frustrating, but here are a few questions I ask myself. 1. Is this just a random train of thought based on one comment/incident/etc? Or does the Lord seem to be repeating Himself? I find the Lord speaks. And then speaks again. And again. Maybe He only has to say it once for some, but I find if I'm listening, He's repeating it, often through different avenues. 2. What would happen if I made that change I think He may be calling me to? This is where honesty counts big time! If I find that my resistance to change is based on, ahem (cough, cough), say pride? Yeah. Or in the case of my things, "happiness" or a burst of oxytocin? Sometimes there is a deeper consequence to consider. What if, even as a stay-at-home mom, my IDENTITY is wrapped up in being "the mom with the decorating skills," or "the mom who only buys organic," etc. I don't want to be know for things other than who I am in Christ. Does that mean I don't put any care into the appearance of my home? Of course not. But what are my motives, where is my heart? I have found that there are sometimes seasons where the Lord will convict me personally of something that I have to let go of, at least for a season. And each time I have reaped rewards and freedom from Him.

      Personally, I've been led to greatly (if not severely) limit unnecessary purchases. The amazing thing? I'm finding that the Lord has been blessing me in little ways, just to remind me He's there. Example: most of our drinking glasses had met one unfortunate fate after another in the last month. They aren't expensive, but I was dreading the task of buying more because I knew it meant facing spending temptation (that I specifically have been called away from), AND if I wanted to be technical, we didn't NEED them. We could drink out of mugs, canning jars, etc. It would just be nice to have some more glasses. A few days after I had this thought, guess what? A friend posted things on Facebook that she was getting rid of, and amount them, a dozen glasses that matched mine. I didn't even have to leave my home and the Lord met a "want" I had. I've been taking my "wants" case by case, submitting them to Him and asking for guidance as to weather or not I should use my resources in that way. Sometimes, he says "yes" to a pedicure, and it's awesome :)

      Maybe the Lord does want you to cut down on expenditures, on the excess. Keep seeking Him, ask Him. I know He'll answer you just like He does me. Blessings!

      • Betsy P.

        I LOVE those two questions you ask yourself! My husband and I are currently buying our first (and hopefully forever) home and there are so many decisions to make…all of which cater very easily to pride or love of appearances. I will definitely be praying through these questions as we make the move this weekend…thank you for sharing!

  • Another Target run … Truly my downfall! Beautiful devotional with pertinent life application as always SRT team!
    Thank you!

  • Definitely pins! Also showing a version of my stuff and life on IG that is visually appealing, but where is my heart and treasure in that? Such a good reminder to have a kingdom mindset first. Seek Him first!!

  • Helen Joy

    I missed a few days last week and am just going back. This. This is just right where my heart has been. I feel like I’m drowning in stuff! I’m addicted to buying things with the promise if making my life fulfilled. But it never ends and I’m never happy. I’ve been storing up things that will rot! This endless cycle of stuff and unhappiness will never resolve.
    Praying that God will redeem me of this addiction and that I will spend time focusing on eternal things.
    I am thinking of making August a month where I don’t buy anything other than food. I need something drastic. Hoping I can focus on things that last, like relationships, community, family, and being more fulfilled in Christ.

  • Missed this on the day it was posted but God is so good and this is so timely. I fall into the trap of storing up; food, clothes for my children, Pins on Pinterest

    • Diana Stone

      I’d never even though of these examples. But yes – and Pinterest is not only about storing for me but a portrayal of what I “think” my life should be. I’d guess 80% of my pins I never use. Good thoughts Alli.

  • I am late reading this, and it reminds me of the message at church yesterday. Hebrews 12:1 "…everything that hinders AND the sin…". What hinders and distracts me? It's not that it's sinful, but it's not wise and hinders your walk with Christ. I immediately thought of shopping.

    Accumulating "things" soothes me. Yes, shopping is my drug. I've always put a lot of emphasis on having nice things when I could afford it, and always told myself that I deserved it. And in the end, all I really had was a moment's pleasure and a bill at the end of the month. All for what? It's all of these things that distract me from what is really important. Why should my happiness be bound up by all of these things? It has taken me into my 50s to realize this and it makes me sad. I've passed this shopping gene onto my daughter who thankfully is realizing this is an issue at a much earlier age.

    I am realizing more and more through study, prayer, and my amazing church, that "discipline is the difference between average and abundance". Focusing my eyes on Jesus and not on the things of this world is what I should be doing to bring the inner peace I desire. I'm grateful for SRT in my inbox each day for keeping this on the forefront of my mind daily.

    • Leigh

      Wow – I love that quote – “discipline is the difference between average and abundance”!!! That is so true. If we would remember that – we will more gladly endure discipline. That’s for sharing!

  • I have never posted before but i thought we all need to start sometime.

    Lately all I have cared about is being “popular” and having a lot of friends by having earthly items. But that doesn’t matter at all. I realized reading this that it is actually a sin. I thought I may have been a little prideful but I’m not good at much so it was fine to be proud of what I have. In truth I was trying to show off and being rude doing it. Also I could have been hurting people in premoting myself. I’m not serving God when I’m boasting. Who cares if I have all I need and more. I can have but just not boast about it. I really need ed this pointed out so thank you so much.

  • Love this! In the season my husband and I are building our first home for us and our children, it’s easy to get distracted with the excitement of the events. It’s not a sin to be happy with our blessing, so long it doesn’t become the center of our worship. God chose to bless us this way, and He deserves and gets ALL the glory for this. My worship isn’t for my home or clothes or car, it’s for Him ONLY! Without Him, I am and have nothing. Through Him, I have life abundantly. With or without a new home. My contentment lies in Him, period.

  • oz country chic

    Good morning friends. First post here after following along for a while. Halfway around the world and I also struggle with the tyranny of stuff. Over the last four years, inspired by my sweet sil, some great blogs and books and four house moves i am fighting the urges_ to buy bargains for the rush, pretty things to fill spaces, the new and the interesting only to wrestle with letting go of the same stuff perhaps only months later. One other thing I struggle with is gifts. I am not naturally generous with money or things, yet will give time freely but as I become more aware of the hold “Stuffism” has over so many of us I have even more trouble trying to give to loved ones who need nothing. How do I reconcile generosity with minimalism? I don’t want more stuff given to me either. How can I communicate this to those who just want to give?
    Prayers for those who are dealing with loss of those who are dear to them. Don’t be afraid to hold memories. Perhaps taking photos of some of these items that are precious only for memories sake can hold the memory and not the stuff itself. Or journaled descriptions of the memories. Just ideas

  • I am unemployed feeling a bit tensed, desire to buy a new car and house one day, got a ADN and BSN in nursing and still not working. I remember part of me in my dream today telling the Lord I need a job. Before even doing my devotion today I went straight online to find some nursing jobs and boy was that depressing. Before reading this post today I kept thinking about money, what others have compared to what I don't have. Some days I am encouraged that the Lord knows all my needs and will provide and make a way and some days (like today) I feel discouraged. Anyways there is a song by "The Walls Group" called SATISFIED that I've been listening to like crazy these past couple of days and is a song I really enjoy because it makes me think that if I never get that new car or home will I just be satisfied in Christ? I pray that I do. I think God may be teaching me in this season of my life to learn how to be content REGARDLESS of my circumstances and to glorify him anyhow, after all he knows how to take care of his children. Just pray for me please that the Lord gives my direction, peace, and satisfaction on whatever he has for me in my life.

    • CarrieLynne31

      z-girl, I'll say a prayer for you and that God opens the right doors. How amazing that this devotion came at such a great time for you! Be encouraged and know He is right by your side. Blessings, Carrie

  • Sarah @ Feeeding the Brain and Body

    Love the thoughts this devotional prompted me to think about: Things don’t necessarily mean physical things. It is not only possible but actually much easier to make idols of the moths of our minds and the rust of our routines. Personally I store up accomplishment, education, and productivity where I should be storing up awe, enlightenment, and praise.

  • Cindy Franklin

    This devotional at this time is a God thing for me. I recently found a book called The Joy of Less that is the best ever step by step guide to making space in your life, home and heart for the important stuff. That would be Jesus! Also found Buy Nothing communities on Facebook where folks are sharing and meeting their “stuff” needs without buying more stuff. I can do it, you can do it. Stuff can hold us hostage. Thank you Jesus for the reminder that you taught us this first.

  • How incredibly convicting this was, particularly today. My prayers have been loaded with requests that a loan we're waiting on would go through, a loan that is very much needed to finish our house but not one that should be taking up every waking thought.

    My husband and I have been waiting to move (with our children, of course) for quite awhile now and I've been slowly packing boxes and storing them in the garage just waiting for the go-ahead to start bringing it all over to our new house. And yet, we have not missed a single thing in those boxes over the last two months. If that doesn't tell me something, I don't know what will. Granted, some of it is framed photos that we obviously won't be tossing, but there's exercise equipment and clothing and shoes and, gosh, the list goes on and on. I'm pretty sure a garage sale is in order!

    I just started (seriously JUST started – haven't gotten through the first paragraph yet) of Jen Hatmaker's book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess and I am truly amazed at God's timing in it all. Packing things away, this book I've had on hold for awhile finally comes in at the library, and then this devotional. If I've ever doubted "hearing" God's voice, I definitely don't now! There's coincidence and then there's God and this is truly God.

    Lord, I pray that Your words would sink deep into my heart today. That I would stop focusing on money or possessions and focus instead on the blessings that have come straight from you: my husband, my children (including the one kicking away at my insides at the moment), the memories we have all shared and will continue to create, Lord willing, for many many years to come. Make me to see that the things around me are just that: things. Thank you Lord for your always impeccable timing!

    • CarrieLynne31

      Chrissy, I love Jen Hatmaker's book. I found it very helpful in getting my life in order. I also found a website called http://www.becomingminimalists.com that has good information (though not from a biblical standpoint). Last year, I also signed up to do the 40 bags in 40 days which was on Facebook. I got rid of so much. Wow! Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Blessings, Carrie

  • CarrieLynne31

    This past year, I have really been focusing on these set of verses. My husband and I have six children and we were realizing how easy our home becomes a place of clutter because of all of the "things." Our children were still wanting more and even with all that they get from relatives (and us), they still had issues of the heart when it came to sharing their things. We don't want to raise our children thinking they are entitled to everything. It's so hard when they are constantly bombarded with commercials of what they should have.

    For years, I have also struggled with wanting the approval of others. With that approval often comes thoughts of comparison with others. It's so easy to want what others have thinking it'll bring us the happiness we want to have in our lives. Oh that vacation that someone posted pictures of on their FB wall sounds so amazing! I want to go there too. And those pictures on Pinterest that I pinned to my board of how I want my house to look is making me only want more. Yet, several times a year, we are going through our home and giving away so much. Why do we have so much to give away? My husband and I looked at that and realized we had a problem. So we started on a journey to become minimalists. We aren't there yet but God is still working in our lives to acquire less and live more storing up treasures in heaven.

    It's interesting too because we are in a situation where my husband is making a job change. He could either choose a job that makes more money and we'd have to worry a lot less about it each month (and would even be able to give a lot away to others which is a big draw) or choose a job that is less than what we are making now, we'd be barely above water, but he'd be home every night. The amount of money between each job is incredibly different. So this set of verses really hits home for us right now. Please lift us up in prayer in that we make the right decisions and are able to serve God with whatever He is leading us to next. Blessings, Carrie

    • Elizabeth

      Lifting you up in prayer Carrie! I know so many Moms who have been in your shoes with their Hubby's job. I can tell from someone who grew up with very little – we were pretty content little kids. When I look back to my childhood – I didn't have a favorite doll or movie. I had a favorite tree – and a big bucket that was filled with rainwater that we fall in to from the monkey bars. We had music although it was mostly 60s & 70s music so not that same as today's messages. All that to say – I didn't have TV or lots of toys but I am so grateful for my parents minimalistic nature even though it came from not having the much money – we survived. We were strong together and still are. I'm so eager to here about what happens next for you guys. I'm surrounded by big families in my life so I'm very passionate about that! I'm praying that when we have children we will have the same mind to be storing up our treasures in heaven and so thankful that my hubby & I are working so hard to allow him to be able to be home more once we do have kids. Not many stay at home Dads are there? haha.. anyways short term sacrifice for longterm gains… so I know you can relate with your husband working so much. Praying for you guys!!

      • CarrieLynne31

        Thank you, Elizabeth. I love hearing about your experience growing up. That is the kind of thing I want our kids to do. I want them to have imaginations and not every colorful object. Our oldest is nine and people around us ask if he has his own iPhone or other technology gadget. Our deal is that he can get one someday when he has the money to pay for it (when he's 16 or older). I want my children to be able to see what's around them and not be distracted by things. I love that you had a favorite tree! How cool! And I love that you are thinking ahead about your family plans. It's so important to have your husband around for when you do have children. I love that you are saving up for when that time comes. I'll pray for you all. It's important to us in that respect also. My husband is leaving the military after 11 years in. With constant deployments and trainings, we felt it was time for him to be around more. We are excited for the change! Thank you again for the prayers. Blessings, Carrie

        • Elizabeth

          You are so welcome! So he decided to leave then? Wow – yes a big decision. One of my friends will soon be going through the same decision but it's great to hear that you all are confident and holding steadfast to Christ's love and provision!

  • carolynn_sanz1

    I just wanted to share with you guys a few point that really, really, really, really hit home with me:

    * Matt.6: 22, "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.

    This verse really opened my eyes and heart to a truth that has been working itself to my heart for a long time. We have to be on constant guard about the things we allow ourselves to see; whether it be a tv show, or a music video, a book we read, social media, the list goes on! So much of this world is fighting for our attention. We have to really be in tune with our Spirit and pray for discernment.

    *"If I bind up my heart and mind with money and clothing and "stuff"–is there room for Christ?"

    This hit is out of the ballpark!!!! Is there room for Christ?? My honest prayers is that the Lord will empty me of anything that is not Him, and fill me with Him.

    Thank you so much for this devotional. It came at the right time! God bless you! :)

  • EllynDubberly

    I am totally a lover of STUFF! It's possible that someone could view me as a hoarder…but then I think it would be difficult for that label to stick permanently because stuff simply moves in and out of my life. Yes, I have the special keepsakes I hold onto – things that remind me of my hopes and dreams, of my life with my husband, of the call God has placed on my life. But I have other things that I simply love to share with others. That I hang onto because I know they will be great for an art project with kids at church or great to play with one rainy afternoon….

    The question that blasted loud to me from reading this morning's devotion was "What is the treasure of my heart?" I began to think of the things that fight for a "treasured spot in my heart." Self-worth, Pride, Wrinkle-free skin, Belonging, Approval of Others, Intellect, Being Right,…..the list goes on. But then my heart was lead to a scripture that has precious meaning to me…John 7:38 "Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." This is a scripture that I prayed for myself some years ago – for God to fill my heart with Rivers of LIVING WATER to overflow and spill out into the lives of others around me. I was in a place of anger, hate, and just plain meanness – and that's what I saw spilling out of my heart – I begged God to replace it with His rivers of living water. So, for today…that's the answer to my question of what is the treasure of my heart – for today, it's Rivers of LIVING WATER – not for me to hoard just for myself, but to spill out into the life of each person I encounter – that they too will know the Living Water of my Lord, Savior, and best friend! (But yeah, I can do some cleaning out of STUFF this weekend!)

  • Rachel Nordgren

    Ah, sisters. I LOVE this topic!!

    Maybe that's a little strange, but I really do love getting rid of stuff. That's also a little strange. Let me explain.

    A few months ago my husband and I got really passionate about simplifying our home and minimizing our possessions. We had a garage sale just a few weeks back and sold probably a 1/3 of our physical possessions. We were tired of the clutter, the distraction, and the uselessness of so many items we had sitting around our home. And it's been so freeing.

    I think the mindset of "not having a ton of stuff" started for me a few years earlier, though. When I was a single girl renting a house with a couple other girls, we all came home one night to discover that our house had been broken into. The thieves had stolen mostly all of the electronics, some jewelry, and my laundry basket (presumably, to carry it all out in!). Our house was utterly ransacked and they even went through my underwear drawer! EEK!

    I remember flipping open my Bible that night to Matthew 6:19-21, and it totally hit me in a brand new way. All of the sudden, all that "stuff" didn't seem so significant, because it could so easily be taken away.

    Truly, we can't take any of this stuff with us when we leave this good earth. Our possessions are simply tools to aid us in the ultimate purpose of our lives – to love God and love others. If we do not manage them, they will manage us.

  • Stephanie Rawcliffe Photography

    I used to crave (yes, you read that right) trips to Target. There was some sort of excitement or fulfillment in using my Red Card along with their Cart Wheel offers. Somewhere between coupling this & my heart's desires, I got a swift kick in the pants! This fulfilling need was beating straight from the heart; my heart. I was lusting after the here and now of tangible goods, filling my heart with earthly desires instead of the Word. My heart was in the wrong place, wastefully spending on unnecessary stuff. I am thankful that the Holy Spirit gave me that kick and before I knew it I was back in prayer asking the Lord to make my heart right with His desires for me, not my earthly desires.

    It always leads back to Satan's little post-its he leaves when the door is cracked (just) a smidgen. I'll be praying for everyone that He speaks to your heart as well. Have a blessed day ladies.

  • Katherine

    Find some good in the stuff I have for others who need it! All set this morning to hit the estate sales I had mapped out yesterday. But sturggled with going after I got up this morning. Prayed a bit over the feeling that I should stay home and work on my plan to organize my "stuff" and see what needs to go and what needs to stay. I have been asking God repeatedly to help me know if this "business" is what I should continue doing or is there another purpose he has for this period in my life.
    Even though I didn't really want to hear the answer to my prayer this morning God in his love and wisdom, sat me down to read and ponder over the comments for days devotional. So I have my answer…Jesus is Enough…You don't need more items to store up for upcoming sales events, what you have can be used for good and the beginning the downsizing of the "stuff" you have Help to give focus on where you are to go from here. Thank you SRT family for helping me hear God through your sharing this morning.

  • Pam, this is so timely as I just moved some of my family members to a retirement home. It's a trying situation deciding what to leave behind and take with, especially with so many sweet memories associated with each item. I love your takeaway from your journal, especially "spiritual and physical health trump stuff EVERY time." Amen!!! Blessings to you today!

    xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Pam Skolrud

    I loved the devotional this morning! Five years ago, we had to move my parents to an adult family home and close up their home. We sorted stuff and gave much to charities, but we still had a storage unit full of stuff we just didn't want to deal with yet. My dad passed away shortly after the move and my mom (as we knew her) in now lost to us due to Alzheimers. We emptied the storage unit when we moved last fall but my garage is still overwhelmed with stuff. This morning as I read the Scriptures and this devotional, I knew it was time to stop stalling and get it taken care of!

    Here is my personal take away that I recorded in my devotional journal: "If it just takes up space because you don't use it but you can't bear to part with it and it has no real strong sentimental value, it's time to release it and let it bless someone else's life. Enjoy what God blesses you with but keep its use and value in perspective. The key to remember about stuff: If you lost all your material possessions (or your home!), your life would go on! Spiritual and physical health trump stuff EVERY time."

    Thank you for this timely reminder and wake up call!

  • Brittany

    Good Morning Sisters ,

    Like many of you this devo hit home for me in convicting me ( too close if you count the 2 Target trips I took yesterday). I use to live in a city where it was all about what you had, where you were going and what you looked like. Moving over seven years ago to the desert literally I reflect on the life I once lived with "things". I'm not perfect now, I still struggle with the western society of finding a middle ground of caring without caring if that makes sense. It's still difficult because as my "things" today may not consist of material things, the success of my career and aspirations take on the same form that hold my heart and lead me away from HIM in my busiest times. I lost my job 3 months ago and recognize this moment to reconfigure and focus on the THING that matters most. I pray whatever job or task that comes next, I continue to be focused and steadfast away from distractions.

    • Elizabeth

      Sometimes it's in those hard times of unemployment that God give you rest and a time to ears more in tune with His voice. I can relate – I live in a place now where it's all about what you have/look like, but where I come from it was the opposite. We can be grateful that God has sown us both sides and helped open our hearts to get to know Him better so we can serve Him unashamedly!

  • I must say, "Kids, we are getting rid if everything" ten times a week these days. With five of us, I just haven't figured out how we accumulate so much stuff. I'm always giving away, throwing away & separating, but things seem to magically come back. It wreaks havoc on my joy, just the clutter of stuff alone. And material objects, I hadn't noticed any real attachment to stuff until my parents died. As my sisters and I had to manage my mother's estate prior to her death, we chose to sell a great deal of her things, hoping to help fund new costs involved in her healthcare. We watched as men from an auction house carried out items that had been a part of our family for generations. We moved a ton, sadly these pieces were more "home" than anything with walls was. It ripped our hearts to see these things loaded and sold for next to nothing. Financially we would have been better off to keep them, and that hurts a bit, but as time has passed I've been peaceful about it. My Dad was wise in his words and he'd often say when I'd become upset about something, "Bets, water off a duck's back." As I became upset over the loss of these things, I heard his words in my head…."Off a duck's back B, it's just stuff, it's not us." Having his words, memories, the experiences in my heart so profoundly, means more than anything I can put my hands on. There is no substitute for that. God is the same. I want to eliminate anything that keeps me from hearing His wise words, anything that would want to substitute itself for the real thing. I want my life to be about experience, not stuff, about love of people & God, not things. God has given me the world, I want to eek this out, even in the moments I might long for more! ~ B

  • cljcullen

    Paul said (Philippians 4:11-12): "11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need." We learn so much about our hearts through both material abundance and material need, and how we react to each. Money can buy us comfort and pleasure. Money and possessions can meet real physical needs. These things are blessings, and we can be grateful for them. But possessions (like all idols) never truly satisfy the deep desires and longings of our hearts. If we worship them/chase after them and get them (that beautiful piece of jewelry, that new car, that gorgeous house….) they only raise the bar higher. Now we need ANOTHER item to complement the jewelry, a place to drive the car, furniture for the house…..or a EVEN BETTER car or etc. etc….and if we worship/chase after these things and are unable to attain them, we pout, become angry or look self righteously down upon those who do have them, allowing ourselves to feel superior for being more 'pure' and less tainted by 'the things of the world.' Praise God that He knows this about us….and that Jesus DIED for this. He died to bring us FREEDOM from our idolatries. Looking at Him, there on the cross, dying for US and the joy of bringing us to Himself…..that is the secret Paul learned. Praise God that the gospel isn't about what I can do for Him…but what He has DONE for me. As I see Him I can't help but love Him, and as I love Him, my heart is completely filled, and there isn't any room for other treasures.

  • heart4jc7

    I'm going to have re-read this and re-read this again because my mind, soul, heart, and spirit NEEDS to get this truth SOOO BAD! I struggle not with moments where I want to get rid of it all, but with moments where I want to figure out how I can GET it all! I want to have the finances to have a new car and the nicest phone, and a big house, and the money to travel. I want it ALL. Dont' get me wrong I LOVE Jesus, but I'm learning lately how much I want Jesus and the things of this world badly.

    So thank you for this devotion this morning. Thank you because I needed to read this and I need to get this because if all I have in this world is Jesus I need to be able to appreciate and love the ways in which He does provide even when it is not HOw I want it. My inability to not possess all the worldly pleasures DOES NOT negate the truth that He is faithful to provide what I NEED and that in the end I can't take anything from earth to heaven.

  • Christina

    This is something I’ve thought about a lot for years now. Ever since forever ago when I was a kid at youth camp. We would be separated into competing teams for the week. Getting your whole cabin to learn some of the memory verses for the week would get you extra team points. Two of the verses happened to be Matthew 6:19, 20. Even years later those verses pop into my head when I’m feeling selfish about sharing my things or loaning my younger sister money. It pops in my head when I stare longingly at all the things I want when walking through the store. It comes to mind when I complain about how small my apartment is or how I could use an upgrade on my tired old car. When my cell phone or laptop aren’t working fast enough and I wish for the latest versions. Every time, God will pull these verses back to the front of my mind as if to say, “My daughter, these things don’t matter. Think of all the loved ones I have put in your life. Remember the sacrifices I have made for you. Spend your time on what really matters, spreading my gospel. The only things you can bring with you to heaven aren’t things at all. They’re the souls of those around you.” And every time I’m once again humbled by our great God.

  • Hi Ladies!
    I have been participating in secret for over a year. I had to comment this morning after reading Tina’s post. My prayers are with you. Your daughters “things” are beautiful memories. God is gracious, He knows your heart. Allow His spirit to lead you on what steps to take next. Don’t be anxious, when the time comes to release the spirit of peace will accompany you.
    Be blessed my sister, praying with and for you,

    • Kaitlin

      Hi Yvette! Thank you for introducing yourself, sweet sister! We are so happy to be in community with you. Blessings to you today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • tina

      Yvette, thank you so very much for your prayers and words of Love and kindness… it truly has been amazing, the love and warmth I had felt on this path…Thank you for walking with me and being my gap'….

      Let me Welcome you properly to SRT…..
      Welcome Yvette….you will love it here…..Be totally Blessed…xxx

  • Vldaviscpa

    I too hove way more stuff than I could ever need or use. I still have stuff in storage I packed up when my mother and then my grandmother passed away. I just recently moved and just like Abby I was embarrassed by the amount if stuff I had to box up and move. My goal this year is to get rid of most of it. Ioneem I am a quilter and I can relate to the abundance of fabric, way more than I need. May I place my focus on God and scale down my possessions to only those that keep me focused on Him.

  • I found this group last month. It has been a blessing reading the wonderful devotions. I feel that my walk with the Lord strenghthens daily. As I meditated on the word this morning, I felt that Romans 8:5 NIV ties in with our "earthly desires", thank you Jesus! The earthy desires keeps our mindset on what the flesh wants, but those who have their minds set on the real treasure, Jesus, have their minds set on what the Spirit desires and that takes me back to Matthew 6:21.
    Have a wonderful Friday!

  • Jennifer B

    I needed this today, just to keep perspective.

  • Lauren Ashley

    This was so timely. I was complaining yesterday about never getting ahead financially. Woe is me. I am 27, I am attorney, with a great job, making more money than both my parents combined had when I was growing up and yet I still find reasons to complain. I complain because my student loan debt is so high and my rent in the city is so high and so many taxes are taken out that I can't go out and buy myself all the nice expensive things that I feel I deserve because of how hard I work. It completely distracts me from how wonderful and amazing and blessed my life has been and still is. After this post this morning, I thought, "are you really complaining because you can't buy yourself that expensive piece of jewelry you have been eyeing?" What good is that piece of metal in the end? I need to stop letting my desire to collect worldly possessions distract me from how amazing my life truly is. Thank you for the reminder.

    • Elizabeth

      Lauren Ashley – I'm so proud of you for being brave and sharing what's been on your heart and mind! You are strong, bold, and smart! I'm a young one too – in a completely different place in life than where some friends and even family are.. still swimming in my school debt but beginning to pay it off, very slowly and I get it! It can really wear on you! I can't but the pretty jewelry in the window either although all the girls around me wear it but I know that God will bless us for being good stewards of what He has given us and to follow His Dream for our lives! We can and WILL be good stewards of what He has given us.. not just material things but our gifts! I'm so thankful for the Dreams He has Given me and allowed me to be a part of on this earth.. big things and although my work doesn't look normal He's given me more time freedom in my career than I ever could have imagined! I think you have a gift of speaking truth! If you ever want to chat I'm totally up for it! my email is [email protected]

  • Some of you quilters can relate to a fabric-holic. I have way more than I need, so I am busy sewing sundresses and boys shorts for the team who will be going to Argentina. God can use my sewing ability for His purpose. I physically can't go with the team, but I can do this little part for them. My prayer is I can find some good in my "stuff" for those who need it. May we all rethink about our stuff and may it be used for His glory. Blessings for you all and have a great day mentally sorting through our stuff and finding a new purpose for it.

    • Kaitlin

      I love that idea, Ioneem! Thankful to be in community with such creative women committed to serving Him with their gifts! Blessings to you today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Songbird

    The older I get, the more I just want to get rid of everything that we have accumulated over the years that we think we can't do without. We literally have 2 storage units full of belongings and I couldn't even tell you what is in them…but there might be something important so we continue to hang on to them thinking someday we will sort through them. However, our life is so busy earning a living to pay for the storage units and the things that fill them that we never seem to have time to sort through them. It is a vicious cycle that takes time and money away from living free to do God's work however and whenever He calls. I often feel our possessions are a yoke around our neck weighing us down. I've seen my mother and also a divorced friend both sell their houses and belongings and move into small apartments with only the absolute necessities and a few keepsakes and they have thrived. I'm not sure where we get the idea that possessions bring happiness. It simply isn't true. In fact, it is often the opposite.

    • Elizabeth

      Praying you will be able to live more free to do God's work whenever He calls as you said! Glory be to God!

    • AnnaLee

      Amen Songbird! Right now I myself don't have a crazy amount of stuff, but it is piling up quickly in my room. As my adult life is just beginning, it is so important to decide now that I want to focus on what Christ has for me, not what the world wants, and to guard my heart against accumulating things that I think will validate me as person instead of looking to Christ to validate me. Lord, show me what things in my life I'm looking to to affirm my identity and to rely upon instead of You, Jesus. Help me to let go of those things; none of them truly matter. Give me a pure heart and a pure mind, Oh Lord. Let nothing hinder our relationship, Jesus!! Amen. I'll be praying for you, Songbird, that as Christ moves in your heart, He'd give you the courage, strength, resolve, and focus to let go of those things– material and non-material– that take away from your walk with Him. Blessings, sister. Love you.

  • Ladies, I think God is cleaning us up! We all seem to be holding on to the same thoughts today. Just yesterday I started going through things in my closets and sorting them for Goodwill, The Spousal Abuse Center, Consignment, and families in my school. It is embarrassing to say the least about how much stuff I am parting with. The whole time I am sorting I keep thinking about who will want these. Isn't it a shame that I allow myself to collect so much stuff, that I can fill up an SUV with "stuff" I don't really need. And that brings me to this, what am I holding on to that prevents from having that pure eye that focuses on Christ?" More often than not it is not just the material things where we place our focus and treasure. Yes, God wants us to give back with our material blessings, but he wants our obedience and our witness to others even more. I pray that God will open my heart, my mind, my eyes today so that his light can shine through me to others I come in contact with.

    Tina, I lost my brother recently who was living with me, and I know how hard it was to go through his things. I cannot imagine what it would be to give up something that belong to my child. I am praying for you.

    • tina

      Sheila, God bless you and I pray He also walks alongside you, and while His arms are around you, I pray your healing from this sadness begins….Thank you for your prayers…x

  • Good morning ladies,

    Well this one hurt today….stuff?? I have two families full of it in my house, three technically….there's the stuff left from when my late husband was still here with us, then my folks moved in with us (due to a devastating financial setback) so along came a lot of their stuff, and of course what's been accumulated since all that has happened…..and we won't even mention the storage buildings right now…LOL So don't beat yourselves up just yet ladies, there are a whole bunch of us rowing THIS boat!!! But you know what really smacked me in the face…haha the fact that we still SHOP and browse and ebay and pinterest and amazon and well I have to stop now so I can fall to my knees and once again beg God's forgiveness and thank HIM for being so merciful to this poor wretched sinner once again…… Oh how I cling to Philippians 4:11 when I get the urge to replace or want
    something new…. Philippians 4:11 "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
    That's what I have to keep reminding myself, I am content; I am content…and pray for the Holy Spirit to fill me with God's love and contentment so I can remember once again, HE's ALL I NEED!!! Thanks for listening to me babble this morning about my own sorry state ladies, may you all be blessed today through God's words and wisdom and may we all grow a little more closer to HIM!

    • Lbug

      I'm right there with you Kelly. My mom moved in with us four years ago and brought with her 62 years of "things" she and my Dad had collected as well as my grandmothers leftovers. We, too still have a storage unit full of " things". And I'm not sure if it is me or my Mom that has trouble letting go. I keep waiting for my younger daughter to buy a place so she can take some of the "stuff". Either way, thanks for the reminder of Phil 4:11. Today I choose to be content in my circumstance , Lord. And with your help I will succeed. Amen.

  • I love the insight I find here! I don't consider myself one who who covets thing or has to have the best! But I never thought of the fact that my fear of the future is why I always seem concerned about money. Please pray with me that I can let go of this and trust in The Lord to provide for me now and in the future.

  • Amen. This is something many of us need to understand. Material things are temporary, only the things of God are eternal. Nothing is wrong with having things, but how do you go about getting them? How do you feel about them? God wants us to have stuffs but not to be head over heels for them. We should be just right about them. Our hearts should be focused on the things above.

    There is a quote that says the world is how it is because, things are being loved and people are being used.
    We were given things to use and people to love! Let us flip the switch on that quote and turn things around today.

    Very God devotional. Have a Faithfilled Friday Ladies.

  • This devotion literally comes on the right day as we are moving this weekend. My daughter and I are moving into a smaller apartment than we live in now so I can get some things paid off and get caught back up. The kicker is, this cute place we are moving has zero storage. None, zip, nada. There isnt even a hall closet for my vacuum or a linen closet for my towels. So, we have to downsize….a lot… when I think about it we have so much stuff that we just dont use. So wish me luck in moving this weekend and the big job of figuring out what I need to get rid of. I know when it is all said and done I will feel better.

    • Kaitlin

      Jenn, praying for you and your daughter this weekend! Asking that God would cover you in peace as you make decisions, joy as you face transition and trust in the unknown of His plan!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • Elizabeth

      I lived in a 100 yr. old apt – it was gorgeous but yes no place for towels or even your hair dryer in the bathroom, no place to put my vacuum! You can do it – you'll find how much more simple life will become because you realize how much of the things you don't need or how to be more simplistic & creative with how to store things! Good luck with the move!

    • Elizabeth

      Oh and I'm proud of you for sticking with the devotional even in this busy week! That's inspiring!! =)

  • I stumbled upon this community over the last couple of weeks and I’m so thankful The Lord led me here! Not only are the devotions speaking directly to my heart with meat to chew on all day long, but the love and tenderness you ladies exhibit for each other is so refreshing! Tina your comment brought me to tears and I have prayed and will continue to…you heart is clearly so beautiful. Thank you for sharing it!
    Candacejo thank you for your transparency. It shed some light in my own motives and I appreciate that!

    • Kaitlin

      Carey, we are so glad you are here! Thank you for introducing yourself and for being in our community! Blessings to you today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • tina

      Carey, bless you for your prayers, and your kind comments….I am truly blessed to have this community of women to walk with…Thank you …xxx

    • Sheila

      Welcome Carey. I do not comment too often, but I do read the daily posts and comments. The gals here are so supportive and caring. I feel like it would be that kind of group who would be great to meet over coffee every week. So, I have my coffee with me and soak in all the wonderful lessons to be learned as well as knowing that we are all human, make mistakes and are not perfect. Again, welcome.

  • I recently moved, and I can't tell you how embarrassed I was about how much stuff I had. I didn't realize how much I had accumulated over the years. I made at least four trips to Salvation Army with my car loaded with bags and bags of things I'll never miss…it felt really good to purge. I spent a few months living in Africa recently, and it's funny how little I needed to feel like I had enough. I remember on my trip home, stopping on my layover in Amsterdam, getting off the plane and immediately feeling the consumerism and materialism of the west. I could feel my whole body shift. I was sad because I knew it wouldn't take long for me to return to this way of life and that it would be worse in the States. It is so hard to remember that Jesus is enough when we live in a culture that tells us we never have enough (stuff, accomplishments, friends…), but Jesus IS enough! I'm reminded of Romans 12:2, "And do not be conformed of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good, and acceptable, and perfect."

    Tina, praying for you! You'll know when the right time is…

    • tina

      Abby, thank you for your prayers….what a blessing to have 'my sister's' holding me up in prayer….God bless you loads….xxx

  • This devotion has great timing for our family as we plan on moving across Canada for the second time. I look at all the stuff that we have and wonder how we got so much and what can I throw out. The problem is not the physical things I'm holding onto; believe me you could come to my house and ask and I would willingly give it to you! What I'm treasuring are our plans, dreams, and our next steps. We already have them and are just praying that God will bless them, but I'm having a hard time giving them up to God. I want it all to work out a certaIn way and I have been frustrated because God is not following my perfectly timed planning. This devotion has reminded me that treasures are anything that takes precedent over Jesus in our lives.

    • Kaitlin

      Toune, moving can be so hard! I don't think we even realize the value we give our possessions until we are faced with the task of giving them up. Praying that God would show you and your family joy and confidence in His plan during this time of transition! You always have a home in the She Reads Truth community :)

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • Elizabeth

      Toune – I can completely understand & relate. I recently read this book about understanding God's plan for our lives when it comes to our dreams, goals and vision! I would love for you to read it and we can talk about it!! I am still going through it so would love a partner to chat with. it's called Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson. Check it out on amazon.. think you'll love it! Feel free to email me too if you want to chat about it: [email protected].

    • lcphotography2011

      Thank you for sharing! This is exactly how I feel in our move across the country. It is not the stuff (I gave away so much it scared my husband! ) it is the perfectly timed plan I coveted in my heart. A move back to Dallas from Memphis was a circle maker prayer request of mine for 6 years and God answered it recently to a T (which really speaks back to yesterdays devotional of a healthy prayer life). But as the layers unfold I find myself lonely (missing my friends in Memphis) and frustrated with the timing of the plan. God has blessed us with the opportunity to build a beautiful home but in the mean time we are living in a cramped tiny apartment with the very basics and 2 wild kids on the worlds longest summer break. I had a world class pity party for myself last night because I was told it would take another 2 months before we can close. And I mean why? Because my plan had taken a turn and I would have to live another 2 months in less the desirable conditions that many in a 3 rd world country would hail has a mansion. I am humbled and embarrassed by my selfishness. I always pride myself on not loving stuff, but here I am guilty of loving my house and angry that the plan is perfect? Having a pity party because of a house. Wow my heart was tugged (screamed at and slapped!) this morning. I am thankful for God's mercy that He will forgive and love this sinner's heart and thankful that the basis of my happiness is not where I live but in Him!

  • Emily Thomas

    Tina I am praying right now for comfort through your unthinkable pain. So thankful God is present and knows exactly how comfort you! Also CandaceJo- it takes a lot to share what you did. Bringing those things to the light is what helps others bring theirs to the light too! Sich good stuff!
    This morning I was really struck by Matt 6:22-23: a good eye=a body filled with light and a bad eye=darkness. My perspective is often not God’s. I can tend toward the critical and to being discontent when I’m not walking closely with the Lord. I am so thankful for this reminder today to pray for good eyes!!

  • joanne sher

    Lord, help me let go of my stuff so I can hold on to You!

    • Tonya

      I hope you don't mind if I use your statement. Tomorrow I am going to our local Flea Market to get rid of stuff that is crowding my home, thoughts, well being, and soul. I plan to put a sighn on my table with your words.
      Today's devotion was right on time for me. Just like God, He is always on time!

  • stinav96

    The intimacy we have with the Father in those private moments makes a difference in what we treasure, in what we set our hearts and eyes on to desire. That intimacy also keeps our salt, salty and our light, luminous. The Lord is convicting me of my desires for approval, recognition, the comfort of vacations and the comfort of allowing my mind to "rest" to the point of not being on the alert for those things satan uses to whittle away at the kingdom difference I am able to make. If you will allow me a very vivid comparison, the number of "likes" and comments on social media have become a sort of "porn" for my eyes, making my light quite dark, my salt quite tasteless. I have time with the Lord, but in these areas of approval and comfort, especially, I have become entrenched. The desire for these things often motivate my actions during a day, so that I'm as a woman who looks at myself in the mirror of my time with the Lord, and then walk away forgetting what I look like. I thought I was doing well in these areas, trudging through and not allowing them to control my productivity and witness. I'm beginning to believe, though, that they have rendered me useless. Ladies, if you would pray for my heart to be strengthened in the Spirit. I'm already listening to Him and taking steps to purge the things that have become my treasure. I'm so thankful for this study where these passages are broken down into "chewable" pieces, so the Lord can pull together all of the points He has been cultivating in my heart to show me the big lesson He wants me to learn.

    "Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be to all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love." Ephesians 6:23-24 (NASB)

    • Kaitlin

      Sister, thank you for sharing your heart! I hadn't even considered social media as being something we treasure and put our hope in, but you're so right. Praying that our hearts would be strengthened in His strength and not our own. Thanks for sharing today, we love hearing your thoughts and words of encouragement!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • CarrieLynne31

      stinav96, I took a hiatus from social media because I found myself wanting that approval from others instead of approval from God. It's been refreshing as I have realized how much it can affect my thoughts. Thanks for being so open and honest about something that a lot of us deal with when it comes to looking for approval. Blessings, Carrie

    • AnnaLee

      Christina, I too quit social media when I realized how much of my life– how much of myself– revolved around what others thought of me (and the less-than-Godly-or-healthy friendships that I had) on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. I've been off it for more than 6 months, and though I've changed much since letting go of those things in my life, I still find myself even tonight acting in ways or thinking in such a way that I think others in my life would approve of, not acting as the Lord would want me to. Lord, forgive me for letting my heart and mind rest on these people instead of on the truth that YOU are the one who loves and knows me!! Remove and crush, extinguish every idol! I am YOURS, Lord Jesus, and You are mine! Thank you for your honesty, Christina, as it is comforting and encouraging to hear of a similar struggle. May the Lord bless you as you continue to seek His face and His will for this struggle in your life. May you listen to His voice and heed his direction! Much love and many blessings to you, dear friend.

  • Realized I lost one of my tervis tumblers this morning at the gym last night, but it's ok! It's not coming to heaven anyways!

  • AisforAshleykay

    Oh wow, thank you, to CandaceJo & Tina for sharing & putting yourselves out there! Your words are an encouragement to me.

    • tina

      Dearest Ashley, your kindness through your encouragement is a blessing to me ….Thank you….Blessings right back to you …..xxx

  • Sorry for all my typeos. I am beyond elated to know God has revealed somethings I needed to know through this community of awesome Women of Faith, plus, my fingers are too fat for the keyboard on my phone.

  • Thank you Diana to aiding me to receive great news from this devotion!! May the Lord continue to bless and keep you is my prayer!!

  • @Tina you have an amazing spirit! My prayer for you this day is for the Lord to continue to wrap his loving arms around you. May He give you the strength to accomplish every tasks and that you will continue to lean on to His understanding an He’ll guide your path!! One of the hardest things I’ve ever done is assist with cleaning out the room of my 14 year old sister in law. I completely understand where your heart is, but rest assured you will get through this. We, the she reads truth sisters are standing in the gap for you today and beyond. Please know we are praying mightly on your behalf. ♡♡♡

    • tina

      Robbie, thank you for your love and very kind and encouraging words, and prayers…..I truly am blessed to have my 'own army' of prayer warriors….Thank you…

      Robbie, holding your family up in prayer, for your loss…..it so truly is hard, as we imagine what their lives would have been….but if we can but hold on, trust and depend on God , ….He holds us close, comforts us and loves us into the peace that we eventually feel…..God bless you and yours Robbie…xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Wowzers!!! All these years I’ve stored up treasures in becoming a teacher and lost sight of the TREASURE-Jesus!!!! This is confirmation of what my hubby told me the other day, yes God wants to grant me the desires of my heart, but my focus must be on Him and not tests, a salary, or taking care of my family. In other words, I was trying to do God’s will for my life…..smh!!! The scripture, Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” OUCH!!! What a daunting thought for two years my focus has been on becoming a teacher and not Jesus-the one who can make me a great teacher or I dare to imagine what my family has felt due to my misguided direction…I’m in tears knowing that God has indeed called me to teacher, but not at the point where my every stored up treasure is that. He has denied me my heart’s desire, because my heart was not laying safely with Him!! I am so grateful for the revelation from these devotions. May the Lord continue to use each of us to be a blessing to build up the kingdom of women and girls’ through our experiences with Jesus!! Starting today my thoughts will be transformed by the renewing of my mind to focus on Him and where I can serve others. God bless you ladies!!

    • Kaitlin

      Robbie, you have such a sweet spirit! I love your determination in achieving your dreams and even more so, your enthusiasm for following God's plan for you, even if those two don't end up being the same. I can identify with the struggle of things not working out the way you planned, but I am so confident that what comes of it will be more beautiful and fulfilling than you ever imagined!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • Elizabeth

      Isn't is beautiful when He reveals to us again and again that He knows best for our lives and that He is sovereign and all we must do is put Him first? I was blind but now I see! Blessings over you today and may you be filled with Joy because He ha prepared your way and been there before you! Walk with Him!

  • “If I bind up my heart and mind w/money & clothing & stuff –is there room for Jesus?” Wow! This hit home! I’m thinking about the desire for “things” & my “to do things” list…I’m so guilty of putting these “gods” before my desire for Christ!

    Tina, I love when you share about Julee! I’m praying for comfort and peace for you!

    • tina

      Libby, thank you so very much for your words….they mean so much….so much….Thank you…..,and God bless you for your prayers and love….received with love…Thank you…xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Praying for you this morning. May you know the deep and gentle peace of the Holy Spirit as you start to let your treasures become someone else's x

    • tina

      Nicole, thank you for your prayers, and you are right, letting go of 'my treasures' to bless others is as it should be……Thank you…xxx

  • One of my first thoughts this morning was 'I've got to get rid of some of this stuff , I've got to be brave' ….and this was before I reached for my kindle to do the devotional…..how convicted am I?

    When my daughter died, she was 27, and had a home of her own, which needed to be emptied and tidied up for the next owner….most of her stuff went into storage…..the rest here with me in my home….10 years on…nearly, I still have her clothes neatly folded, in my wardrobe….her pots and pans, plates, cutlery….etc still in the drawers and cupboards….I store these 'treasures' because I am afraid…. afraid that if I get rid of them, I will have nothing of her here with me….. I know they are things, things she bought….things she thought about before buying, things she dreamed of having….if I let go of these 'treasures'…I will be letting go of her aura.her life…..again, I know this is not true….but my mind and heart cannot reconcile with the fact that they are just stuff… Julees stuff….but stuff none the less….

    So here I am, thinking this morning, with this devotional….to be God's word, that my first thought this morning, was a God thought….and that it will be okay….I have tears as I write, because I know it will be hard, tough to put these 'treasures' in boxes and bags to be given away……I was looking for a dress yesterday in my wardrobe, I came across one of her dresses….she wore it on her 18th birthday….for a moment I could see her smiling as we took the picture that now sits on one of my dressers…..how can I take that dress, fold it and place it in a box ……I pray by God's grace and strength….and perhaps if I could dare to ask for prayers my Sisters…..that the sorrow of letting go of these things I have labelled 'treasures' Will change , that my sorrow will be taken away and that I will be surrounded with joy…psalm 30:11 …
    I have made Julees things my treasures, without purposefully or intentionally doing so….., I pray the strength this coming week to heed God's word, and let go of these treasures' …..Julee has my heart, always has, always will….These words are a real comfort…….'….For your heart will always be where your treasures are…(matthew6:21)' AMEN…..AMEN…AMEN…

    Ladies, forgive me, for talking about my daughter, again….it seems to me, I can relate more to some devotions or studies better, when I put them in that context of where my life is at….

    Thank you …

    Diane, bless you and thank you for this….the timing….amazing….hope you are well, and that life is being good to you….you are often in my prayers…..x

    Beloveds, Happy Friday…..with lots and lots of Love to you all…..x

    • Candacejo

      Oh, Tina, I don't think anyone begrudges you for keeping your daughter's things! Those are memories, not "stuff" that just accumulates on a shelf. These are your precious reminders of her, her likes, her smells, things that were important or precious to her are now precious to you!

      Forgive me if I am out of bounds, but I do not think you are a lover of "things" by keeping your daughter's possessions. If it bothers you to have them "out" where you see them all the time, then box some of it up and put it in your closets or storage…I would think twice about giving it all away…I wouldn't want you to regret it unless this is something you are so sure of, friend.

      Maybe someone with more experience in this area can help us.

      Much love to you in your great loss…Jesus, wrap our precious Sister Tina in your arms today and comfort her and strengthen her. Thank you, Jesus for memories!

      • tina

        Candace, Thank you….Thank you for walking through today with me for your kind words ,prayers and love, dear friend…God bless you, always..xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      • Brendasan01

        Tina,
        Oh my sister how I feel for you with your memories. I agree with Candacejo and don't get rid of everything of your daughters. I have lost both of my parents and I have some of their things that I hold dear to my heart. It's not that I treasure them more than my Lord Jesus but I keep them as a reminder of who they were. I also have a box of their things that I keep. Just keeping these things helps to keep them close. But I know that when Jesus calls me home all of these "things" will pass away and that will be ok!
        Bless you dear sister as you pray about this and make decisions. I pray you don't jump too hastily but seek The Lord in this.

    • Kim

      Praying for you Tina. Thanks for sharing this difficult struggle of yours. May God bless you with the peace to release those "treasures"!

      • tina

        Dearest Kim, thank you for your BLESSING of Peace and love …very much appreciated…and lovingly received….bless you…xxx

    • Kellie

      Tina, tears rolling down my face as I read your post…no advice, just prayers.

      • tina

        Kellie, recognizing the love in this short message…Thank you….and for your prayers…..God bless you….xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Liz S

      Tina, my heart goes out to you. What you're sharing sure doesn't feel like hoarding of treasures, but rather, holding close the memory of Julee. I am most certain Jesus totally understands. It's a very private journey for you, and I pray you will feel Jesus very near. I pray there will be a way for you to keep the memories, maybe in a quilt to wrap around you. Your daughter must have been a very special young woman. Much love to you Tina.

      • tina

        Liz,thank you for walking alongside me on this journey, for your prayers and love….yes Julee was a very special young woman/ daughter, I miss her every day…but I know we will be together when I am called home….where there will be no more tears, sorrow or pain…praise God…Thank you Liz…xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Songbird

      Tina,

      Don't ever apologize for talking about your daughter. She is a beautiful part of your life and although she is physically gone, it doesn't mean her memory and the impact she made on you is gone. I love hearing about her. It blesses my heart. But I am also very sad for your loss. I will pray that God gives you strength to continue moving forward as you part with those material possessions of hers. Remember, those things will rot and rust, but her memory will remain fresh and precious in your heart forever.

      Lori

      • tina

        Lori, your words warm my heart, as have all the warm and loving messages I have received along this journey….Thank you….God bless oh abundantly..xxx

    • Anita

      Tina, I agree with the other ladies here. Don't ever apologize for sharing about your daughter. And I too would encourage you to not release all of her things. I know our loving Father understands your mother's heart.

      • tina

        Anita, thank you for your encouragement and loving words….I do believe that the Lord does know my heart and He will guide me to do what is right…Thank you…Be Blessed…xxx

    • Lea

      Praying for you Tina.. thank you for sharing your precious thoughts!

      • tina

        Lea, how blessed do I feel right now….Thank you for praying for me, and thank you for hearing my hearts cry….praying God blesses you…

    • Lbug

      No one but you and God can truly know when to let go of Julees things (mind you, NOT her memories). But if or when you get to that point it may help to give those things to friends of hers or another young person in need that would be blessed by them. That's what my mom did when my dad passed away. And it made her feel good to know that a small part of him was still out there in the world and others were benefitting from things that were his. Sort of " spreading the love" and sharing essence of who he was with others. And keep talking to us about your precious daughter. That's why we're here. We're a community that cares. May God's blessings of peace and contentment be yours today. Lucy

      • tina

        Lucy, thank you…Thank you….for your very encouraging words….I like that…'spreading the love' beautiful! God bless you.loads…xxx

    • Onfaith

      I am so thankful for your honesty in your posts. Your genuiness with where you are. I am a mother of three who has lost both her parents young and that has been so incredibly hard, I look at things that were theirs, especially my Dad's art, and run my fingers over them as if connecting with prints they've left behind and it brings me peace! This and yet I can't begin to imagine losing a child, no matter the age. Your love of your daughter is beautiful and I feel honored to hear you share it! God will provide the peace you need as you move through this season of letting go of her things. At the same time, I don't think He faults you for holding onto these dear pieces. Go easy on you, I don't see it as a love of things, I see it as a mother who treasured her daughter and no one understands that more than the Father! ~ B

      • tina

        Dear B, I always touch her stuff, kiss Julees pictures, I have her bears…all 8 bears on my bed….with her favourite one, now mine, sharing my pillow….Thank you for sharing your heart too…and I pray you also know the Fathers love and comforting arms around you, when those sad moments come….God be with and bless you dearest B….xxx

    • EllynDubberly

      Dear Tina, Thank you for boldly sharing how God is working on your heart this morning. Tears rolled down my face as I read your beautiful post. This is a safe place to be real – to laugh, to cry, to "let it all hang out." I will be praying for you as you follow God's lead in what to let go of and what to keep. It is a difficult task that you face, but you do not face it alone. God is with you, wiping tears from your face, catching them as they roll off. He knows the love in each tear, in each treasured memory, in each article of clothing, dish, etc. My heart goes out to you.

      • tina

        Ellyn, thank you for the assurance and loving words that our Father, our God, is with me walking alongside, as you are with me….I have always known that God is near…..it is still hard though…..to let go…..I will rest in the Lord….Thank you dear Ellyn….for your heart and love….xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Kristen

      Bless you and praying for you Tina! That has got to be oh so hard! I think if by keeping her things it helps you grieve, then I don't think that is a heart problem. I have no idea how the best way to begin letting go of them is for you but I would do it slowly and with a lot of prayer. And don't feel bad if you hold on to some of the truly sentimental things. Maybe make or have someone make a quilt as a reminder like someone else said? Good luck and prayers!

      • tina

        Kristen, Thank you tor your being here for me, for your words of encouragement and kind words and prayers…..Be blessed…xx

    • Rachel Nordgren

      Tina, I hurt for your heart. I can't imagine what it would be like to lose a daughter.

      The things you have of hers…they are not all you have left. You still have the memory of her, and that's something that a moth will never destroy and a thief will never break in and steal. I agree with @OnFaith…you can keep a few of her things to remember her by, but you could also spread her love to others through donating. If having her things around your house is causing you more pain than joy, that's not what God has intended for you! It's already painful enough…you don't need more pain. Maybe consider just keeping a few of her things…a favorite dress or maybe a coffee mug she always drank out of, things that REALLY remind you of Julee…and consider passing along the rest to people who could be blessed by it.

      Even if you gave away everything that belonged to her, you will never let go of Julee. You cannot. You are her mother, and you will ALWAYS have her memory and her love in your heart, and you will ALWAYS have that with you.

      • tina

        Rachel, thank you for your words…
        Even if you gave away everything that belonged to her, you will never let go of Julee. You cannot. You are her mother, and you will ALWAYS have her memory and her love in your heart, and you will ALWAYS have that with you…..how right and true….Thank you…Rachel….and I pray God bless you abundantly….xxx

      • AnnaLee

        Rachel, everyone's comments and Tina's beautiful post have made me very teary eyed, and I'm crying; but yours made me burst out crying…
        "You still have the memory of her, and that's something that a moth will never destroy and a thief will never break in and steal." That's what Jesus is talking about… Now that I get it I'm crying so hard. Memories. Relationships. Loving People. Loving God. Those times in our lives late at night when we cry out to God about the depths of our hearts… those times Christ has us cry with others late at night, sharing their grief and burdens, holding them up to the Lord… the bursts of laughter and quiet whispers at night, the holding and letting go of… those things will NEVER be destroyed. Our Father holds them as close to His heart as we do; they are moments that stay dear to us forever and into eternity. Tina, I agree with Rachel's advice on letting go and hanging onto… but ultimately, I only pray here as I write this message that the Lord would give you much strength, wisdom and insight as you cry out to Him, as you look at these things and wonder how you could ever be brave enough to let it all go… know that whatever Christ calls you to, He will help you through, carry you through. You amaze me, Tina. Every honest, raw comment is so incredibly encouraging to me as we all walk this road together. Know that you have many praying for you and crying for you as you approach this painful, profound part of your life. I love you very much, Tina. I wish I could hug you, cry with you and pray with you in person, but this will have to do for now. Much love, many blessings.

        "For I am the Lord your God,
        the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
        I give Egypt for your ransom,
        Cush[a] and Seba in your stead.
        4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
        and because I love you,
        I will give people in exchange for you,
        nations in exchange for your life.
        5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
        I will bring your children from the east
        and gather you from the west.
        6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
        and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
        Bring my sons from afar
        and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
        7 everyone who is called by my name,
        whom I created for my glory,
        whom I formed and made.” (Isaiah 43:3-7)

        Have a comforting, healing, blessed night, my dear.

        • tina

          AnnaLee, loving you right back, with thanks and gratitude for your love, words and encouragements over these past months….bless you sweet heart…..
          I pray the Lord continue to bless you with the amazing wisdom and superb use of words to encourage, love and walk alongside others….you truly are a blessing to all you encourage…..and I pray you are blessed as much as you bless , friend….always…xxx thank you….xx

    • Diana Stone

      Oh Tina. How my heart aches this morning for you and all of us that have walked a journey of loss. I have most everything from my three little boys' saved in boxes in my closet. I've often wondered what to do with it. Most is brand new, and yet the memories behind it, the anticipation of seeing them in it or playing on it – it causes me to keep it still.
      Please do not ever, ever feel like you need to curb your writing about your daughter. It brings such comfort to those of us rather new to this journey. Knowing years later we can still find a community willing to listen and get to know our children. And as for her things – if it's healing and a beautiful thing to pass them on, it's the right time. If not, then wait. Maybe it will be and maybe it won't. But I think some of these material things we are left with to help us as we grieve.

      • tina

        Diane, your words…your words warm my heart so….my sister…..ours is not an easy journey, or one we would have chosen, but by God's grace …..and love, and the love of these wonderful sister's here #she reads truth…we are blessed to be able to be who we are….talk about our hurts, sorrow, our joys, our hearts….and know that they help us in our healing just by their love and presence in our lives…God bless you always…Thank you…xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Bianca

      Your transparency is very appreciated! Please continue sharing your life, thoughts, love of Christ with us! Although I haven't directly replied to your post before, I've read all of them within the past couple of months. Your insight is awesome. I pray for your strength and that God guides you to make the decision that's best for you in regards to your daughter's memories. I pray that whatever the decision that it may not only bless and heal you but others around you.

      • tina

        Bianca, your prayer is very touching ….Thank you…and thank you for your encouragement s nd love….Be truly Blessed…xxx

    • tina

      A very very huge thank you to all, who have commented, encouraged, prayed, blessed, loved me as i walk this path,…..Thank you also to those who did not comment, yet held me in their hearts and prayers …..I know that I am truly not alone…..that God , first and foremost, is near and holds my hand….and you my sisters, are my support from afar, …Thank you from a humble, grateful and much love sister…. Thank you…
      I pray the Lord turn His face to shine on each and everyone of you….this day and always….Be Blessed as you have blessed me….xxx

    • Leslie

      Tina,

      Thank you for sharing with us and please talk about your daughter all you want! I am so sorry for your loss…I will pray for you as you part with things, perhaps giving them to someone you know and care about will make it easier! God loves you and knows where you are…hold tight to His hand and He will continue to walk you through this valley.
      Blessings to you my sister!
      Leslie

    • Sheila

      Dear Tina, do not apologize for talking about your daughter. Your message made me realize something in our family. My dear sister in law has held onto all of her parents clothing since they passed away over 10 years ago. They aren't cluttering the house, they are just in closets. She lived with and cared for them for the last 15 years of their lives as they went through various health issues. They did not have much in the way of possessions, jewelry, furniture, etc. I feel now that she probably wants them there so she doesn't feel like she is forgetting them or abandoning their memory. I think you brought some clarity to this issue for me. You are a kind, loving soul who has had to go thru one of the most difficult of life's experiences. Praying for you, May Jesus wrap His loving arms around you and keep you close to Him.

    • Christine

      I understand. I still have things from my son who passed away almost 23 years ago when he was 4. I keep just a few precious reminders that as a mom I can hold dear. I will pray that the people you bless with these gifts from your heart will see Jesus. He will do that.
      Love and hugs<3

  • Candacejo

    I've waited this morning, two hours, lol, didn't want to be the first one commenting again but I have to get on with my day. I feel like I should share, forgive the length, or skip me, as I spill my guts :)

    Hoarders. That's what came to mind with Diana's comment here: "It’s not that Jesus has a problem with treasure—it’s our heart toward our treasure that is the problem." I know some hoarders!! I am sure we all do. We realize that can be a real problem but yet we all like to have nice "things". There is nothing wrong with that. But giving them up puts it in an entirely different light.

    A little over four years ago we made the decision to go overseas as full time missions workers. We sold our beautiful home on three acres, in the woods, with tons of wildlife around us: bobcats, wild turkeys, and plenty of deer in our backyard every single day. We loved that home. BUT, we loved the work of God more! So without much wisdom, I began selling things that were dear to me. Everything from furniture to Longaberger, out the door it went.

    Anyway, we only kept essentials and important things, and of course family things. We were sure it was to be permanent. After a year overseas our ministry took another turn where we would be in the States more than we would be across the Big Pond. We now came back to almost nothing. No house, no "things" and friend, it was hard.

    I had been "proud" of myself for handling the move, and the big departure with my "stuff". I got through that pretty well! It was for the Kingdom. I wasn't prepared, however, to come back to nothing. I don't mind the apartment, it's just the two of us anyway, but God has had to teach me so much about "things" and "stuff".

    Sometimes He has had to chastise me for my thoughts and work on me ALOT, but the funny thing is when I was overseas and had a sparse European apartment and no clothes dryer, dishwasher or garbage disposal, I didn't mind it near as much as coming back to the States to a small apartment without all of my "stuff".

    The mindset for more, more, more is prevalent here and America is so blessed to be able to go and get whatever we want when we want it for the most part. It's hard to walk into Target and not leave with two carts loaded with more "stuff"!

    I rambled on with all of that, forgive me, to say that money isn't everything. And if you think I am patting myself on the back you have misunderstood me. I am showing you the selfish side of me, ha. I have struggled with whether to "put myself out there" and write this for two hours! I am hoping it helps someone, that is all. We have had the successful career, the six figure income, the "so-called" security of a good job and nice home…and I love those things, don't get me wrong. I do not begrudge ANYONE for having them!! But I have seen both sides and I think the bottom line is COULD we walk away from it all and still be happy in Jesus? I thought I could and I still needed alot of work in that area when it hit me in the face. But as Diana said, we can't fit it all in the funeral parlor! What matters most is what we have done for Christ and I try to remind myself of that every day. I do not regret one thing we have done, Jesus is still working on me!

    Not everyone is called to leave everything behind. But we are called to sacrifice in other ways and remember that life is not about things, it is about PEOPLE and where they will spend eternity. THAT should be our treasure, regardless of how much "stuff" we have. Remind me, Lord, every day.

    • NicolaL

      Thanks for the real life reminder. Its far easier to see ourselves/myself living without so much 'stuff' if I'm off busy somewhere else, called on mission to do important things elsewhere…… but to live that same life right here in my real life is a different challenge….. Thanks for sharing!

    • stinav96

      I'm already feeling convicted, not so much about my "stuff" but about other "things" that take up my affections, and this just convicted me of the longings of my heart that make it difficult not to possess more living here in our bubble of a culture. Thank you for sharing your heart and putting yourself out there, Candacejo! I have not experienced this exact thing, but I can relate!

    • Shelia

      Amen.

    • Anita

      Thank you for sharing your heart with such honest transparency.

    • Lbug

      LOVE your heart Nannette. You are so real and honest. I for one admire you for putting yourself out there and sharing with us. So many of us including myself can SO relate . So true it's not so much about the "things" but about our heart attitude toward them. Yes Lord, help me, too! Amen.

    • sam

      Wow! Thank you for taking the time to share this post. As I was reading it I realized with each new paragraph how selfish I am and how difficult that would be! You have opened my eyes to a glaring flaw in me with the question, could yon give it all up and walk away from all you have and still be happy with Jesus? I would love to say yes but deep down know that is not completely true. Thanks again for sharing! Dear lord, please help me learn from today's message and posts, I may need reminders daily heavenly father, everyday… thank you for the blessing of she reads truth and prayes to the SRT community this morning.

    • CarrieLynne31

      Candacejo, your testimony is amazing! I look forward to reading your thoughts each day. Thank you for sharing! Blessings, Carrie

    • Elizabeth

      So glad you shared this… I am experiencing something similar and just mentioned it to my small group the other. As we are in transition everything is in storage.. and truth be told I really don't miss my stuff. We live in a tiny room – in someone else's house and I wear the same clothes every week.. pretty sure my friends/family have seen me in the same clothes for almost half a year now although shorter sleeves since it's summer. Anyways.. I'm not eager to get back to my "stuff" and plan to get rid of a bit of it. So glad I have had this time to reflect on these earthly treasures and be able to spend more time with Him, listening and having comfort in what He's teaching me!

    • AnnaLee

      Ah, amen Candacejo… I look at the things in my house, how well my mom decorates and how much she has in store for my apartment when the time comes. It's very pretty, but would it be okay without those things? Sometimes I feel we buy things just because we can. Your comment has given me time to reflect upon these things… and to remind me that the most important thing in life is bringing others to Jesus while enjoying relationships. Conviction! I need to spend more time on people. Love you, Candace. Praise the Lord for your insight and beautiful words. Bless you abundantly… may the Lord continue this good work in you as you let go of your "stuff" in return for more of Him.

    • Ashley

      Wow. That was really good. A great perspective. It can be easier to sacrifice when it fits with the cultural norm or when we are doing something that seems heroic. That doesn't always make it the humble sacrifice The Lord seeks of us. Thank you so much for sharing. I great reminder and eye-opener for me.

    • Melissa

      You are definitely not alone in this. I spent two months in Ethiopia with YWAM. We washed our own dishes in a plastic tub in the front yard after every meal. What mattered there was what REALLY matters. And then I came back. The first time I went back to Traget, I got so overwhelmed I just had to leave. Why do we as Americans have to have so much stuff? So many times I just want to leave everything and go back to Ethiopia. If the opportunity presented itself, I'd probably jump on it. I had practically no problems at all wanting stuff I didn't have in Ethiopia, but in the States? Completely different – mostly, I think, just because it's available. And we're "supposed" to want it. Maybe I want to go back because it's the easy way out…I don't know. I do know I truly miss it, though. More and more as the years go by (it was only three years ago, but still). Maybe that's why I'm back here. To overcome a new challenge. And living in the Land of Stuff is definitely a challenge!

    • Melissa

      Thanks for sharing! I always wanted to be an over seas missionary until God revealed to me that it was motivated by my desire to FEEL like I’m being used by God. It can be even harder to live everyday life and face everyday challenges like avoiding gossip and having the right attitude. We really need to remember we are missionaries in everything we do. We are citizens of heaven living in this backwards culture.

  • fitlifeaf

    This was a real eye opener. I take random Target trips and just buy stuff. Stuff I know I do not need but purchase anyway. The trips goes further south when there is a Starbucks inside Target and I feel compelled to walk down every aisle, try on shoes, or read the back of every book on the shelf. I cannot take any of that stuff with me to Heaven. I don't think any of it will fit in my casket. It's ok to treat ourselves, but I go overboard sometimes. Lord help me!!!

    • Kaitlin

      So guilty of the random Target/Starbucks trips! Wow, it really puts things into perspective when I think about how I can't take any of that with me to Heaven! Lord, lead us to remove the value from our Earthly things and place it on following and loving You! Thank you for sharing today, sister!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • AnnaLee

      Amen sister! Sometimes I just go to Target, Ross, random restaurants, etc. out of pure boredom or loneliness (it sounds sad, but I do have people in my life, I promise!). Going to stores can leave me feeling deflated and even worse than I felt before, because it's only a slight distraction and it doesn't at all fulfill me like I would want it to. Lord, whenever I'm feeling lonely, bored, or anything else, let me look to You instead of clothes and material things to fulfill what I need in my heart! Amen! Have a beautiful day, sister– praying that you'd look to the Lord and would invest time in Him whenever you're feeling tempted to go shopping to fulfill that void of time/emotion! May we center our lives around Him all the more, asking Him to be in charge of what we should invest in. Amen! Blessings!

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