It’s a Heart Matter (Hoarder or Not)

I’m not a hoarder. At least that’s what I tell myself.

Hoarding has such a negative context. Certainly I’m not that! 

But I do love to hold onto mementos. The kids artwork and report cards. Their music programs and athletic rosters. A first lock of hair and a precious hat or bonnet they wore.

I loved having a house full of littles (most of the time) and never want to forget those most exhausting but sweetest of times. So I grab the stuff that reminds me of the special moments in my children’s growing-up years. 

Am I a Hoarder?

Does that make me a hoarder?

hoarder - An important question to ask.

Maybe, technically. After all, it is just stuff. And I am storing it where it is often tucked away in boxes and files. Together, these meet the definition of “hoard.”

But I think the answer begs a better question, such as, What priority does this stuff occupy in my life?

In other words, have the mementos of the moments become more important to me than the Granter of the moments?

Have the mementos of the moments become more important than the Granter of the moments? Click To Tweet

A Heart Issue

Whatever word we use to describe the accumulation of memorabilia — scrapbooking, hoarding, collecting — it all boils down to the heart. After all the bent of our heart determines the quality of our walk with Jesus.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21, ESV).

Has our stuff become an obsession?

Do we value things over relationship?

Are we gathering mementos at the expense of those creating the memories?

Has stuff become our treasure? 

Photos, brochures, keepsakes make wonderful reminders of the blessings we’ve received — the times to be grateful for. As such, they can serve as great tools in the desire to keep our hearts dedicated to the Lord. 

Like my journaling, the stuff I gather from my children’s activities serve as a catalyst for regular thanksgiving. I’m careful to hold it loosely, knowing material things should never become a priority.

Some day, after the kids leave home, I’ll sort through and throw much of it away. But what glorious memories will surface as I sift through the items! This will be a time of renewed sweetness and gratitude as I relive those moments. 

Seek Eternal Treasures

So am I a hoarder? Call me that if you like.

But as long as I continue to push near to Christ …

As long as I recognize and express gratitude for the true eternal treasures of God and relationship …  

As long as I guard my heart against the lure of the shiny stuff … 

As long as I seek God’s help in keeping my heart decluttered … 

… then I’m right where I should be.  

Seek God's help in keeping your heart decluttered of the worth-less stuff and filled with true treasures. Click To Tweet

The same goes for you. Snap those pictures, my friend, gather those special keepsakes if you feel so compelled. But use them as a catalyst for thanksgiving. Ultimately, seek the true treasures — the eternal treasures rather than the temporal. 

Seek more of God. More time with Him. More of Him. 

After all, the shiny stuff will eventually be gone. But the eternal will never fade away. 

Ultimately, seek eternal treasures rather than the temporal, because the shiny stuff will eventually be gone. Click To Tweet

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23, NIV)

Reflections: Do you think of yourself as a hoarder? Ask yourself this better question: Have the mementos of the moments become more important to me than the Granter of the moments? If so, ask God for help in decluttering your heart. 

I am always thrilled to link up with Suzie Eller for #livefreeThursday and this week’s prompt, “It’s just stuff.” Click on the image to check out the wonderful encouragement.


By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

6 comments on “It’s a Heart Matter (Hoarder or Not)
  1. Thanks, Julie, for a wonderful reminder of what matters and what lasts!

  2. Kristi Woods says:

    Julie, that’s an important question you offer about momentos. Momentos are special territory in my book. But perhaps they’re becoming too rich a treasure. You’re causing a pause to think, girl. Love it. #goJesus

    • Julie Sunne says:

      A few years I had to check the place my children held in my life. They were a bit too high on my treasure list, crowding out my man and perhaps at times my Lord. And last year at She Speaks, Jesus “spoke” to me about the role of my ministry and my desire to be published. It is a constant battle isn’t it, Kristi? I think we could replace “mementos” in that question with many things in our lives. Blessings, friend.

  3. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) says:

    I believe most of us are hoarders. My stepmother asked why she had so much food in her pantry. I remembered she grew up during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. I had heard someone speak of the tendacy of those growing up then, did NOT want to be in want again. After she died, I had to help her sister get clothes out of the house. She had lots of clothes. As I point to her, I also have the provervbail three fingers pointing back at myself.

    • Julie Sunne says:

      Oh, I hear you, Cecelia. In the States, we have so many material possessions, and those “things” tend to have a tight grip our hearts.

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