How We’re Learning

By Jennifer Wake

Hi ho, hi ho, off to purge I go!

MOVING TIME! That statement always strikes deep into my heart.

Beyond worrying about the new place and finding friends, I start fixating on things. What you should know about me is I come from a family of collectors. For example, my aunt had 2000+ Dachshund models when she passed away.

I seem to start a new collection without even realizing it. In fact, I have a spoon collection, a snack tray collection, and an eclectic collection of craft supplies.

I also collect books.

Two moves ago, we had to move everything ourselves since we were “just” moving off post. The distance was short but it was very eye-opening for me. I realized that I had way too much stuff. Especially books, which are very heavy.

That move helped me begin a journey to free myself from excess. The Holy Spirit began to show me about gluttony. The writer of Romans reminds us about what we should be focused on.

Romans 13:14

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

My gluttony is related to books. I love books about God. I collect so many of them. However, I am focusing on what other people write about God rather than spending time myself with God.

“To put on the Lord Jesus Christ,” means to focus on what He wants you to become. I am learning to purge books and any other things which can distract me from Him.

Recently, I spent a weekend pulling books from my “library” shelves. I lined them up in my hallway. I left them there “in case.” You know, in case I need a book. In case the Spiritual Life girl needs to have ideas. In case my husband needs one for a sermon.

I am realizing I am still holding on to them, just in case. But God is showing me He can provide all things that I need. 

How to free yourself from excess:

  1. Pray to find out what you focus on instead of Christ.
  2. Spend time purging that thing.

I use the three-pile method.

Pile 1 is labeled “TRASH.” These are completed Bible study books or books that are torn. (I used to keep completed study books but I found my journals have more insight.)

Pile 2 is labeled “DONATE.” I have collected Bible study books I wanted to look at but have never completed. I give those books to local chapels.

Pile 3 is labeled “KEEP.” This one is the smallest. I keep my journals and a few favorite study books that I can reuse.

Put pile 1 in the trash bin, donate pile 2, then organize pile 3.

I am learning to use this system every move. Hopefully God will help me purge other items that distract me from Him.

Your Turn:

What do you have too much of? Craft supplies? Movies? Exercise equipment? What are you focusing on rather than Jesus?

As I purged my books, I was able to donate several to my local PWOC and chapel which will allow other ladies to learn about God.  I know that I have other areas of gluttony in my life. I will continue to purge so that I can focus more on God.


Dear Lord, guide me on things that take my focus from You. Lord, teach me to not be a glutton. Guide me back to your Word when I desire things over You. Lord, thank you for being with me in this time of change.

Verses to Ponder:

Philippians 3:19

Colossians 3:5

Luke 12:15

Ephesians 5:3

Luke 21:34