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Pickles in my Purse

Posted: September 2, 2008

With a grin on her face, my daughter Michelle said, “Mom, would you please pass me my purse, I think I still have some pickles in there.” Sure enough, she dug around in her purse through endless receipts, baby soothers, credit cards, gum, matchbox cars, and pulled out a plastic bag with old, wrinkled, baby pickles in it. I laughed, “Why are you carrying pickles in your purse?” 

You would understand this conversation if you met their 22 month old Austin – the strong willed child that makes grown men cry. He loves pickles – they entertain him for at least 7 minutes – and that is reason enough to carry them around at all times.

This strange conversation made me curious enough to check what kind of old junk I was carrying around in my purse. Sure enough, there were at least 15 pens, markers, gum, credit card receipts, church bulletins, loose change, Kleenex and endless pieces of paper with notes on them. Time to declutter the purse.

Those pickles made me wonder what else I am carrying around that was absolutely vital at one time; had served its purpose and now was time to get rid of it. I’m getting tired to hanging onto useless stuff! It distracts me, confuses me, makes me feel busier than I am and creates more work.  I am constantly sorting and throwing out useless items wherever I go – my office, my home – the garage.

But what about my spiritual life?  Isaiah 29:13-14 hit me right between the eyes this week.  Listen: “These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their hearts aren’t in it. Because they act like they’re worshipping me but don’t mean it, I’m going to step in and shock them awake, astonish them, stand them on their ears. The wise ones who had it all figured out will be exposed as fools. The smart people who thought they knew everything will turn out to know nothing.”

If that doesn’t spur me on to check out my spiritual life with a magnifying glass – I don’t know what will.  I have been de-cluttering my heart all week, asking God to show me what I need to get rid of. What is it that has become familiar, comfortable and looks good?  Am I worshipping God out of my passion and love for Him, or has it become a ritual?  Do I really love Him with all my heart, or does my heart love what He does for me? 

Thank goodness pickles become old, smelly and my daughter knew when they had served their purpose. Who will be brave enough to tell me when it is time to look inside my heart and show me what needs to be thrown away?

As we learn to belong to one another – no matter what – I pray that we will help each other get rid of the old, smelly stuff in our spiritual lives.

Lovingly – Heidi 

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2 responses to “Pickles in my Purse”

  1. Glynis says:

    Thanks Heidi for making think about the ‘pickles in my own purse.’ I am another soul who is constantly decluttering my space, but am I as faithful about decluttering my spiritual life? Good thoughts and a nice gentle prod from God using you as His vessel. Now where to begin…blessings and joy and again, welcome aboard The Word Guild, Heidi! Regards, Glynis (Nice website, by the way)

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