Today’s post is based on chapter 11 of my latest book, Newness of Life, recently released on Amazon. Get your copy this week for only $1.99!
I am a keeper. Not one to throw away. I’m so sentimental, it’s hard to let things go.
Yet “there is a time to throw away,” and last year I learned how to make it fun and family-oriented.
Each spring and autumn for the past 10 years, I have sold my children’s clothing at a large consignment sale. I can’t host a yard sale at my home’s remote location, so I haul everything to town and make several hundred dollars from one weekend of effort.
My in-laws live along a route known as the “100-Mile Yard Sale.” Last year, my mother-in-law urged me to sell my stuff at her house to increase my profits (the consignment sale retains 30% or more).
We conducted a plan to rid our home of all baby items and old toys, once and for all.
- For two weeks in May, my three children and I culled, organized, cleaned, and priced everything to sell.
- I promised we would split the profits four ways if they cooperated with the best possible attitude.
- We would hold a sale on Memorial Day weekend and on Labor Day weekend, then send all the remainders to the autumn consignment sale. Nothing would return home, because the consignment sale leftovers are donated.
- They agreed to help load items in the car, set up items at the sale, man the sales tables, and pack everything away.
- I promised to take them shopping for whatever they wanted right after the sales closed. I encouraged them to dream about what they’d purchase with their hard-earned cash.
The plan in motion
- On Memorial Day, torrential rain made a yard sale impossible, so we changed it to a “porch sale.” Amazingly, we made $250 despite the weather. After the sale we went straight to Game Stop and Target, where my boys purchased Xbox games, and my daughter chose new shoes and accessories. I bought pretty wall hangings from an antique store.
- On Labor Day, my daughter baked brownies to increase our profits. She felt so grown-up selling people her baked goods. We made $400 profit. I bought another vacuum cleaner for the upstairs level of our home. My daughter bought the Lego Friends Mall, and my boys saved their money for the purchase of their first IPhones.
- At the consignment sale in October, we made $350, which went toward family Christmas presents. About $150 in unsold items were donated to the mentor partnership program, and it felt good to give some of our stuff away to help those in need.
- Teamwork is important. Everyone felt valued in this process. All of us knew we needed each other to make the sales successful. We made $1,000 by working as a team!
- Family time is fun. Working for a common goal, visiting with the in-laws, and shopping together built lasting memories.
- Hard work pays off. We have a less-cluttered home, new things to enjoy, and the satisfaction of doing a good job. We all received tangible rewards for our efforts.
- A time to throw away is good. It taught us valuable lessons and helped others in need. It taught my children how to run a yard sale from start-to-finish, a life skill they will need in the future.
I love this practical verse, because it gives me newness of life in my home and in my less-cluttered heart. It shows me that keeping is good, and sometimes, throwing away can be even better.
Questions for reflection: (please comment below)
How does our story inspire you to seize a time to throw away?
How might your throwing-away bless someone else?
Here are links to free resources that will help you in the online Bible study or your personal study of Newness of Life:
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My new book will help you apply Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 so you can understand God’s plan in your current season.
“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV
No matter what season you are in, God is teaching you valuable lessons to grow your faith and trust in Him. We will discover what God is saying through the different times and activities we traverse.
I look forward to hearing how God is working in your current life season. I hope you will join in the fun and discussion on the online Bible study.
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