Monday, July 30, 2012

Peripheral Dump

Eco-Friendly Pink Dump Truck by Green Toys
This pink dump truck for girls made me smile and fit this post well. *grin* Over the weekend I reflected on getting rid of the peripheral in my life after reading an article by Sarah Peck. In it she made this statement that's stuck with me: "It’s about finding out what matters to you, and getting rid of the peripheral."

Looking at the definition, peripheral is: concerned with relatively minor, irrelevant, or superficial aspects of the subject in question; near the surface or outside of; external.

We all have peripheral things that either sneak in or that we casually bring into our lives. The Spirit often calls us to give things up so we can follow Christ more wholeheartedly...sometimes you may even be called to give up everything. I took the opportunity to look around to see what peripheral things I could get rid of...anything that could be complicating my life in serving Christ or disrupting our peace together. I also looked for things that were unfruitful and pruned them away so it was a weekend peripheral dump and prioritizing.

1. Facebook dump - I went through and removed some folks that I was connected to on facebook. If we don't use it to communicate, or if their posts tend to not set well with me or bring me stress then I know we don't need to be connected.

2. Blog retreat - There is a blog I read sometimes that has gone through a dramatic change. The writer has cast aside the pressure she felt to perform on her blog. Likewise, I did some praying about any pressure I was putting on myself about getting posts published. If my weeks ahead are tough and demanding, I give myself permission to not post. :)

3. Closet & Kitchen dump - Packed a bag full of clothes to donate and gave some canned food to a local food bank

4. Bedroom dump- In the spirit of creating surroundings that support me, I looked at my bedroom and took things out that weren't essential. My bedside table now only has a lamp on it. I put the candles up that I don't use each night and took the books back to my living room library instead of having a stack in my room.

5. Mental dump - I'm a thinker so I practiced some breath prayers where I only focused on one or two words and my breathing. Also, when I catch myself having mostly negative or critical thoughts about interactions that have taken place, I balance that with making myself reflect on positive interactions. In fact, now that I write about it, I found a poem last week that supports this:

As Linda Breen Pierce once said, "Simplicity involves unburdening your life, and living more lightly with fewer distractions that interfere with a high quality life, as defined uniquely by each individual.” A high quality life for me is one close to Jesus so doing a peripheral dump is perfect. This hasn't been the first and I'm certain it won't be the last but each's so freeing. In the bible, there are verses where people are called or motivated not just to give up a few things...but all! You may start small...but it's worth praying about that God might be calling you further than a simple dump. If that tugs your heart, then my encouragement is to open up and pray about stepping out on faith even more.

Practical: Spend sometime in prayer and bible study looking for anything peripheral or unfruitful that you have either brought into your life or has somehow snuck in. Then, take courage and dump it!

Feeling tugged toward a more radical dump? A mission team? Downsizing? Then consider these verses and do some deeper study:

Mark 10:21, "Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” and in Luke 12:33, "Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys." Or in Luke 5:11, "So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him."


  1. This is a great post - just what I needed to read.

    I love your blog title

  2. ah, thanks so much, Jill! :)