let it go

Let it go - Spring cleaning your heart, mind, closet, and everything else!

Before you opened this post you thought it was going to be about Frozen. I don’t blame you, I was singing the song the entire time I was writing this post. I may have even watched it while working on this because I OWN IT ON BLU-RAY!! But this post is more than a great song, that you cannot help but sing at the top of your lungs – it is about you and me. and those things that we just need to let go.

Spring cleaning is great! Sometimes it is gross, intimidating, ignored, dreaded, heavy, overwhelming, (insert your emotion here) but when you are on the other side of it, it just feels so good! We are more free – am I right? There is something cathartic of downsizing, cleaning, minimizing. We suddenly see the kids have more room to play, the kitchen is more welcoming, and our bedroom is refreshing. Letting go (as hard as it is sometimes) allows us to breathe.

When I first started this post it was just going to be on the “10 ways to help you clean out your closet,” and that is important (& I’ll even still add some of that to this post) but when I was reading in Matthew this morning I was struck by how letting go is so much bigger than what I want to get rid of. Sometimes the Lord asks for more. In big capital letters I wrote down: WHAT DO I NEED TO LET GO OF?

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” – Matthew 16:24 & 25

To me this verse says “LET IT GO!” If you want to follow me you must let go. As followers of Christ we must daily be examining our lives – cleaning out our hearts, minds, homes, closets. Sharing possessions and talents. Throwing away trash and sinful habits. Some is easier than others but we are called to live with open hands – to LET IT GO.

OUR HEARTS:

When you look into your heart to let things go, there are two piles: trash it & share it. If it is not worth sharing, it needs to be trashed! Sorting these piles is not always easy so here are some tips!

  • Spend time in prayer
  • Have daily quiet times so that your heart knows the things of the Lord
  • Practice forgiveness
  • Let go of pride
  • Confess when you mess up
  • Own your “junk”
  • Ask God to reveal to you your talents and gifting
  • Use your talents to help a friend
  • Write a letter
  • Give a hug

OUR MINDS:

As with our hearts there are two piles. Thoughts and dreams that are of the Lord and those that our not. It seems funny to think about what we think about (that is like inception style) but our thoughts mold our heart and attitudes which reflect the way we live. We must honor Him in everything and be willing to let go of whatever He calls us to!

  • ead Phil 4:8 and meditate on that verse
  • Bring your dreams before the Lord
  • Pray about your goals and dreams
  • Act on the dreams and passions the Lord has given you
  • Be aware of when your mind is consumed with bitterness, fear, anxiety and turn to the Lord for help

OUR CLOSETS:

Just like our spiritual life, our physical life has two piles, give it away and share it (maybe trash it if you have some gross things!) The give it away pile is where we place everything we don’t need, love, or want that is cluttering up our lives. We can donate them, turn them into a consignment store,  or give them to a friend. But the idea is that you get ride of the extra while treating the rest with open hands – able to let go if asked to do so. Here are some tips on going through your closet:

  • Let go of clothes you cannot remember the last time you wore
  • Let go of things that don’t fit (too small or too big)
  • Let go of items that don’t make you feel wonderful
  • Request a free bag and send in clothes (for free) to Thredup & se the credit to buy something new later.
  • Collect all your maternity clothes and give to a local pregnancy center
  • Go through your kids clothes with them and have them help drop them off at a donation center

What is the Lord asking you to let go of? What clutter do you need to spring clean this season?

xoxo, elizabeth

Author: Oak & Oats

  • I need to let go of expectations. I set them too high for myself and others around me and forget that the only expectations I need to focus on are His.

    ….also my ever expanding wardrobe. I have a bit of a problem :S

  • Elizabeth, what a great post! So often I am focusing on outward clean up and not on inward. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Rachel Henderson

    Loved this post and I think it was just what I needed this morning. Going through a big transition in life right now (a good one, but major changes) and have been dealing with some pretty serious anxiety. I am looking forward to the actual act of spring cleaning our house and being able to open the windows and air everything out, but I mean that metaphorically as well, because I feel like my mind and heart need a good cleansing!

  • Yes–there's always both physical and spiritual junk that we need to get rid of. We've been doing a lot of getting rid of the physical stuff, and my husband has mentioned that he feels more "free" because of that!

  • I love these ideas. While I've certainly thought a lot about closet cleaning, I don't always think about my mind as a space that I can de-clutter…and yet, I bet all those errant thoughts and anxieties that I hold on to are a big part of why I haven't been sleeping well or feeling my best! Thanks for the encouragement to let it go (yes I did immediately start singing the song in my head)- and btw, I'm typing this from my new Chromebook! 🙂

  • Amy

    man there are so many things i need to "let go of" …and most of it is unrealistic expectations. bleh.
    <3 great post beth.
    and i love the threadup idea…i've been meaking to look into it – thanks for the reminder!

  • What a great reminder. I am easily prone to let other things clutter my mind and distance me from the Lord or to let my own dreams take precedence over His will for me. I recently found your blog, and it has been so encouraging!

  • This is so fitting for where I'm at right now. On top of the big purge I've been doing I've even started researching moving to a smaller space and drastically downsizing. While it's not something we can quite do at this time for a few reasons (our adoption being one) I would not be surprised if it was in our future. I think one of the things I need to let go of is having my possessions (especially when it comes to our house) define who I am. We used to live in a smaller space and I was so incredibly embarrassed, and in the place we live now, it's not massive, but it was a huge upgrade, I am definitely seeing some pride in myself for that . . . something I didn't even realize until I started writing this comment. Thanks for helping to open my eyes!

  • Well, terrific post. Seriously! Thanks for the thredUp link, that's pretty awesome. I usually put all in bags and go to the closest donation place. At least twice a year, I let go of everything that doesn't make me feel wonderful, as you so well said. 😉

  • Hmm… among the many things I ought to let go, anger surfaces to the top of the list. Praying about the root of it… it's definitely something that's not pleasing to Him. I have a feeling it has to do with my misplaced identity.

    Great post – feeling inspired to literally have some prayer time in my closet, as well as cleaning it out. Double whammy! 😉

  • So I need to read this post again and again! Thank you for sharing. Letting go can be so hard inwardly as much as outwardly. Thankfully the Lord doesn't give us anything we aren't able to handle (with Him). I will definitely be practicing this, this season, and ordered a ThredUp bag to boot!

  • Oh but they don't do the program in Hawaii. Sad times, lol. I can still send it to Goodwill or Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

  • Such a great post. I think I need to evaluate my life and do some spring cleaning myself… In so many different areas of my life.

  • Amateur Nester

    I'm stopping by from the Simple Moments Stick link up. I'll be checking out ThredsUp!

  • leah

    oh this spoke so much to my heart. i have been having that nudge from the Lord to let go of some things, specifically situations that i know i have no control over and at the same time purifying my heart. i've noticed while in praying the Lord is so gentle to nudge our hearts. He is so good!

  • This is so great! I adore your posts. They are always so sweet and well written. I am constantly needing to let go of negative attitude. I can be such a pessimist. But God has blessed my life so much!

  • Becca

    Wow… I love how you described the mind, heart, and closet all having two piles. It's a great analogy, and got me thinking. 🙂

  • Great post, thanks for sharing! 🙂 Very creative, unique, and helpful!

  • The Lord is asking me to let go of many things right now, specifically expectations. Thank you for writing this, it spoke right to my soul <3

  • I love everything about this, Elizabeth!

  • I hear you on expectations! I do the same – especially with myself! and maybe you need to set a closet rule – if something new comes in, something goes out! (that is why I love thred up!)

  • I know! it is easier to focus on those things because we see them more visibly 🙂 I am glad you were encouraged!

  • AMEN!

  • I am so glad that this post met you where you are at! praying for you during this transition!

  • It is part of the upside down kingdom, the less we have the more we are content with what we have!

  • yeah!! I am so glad you are enjoying your chromebook! I tried to be so honest in my reviews because I always feel a bit nervous recommending things because just because I love it does not mean everyone will! lol.
    If that sentence even makes sense….

    and I notice that when I don't spend time in the morning with the Lord I have a harder time sleeping because of anxious/ stressful thoughts!

  • praying for you to let those go! and yes, look into it!

  • Hello Bethany! It is so great to have you here 🙂

  • 🙂 sweet Chantel! I am glad you were blessed. It was the Lord and not me for sure!

  • I am so glad the Lord used me to bless you!! It is wonderful to be a part of that. Praying for you as you let go of those expectations!

  • I am glad you were blessed!

  • I am glad you were blessed by it!

  • Paige. You are way too sweet! Praying for your attitude as you look for your blessings each day!!

    XOXO

  • mmm. I love when the Lord uses multiple ways to get our attention and teach us things!

  • you should! It is amazing! Thank you for stopping by!

  • mmm. Praying for you and that journey Angela!

  • I am glad that this post blessed you! It was all the Lord 🙂