You know you want less stuff but you just can’t seem to get on top of it. We’ll show you exactly why in this podcast episode. 
When you lack peace, it’s because you’re believing lies. Maybe lies about yourself, about God, about your ability to control things… Sterling explains why the practice of minimalism is often hard even when we want to do it!

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Hi, and welcome to the Made for Greatness podcast. I’m your host Sterling Jaquith. And today on episode 69, we’re talking about how your house steals your peace. So we talked about minimalism in episode 15, so that was quite a long time ago, but it’s such a great episode. And that’s where I talk about why Catholic minimalism is important and what it looks like. But today I wanna talk about all the ways that our house, not our home, our home is kind of like where heart lives and where we raise our family, but the actual stuff, the physical things, the house,

How it steals our peace, and we’re getting ready to do this. Lenten minimalism challenge. So I’ve been reworking all of our worksheets and re-filming the course, and I really wanted it to have so much more of a mindset focus because I think that’s where most of us get hung up because you can go to Pinterest and you can figure out how to organize a bathroom or how to create a capsule wardrobe or any of those things. But minimalism, when it comes to the mindset piece, all our decisions end up into three buckets. Okay. So the first bucket is super easy to get rid of, right? So for me, it’s, you know, trash things that are broken clothes that don’t even fit my youngest child, like things where I’m just like, yep, I’m ready to let go of that. I have zero drama about it. The next category, the next bucket that I think is also easy are the stuff that we know we wanna keep. I love, you know, my daughter’s violin, there are some books that I are my favorite and I will never get rid of them. Those things are also easy, right? It’s this middle bucket

Where we want to make progress. We want to get rid of something and we just can’t quite do it. It’s like we’re watching ourselves and it looks like conflict tension. For example, you may open your closet and think, okay, I really wanna get rid of some clothes, but then start going through the process. Your brain talks you into keeping most of your clothes. And it’s usually not all, like, usually we’ll find like a tattered cardigan or something from 15 years ago. And we make a small pile of things to get rid of. But overall, you didn’t accomplish what you wanted, which was to have a closet that was paired down enough and organized enough that it’s just the things you actually wear. So not only was the closet stealing your piece before, but now as you’ve gone through this process, you’ve kind of broken trust with yourself. It’s been a yucky experience. You leave feeling kind of deflated or disappointed. And I think that’s because you went in on a practical level and I’ve done this many times, right. On a practical level without being prepared for the mindset piece. And so the mindset piece is where we slow down. We get into our bodies. So when I say, get into your body, what I mean is you really pay attention to your breathing,

The tightness in your chest, the sinking feeling in your stomach. And you just notice, whoa, Sterling, Something’s going on for you right now. What is that? And this takes a lot of courage. You guys, This takes lot of willingness to be uncomfortable. And that’s why I think Focusing on a minimalism mindset is just the perfect thing that we could do for lent Because so many of us do the coffee thing or the chocolate thing or the sugar thing or the so social media thing. And those are not bad, But God desires that we live with peace. And for a lot of us coffee, isn’t stealing our peace. It’s our homes. It’s your closet. It’s your kid’s choice. It’s pantry, It’s your master bedroom, which is a catchall for everything. And it makes you feel terrible. Every time you go there. At the end of the day, It is very uncomfortable to sit with the mindset of our stuff. And the way we do it is we pay attention to our body. We notice when we’re having a negative reaction For me, it’s usually a clenching in my stomach And I just did this. I’ve been kind of filming ahead of time for you guys, cuz the, the challenge starts on February 28th. And what I wanted to do this time was to show you exactly how I do it. So I’m gonna share my master bedroom room, my office, and two bathrooms. I might add more, but I’m just, I wanted to keep it simple for 40 days.

And so I went through my clothes recently and I noticed that My stomach was feeling clenched up about some of my clothes. And you guys, this is my job. I’ve been in doing minimalism for a long time. And so it’s, it surprises me sometimes still when I get to an item where I’m like, I never wear it, but my brain goes, but we have to keep it. And I’ve now learned to just slow down and sit with myself, Hey sweetheart, what’s going on? Well, I really love that sweater. It’s so beautiful. I love the color. I actually like the way I look in it. Yeah, I know, but why don’t we wear it? We never were. And I just sit with myself and I listen to my brain. Tell me a story. It’s gonna tell me a story about who I am as a mom, who I am as a woman about my weight loss journey, about my faith in life, About the things that I say I wanna do, but I don’t do, it’s gonna tell me a story. And that just shows me where my work is. It just shows me that I have some work to do. I’m believing something that isn’t true, cuz here’s what I can promise you.

If you don’t have peace when you’re looking at your closet or your bathroom or the playroom, it is because you are believing something that isn’t true. You are believing lies because when we walk in the truth, when we walk in the light, when we are close with the Lord, The fruit of that is peace. When we don’t have peace, we’re believing lies. So you might be believing a lie about your body. Something’s wrong with your body. You’re not at the right size. If you just tried harder and you lost 15 pounds, then you’d be in these set of clothes and that’s what you really want. And that might feel terrible if you’ve been telling yourself that for five years, but you’re kind of telling the Lord that something’s wrong. Most something’s wrong with my body right now. Imagine saying that to him, imagine that he’s sitting on your bed, kind of smiling at you, watching you go through your closet, proud of you for being intentional about the things that you own and you turn to him and you say, I hate my body. I’m so ugly. This isn’t my right size. What do you think he will say?

And for some of us it’s about money. I spent so much money on that. I told my husband, I would love it. I told myself I would love it. It was an $80 sweater or a $200 dress or whatever it is. And we know we don’t wear it and it doesn’t fit or it’s not in style or whatever the reason, but we don’t wanna let it go because of the money. So imagine turning to the Lord and saying that Lord, I spent this money. So I can’t get rid of it. I have to keep it As your worth come because of money cuz of money that you’ve spent and the things that you’ve acquired, the cost of losing your piece is not worth however much money you spent on that thing. And I’m using the closet an example, and just giving you a couple of these Identity issues or wounds that come up when we’re doing minimalism, I have a whole worksheet of questions that you can ask yourself, but you don’t have to deal with it right away. I want you to know that. What, what I wanna do in this Lenten minimalism challenge is I want to show you that peace in your home is possible. And I wanna empower you to see your stuff. That doesn’t mean we’re always ready to dig into it.

I’ve shared that this year in 2022, my number one goal is to improve my marriage. So I’m gonna get to the craft area of my home. That’s a problem area for me. I have a lot of emotional things that come up. When I look at all the craft materials I’ve bought for me or the kids.

And I might look at that and I might find some identity stuff. I might see that I really want to be a mom who does art with my girls, but I don’t. And I really want to be someone that knits or sews at least sometimes, or has the stuff, but I never do. And then it makes me feel silly that I’ve kept this sewing box or this felt material or this fleece for six years from house to house to house. And I’m just so embarrassed about it. And I don’t wanna get rid of it yet. I don’t wanna have to sit in that discomfort. I may notice all of that and just say, that’s okay. I’m gonna let that sit there for right now. I’m gonna deal with that in the future. Not in a brush it off way, not in a stick, my head in the sand way, but in a way that says I’m at peace with that not being resolved right now because I saw it. I opened it up. I found the story. I don’t like that story. I don’t wanna keep it, but I’m not gonna process it right now.

I’m in the middle of writing a book. I’m gonna do this. Lenten Minimalism Challenge. And I’m working on my marriage. I’m choosing not to deal with the craft identity stuff right now. Do you see how that feels different? And then when I walk past our, art closet, It doesn’t steal my peace. Cause I know I’m going to get to it. I know I’m gonna tell myself the truth about it. And I know I’m going to deal with it. That’s where I want you to get to in your home where you, you either deal with the things that you can deal with. So I just went through my room and I love it. I woke up this morning and I was like, oh, it’s so beautiful and clean. And I really enjoyed it. And it didn’t take me that long, But I’m probably not gonna do the art stuff Maybe this summer. And I’m okay with that. And that’s what this Lenten Minimalism Challenge is gonna be about. It’s gonna be about Showing you that middle bucket, the stuff you want to change, but you’re not quite changing it, helping you understand why. And then you’re just gonna make one of two choices. You’re either going to do the work emotionally and mentally to shift some things around until you feel better about it. Then you’re gonna take care of that space or 

We’re gonna put it back on the shelf. It’s not scary. We’re just not gonna choose to do it right now. We don’t have to do everything every year. There are things that I want to do with life that I’m not going to do in 2022. And I’ve stopped telling myself lies about that. I’ve stopped telling myself, oh, you don’t have enough time. You’ll never get to that. You’re stuck in toddler land. I just have so much time. I mean, I’m gonna plan that way and then live as if I don’t right, but I’m gonna plan as if I, I can learn how to snowshoe next year. I can learn how to bake some things in three years, I’m at peace with who I am right now. And I’m able to see these things come up and say, yep, I’m gonna do that in the future. My favorite definition of minimalism is just being intentional about everything that we own. And so I’m gonna be intentional about having more art stuff than I want, but it’s in its place right now. And I will intentionally deal with it in the future. That’s very different than when you’re avoiding something. You close the closet, you don’t look at it and it feels panicky and scary. That’s how you know, you’re just not even thinking about it at all.

We don’t want that. And so this lent, I just wanna invite you instead of giving up something that you do every day. One of the common things that we do for lent, I wanna at you to come find peace in your home,

To look around and see which areas of my home cause me the most stress and overwhelm, where are they stealing my peace? And let’s tackle them from a mindset perspective. There are two different tracks that we’re going to have for this Lenten animalism challenge one. I will have a task every day and that’s the way I’ve always run the challenge before where I say like, okay, Wednesday, we’re doing shoes and Thursday, we’re doing the junk drawer. And I just give you kind of one area of your house to work on. And that’s kind of coming in more at the practical level and have a lot of tips for each of those areas. But the second option I wanna introduce this here is just one area in your home Where you just say, you know what, it’s my bedroom or my laundry room or the playroom Or Lord help you the garage. That’s, that’s a big one. And you just spend the entire time on one space or one category of things, maybe like books. And I love having the two different options because you’ll just know which one’s right for you. And like I mentioned, I’m gonna have kind of behind the scenes videos of me actually doing this in my office, in my bedroom and two of my bathrooms. And if I get through those, I’ll, I’ll probably add some more spaces after, but I wanna show you what it actually looks like. And you will see, I do not have an HGTV home. I have mostly Craigslist furniture and mismatching lamps and things like that.

I have a beautiful kitchen. So you’ll see that I, to show you what minimalism really looks like, It’s six kids and homeschooling, And I want to invite you to be brave, to have courage, to be willing, to lift up the hood of your own mind and see what yuck stuff is in there To go through the suffering of discovering the lies that you’re believing about your, about the world, about God, about how he provides about forgiveness, About how we worry about what other people think of us. It is going to be real suffering to do that, But it’s gonna be the clean kind of suffering that we choose. I was just reading that in a book about trauma. I’m sure I’ll do an episode about that. Clean suffering versus dirty suffering. And I would say I would describe that as the suffering that God invites us into and we ch who’s on purpose versus when we just create our own drama and he doesn’t give us any grace for our imagined problems. I wanna invite you to step into the, the suffering of refinement, of burning away, Our attachment to this world and building a trusting and loving relationship. But the Lord, he loves you so much.

He loves you just the way that you are. He knows the number of hairs on your head. He will give you everything you need in this moment. And in every moment going forward, let us choose to cultivate homes that speak to that truth, his goodness, his provision, his love and our trust in him. Join us in masters. We start the Lenten minimalism challenge on February 28th, And that’s when we’re gonna start getting ready. I’m a big fan of getting ready for things, having days to get ready for things. And then our kickoff workshop will be March 7th

Until you’ll have the whole course, my book, not of this world, which you can also get on Amazon, but there’s a digital copy in the, in Masters. And we’re gonna talk about minimalism mindset. We’re gonna talk about the stories that come up when we look at our stuff and we’re gonna find the lies and we’re gonna weed them out and we’re gonna replace them with love and trust in the Lord so that when you wake up and you walk through your house, you feel peace. And I think that is a woman’s job is to cultivate peace in her home for her family to be the peace center of her home. And our goal is not to live like that all the time, right? Because no matter what your house looks like, your kids are still gonna be running around and throwing Legos on the floor and spilling their sippy cups and whatever it is, Right. But the piece of knowing that you have created your home in an intentional way, and you are not A victim of your stuff, We’re gonna show you how to do that. And I think it’s one of the most powerful things you could do with your time and your money and your energy and your brain space, this Lent.

I think in the goodness of the church, one of the things that we have as a tradition, that’s kind of making a comeback is Ember days, Ember days are three days where we kind of fast and clean the house often in preparation for a big feast or holiday. And there are three days in every quarter That are the Ember days. And so coming up the spring Ember days are in March, March 11th, 12th, no, March 9th, 11th and 12th. There’s like a day. And then you skip a day and then there’s two more days. And so we especially will be Living in prayer is a community And focusing on our homes and making space for the Lord For those Lenten Ember days. If you wanna learn more about that, I’ll link that up. But I think in God’s goodness, he knows that we need this every quarter, every quarter, we need to clean out, our hearts and our minds and our homes. I love the rhythms of our Catholic faith. And I love that we’ve created a community of women who want to do that together. So please join us in masters for the Lenten Minimalism Challenge.

We’re praying for you. We’re praying that you become the peace center of your home, even if it is a challenging process, But remember you were Made for Greatness.