Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Cleaning

I think I've had a case of spring fever over the past couple of weeks. Thankfully, the weather last weekend and this week has made it possible (finally) to enjoy walking outside again with our dog. It feels so good to breathe the fresh air and be able to enjoy each other's companionship during exercise again, after months and months of working out on the treadmill and in front of the TV screen with exercise videos.

I've also been reaping the benefits of spring fever's close cousin, the cleaning bug. I don't really like to clean. I know some who actually do like to clean, but not me. For me, it's a necessity, rather than a source of enjoyment, but the effects of it are satisfying, especially when they can be combined with the joy of giving to those with less than we have.

The pile of clothes in the photo with this post is one of the piles of clothing that we've given away in recent weeks. I thank the Lord that I finally had the emotional stamina to give away some of my old clothes that had been crowding my closet and the craft closet for years. I told my husband that they represent both dreams and nightmare--dreams of being small enough to wear the smaller clothes, and nightmares that I would ever be large enough to wear the bigger ones.

You see, I used to be morbidly obese. I was never bed-ridden, thank the Lord, and I was always able to be mobile, though anything more than a quarter mile would, back then, give me pains in my legs (shin splints). But back in 1997, something clicked in my mind (the work of the Lord), and I cried out to Him for help. He responded by giving me the drive to both start a regular walking program, and to also dramatically change my diet.

Almost overnight, I went from hiding food from my family (I was living with my parents back then) to sneaking food back to the kitchen that I didn't want to eat. I remember that first Christmas so well. My mother would generously give me a plate of her wonderful cookies and candies and a glass of eggnog to drink, and as soon as I was sure that she wouldn't see what I was doing, I would sneak back to the kitchen to carefully pour my eggnog back into the pitcher (it was homemade eggnog) and put my cookies back into the containers in which they had been stored...I didn't want to hurt her feelings, and I also didn't want to admit to anyone at that time that I was intent on losing weight. To let others know that I had been trying, but had failed, would have been too embarrassing to me at that time.

Anyway, that's part of my story. And that explains why I had been holding on to all of those clothes that don't fit. These days, I'm neither the heaviest nor the lightest I've been, but I am continuing to fight this battle against my flesh. And I would love to fit into those small clothes again, but my sweet husband (who has always told me that I'm beautiful as I am) has encouraged me to let go of clothes that don't fit right now. We can go to the thrift stores to buy "new" things when I need them. In the meantime, I pray that they will be a blessing to someone who wears that size right now.


Liz said...

Wow....you are so inspiring! I"m so proud of you! Love your blog, by the way. I think it's great that you're cleaning out -- getting rid of the clothing you don't wear or need anymore. It's freeing, isn't it? You go, girl!!

Karen said...

Thank you so much, Liz, for the encouragement. It is a freeing experience to get rid of stuff that I don't need. It's also a spiritual experience for me, as I learn to let go of what I used to cling to in this life, and instead cling to Jesus my Savior and King. He is my inheritance, and Heaven is my home. I want to enjoy all that He gives me for this season in this place, but I want to let go of it freely when He gently takes it from my hand. To God be the glory! And God's blessings to you, Liz.