Last weekend my neighbors had a garage sale to end all garage sales.

After 35 years in their 4-bedroom, 2-story home in NJ, they’ve decided to downsize and move to a condo in Florida. They said with happy smiles, “Everything has to GO. We won’t have room for it at the beach!”

Although I needed nothing, curiosity led me in to look. From measuring cups to Christmas décor to the dining room table, indeed, everything in every room of the house was ‘priced to sell’.

I wished them well in their new life in the sunny South, but I reflected for days at the massive amounts of STUFF I saw that was once dear, but now going for bargain basement prices.  It made me look at our own house, so full of things that we can truly do without, and no doubt will, one day.

The garage sale also was in keeping with the theme of Lent, when we enter the desert with Jesus.

I thank God, that every year our faith invites us to do a personal ‘spiritual house cleaning’.

The Lord in his wisdom knows I can be a pack rat of useless things that distract me from what’s important. This year, my own honest self-inventory revealed to me in prayer, that there were things more important for me to give up than chocolate or coffee.

The clutter that I must free myself of is not furniture or dishes or antique lamps. It’s the useless inner ‘stuff’ that has piled up in my soul, the distracting ‘junk’ that is blocking the windows and keeping His light from shining in. The internal chatter that convinces me of some ‘perfect life’ that may still unfold, if I pray hard enough or keep ‘working at it’. (I’m certainly at a good age to let THIS one go, once and for all!)

My ‘it all has to go’ garage sale means releasing old resentments, envy, unforgiveness, and ingratitude. They serve no purpose other than to keep me from the joyful life ‘at the beach’ that God offers me, and all of us, if we’re willing to trust His plan and follow.

Pray with me: Lord, keep my eyes fixed on you this Lenten Season, and help me ‘carry to the curb’ anything that keeps me from your promise of true abundance that lasts for eternity. Amen!

Share with us: What were you moved to give up this Lent?

3 Thoughts on “Garage sales and Lent”

  • Beautiful reflections and new ways to be mindful of our fasting and journeying through Lent. Thank you both Cathy and Regina, for your words of inspiration and sharing!

  • Dear Regina,
    What an inspired and spiritual way to experience Lent! Feasting on gifts from God while fasting from those things and activities that keep us away from Him (and never, never satisfy….). I’ve also stepped back from Facebook….but I hadn’t thought about fasting from distress and worry – and feasting on my trust in Him! After all, as you put it, Lent is about becoming who God says we are, the best version of OURSELVES (no one else).
    Thank you for the uplifting post!

  • Thank you, Cathy, for giving me this opportunity to reflect…As crazy as it sounds, I Love Lent! It is always during Lent that I am given the time to pause, step aside, and look at myself from the inside out. There was a time not that long ago, when Lent meant giving up things like coffee, sugar and carbs, only to be sabotaged halfway through the journey, leaving me with feelings of guilt and shame for not having more self control. I thank God for opening my eyes and recognizing that what He asks of me and desires more than anything else…is to draw closer to Him. Instead of simply fasting, He also desires my feasting. So now during Lent, I feast on the Eucharist by attending more daily masses; I fast from FaceBook and spend more time feasting on the Word of God; I try my best to fast from worry in times of distress, and instead I feast on trusting in Him. With each new Lenten season, I am given the opportunity to look more closely at myself and continue to search for the best version of myself. It makes me question,”Who does He say I am?”…and what can I do during Lent to help me get there?

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