Minimalist Challenge

Matthew 6:19

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,

where moths, and vermin, [and dust] destroy…

Guys, I gotta dust!  It’s bad!  I am here all day every day, I have no excuse.  As I sit at my desk to blog every day, I look straight ahead at the shelves over my desk and I see a thin white layer of dust.  And, it’s on a book shelf that is strewn with photos and knick-knacks, so it’s going to take some time to clear it off.  If I start at the top shelf and work my way down, I will eventually get to my desk, which will then be covered with LOTS of dust. That means, I will actually have to sort through everything on my desk in order to clear off all the dust.

Let’s examine this desk for a moment: It’s got all kinds of unfinished business on it!  Bills, Bible study stuff, reminders to call this person and write that recommendation letter, books to list on Amazon, my Christmas shopping list — to be honest, it’s got a bunch of stuff on it that doesn’t need to be here.

My daughter recently challenged me to do the Minimalist Challenge (  In this challenge you decide to pare down over the period of one month.  On the first day you get rid of one thing, on the second day you get rid of two things, and the third day you get rid of three things, etc.  So, my daughter mentioned this and I said, “Do you realize how much we got rid of before we moved?”  She replied, “You still have a lot of stuff, way more stuff than you need.”  Sigh.  Seriously?

So, I’m sitting here at my dusty desk.  Looking at all the things I probably don’t need.  Do I really want to do this work? In December?  When we have four birthdays, Christmas, and kids coming and going for the holidays?

Maybe we could do it together.  How about this:  how about if we agree for the next thirty days to do the Minimalist Challenge and along with it an Affirmation Challenge.  On day one we give away one thing — and let’s try to give away something that someone else can still use.  You can give it to someone you know, or you can give it to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.  And, as we give it, we speak words of affirmation to someone we see in our day.  (I may regret this…day 30 could be a real challenge.)

It might look like this: Today I will take the slightly used vinyl covered notebook from the corner of my desk and put it in my Goodwill bag, then when my husband comes home for lunch I will say, “It’s so nice that you come home for lunch every day. I’m glad I get to see you.”

That wasn’t too painful, was it?

Here’s what I will do.  If 40 of you agree to join me, I will do the Minimalist/Affirmation challenge.  Ok, how about just 20.  Alright, if 10 of you will join me, I will do this.  Are you game?

Ephesians 4:29

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth,

but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs,

that it may benefit those who listen.

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