Monday, December 20, 2010

Unstuff, Making Room in Your Life for What Really Matters (Review)

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Unstuff, Making Room in Your Life for What Really Matters, by Hayley and Michael DiMarco is a book that challenges the reader to take a close look at all the “stuff” in his life that impacts his walk with the Lord.

This is a difficult (and yet most appropriate) time of year to look at this topic as most of us are busily shopping, giving, and receiving “stuff.” And when we are not, ads everywhere are encouraging us to buy, buy, buy!

The authors’ premise is that “stuff” is meant to fill our needs. It is not meant to control our time, our money, and our hearts. We work hard to buy things that satisfy us only temporarily. We expend time and energy maintaining our large homes, cars, and other “stuff.” All of these things leave us little time for what is most important—God and family—and adding to our stress levels.

The authors say, “Stress results from our assumption that God isn’t enough so we have to take up the slack…It is the result of a life that hasn’t focused itself on things above but on things within.”

Unstuff addresses not only the “wallet stuff” that occupies and distracts us, but also “mind stuff,” “body stuff,” “worship stuff” and “love stuff.”

I enjoyed the first part of the book and appreciated the call to simplify. I don’t know how far I am willing to go in letting go of my stuff, but I do know that my efforts over the past few years to simplify my schedule and obligations and to de-clutter have simplified my life and lessened my stress levels. I wish the authors had focused primarily on “wallet stuff,” however. I felt that much of the last half of the book just tried to cover too much material. I think the definition of “stuff” was so broad that the initial emphasis on downsizing our lives was weakened.

I still recommend this book and think that most of us would benefit from this call to simplify our lives.

Thank you to Tyndale House for providing me with a free review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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