Does anyone else get overwhelmed walking through stores, looking at shelves and shelves of "stuff"?
Maybe it's just me, but I often find myself wondering how stores can possibly sell all of the items they stock.
And where do customers put it all?
And where do we put the things we have to make room for more stuff?
I'm starting to hyperventilate just thinking about it.
So this week's focus was on possessions. Stuff.
My commitment was to get rid of 12 things a day for a total of 84 things.
Like I mentioned in the last post, I regularly sort the kids clothes and hand them down to friends. I already sorted my clothes and gave them away. I thought I might have a little trouble coming up with 84 things, but I had a backup plan: books.
This is where I confess that I love to read. And my family loves to read. My brother was an English and Writing major, remember. He actually worked at a bookstore for several years and use to surprise me with packages of books delivered to my door. (Thanks, Joel!)
In fact, it has become a Christmas tradition for him to buy the kids classic books: Flat Stanley, If You Give a Moose a Muffin, Don't Let the Pigeon Stay up Late.
So, if all else failed, I would sort through our shelves of books and make up the difference.
Then, I started looking through my cabinets: dishes, vases, crystal serving plates, bowls, more dishes, things I rarely or never use.
And I felt God urging me to let go of my stuff. Good stuff. Beautiful stuff. Useful stuff, even.
But stuff that I do not need and that someone else could use.
I have no idea how much I have given away this week. I know it is way beyond 84 items, but I don't plan to count because it's not about a number.
It is about the freedom in my heart and in my soul. A freedom from possessions and a freedom to share and give generously in God's name.
It's not comfortable.
It has been painful.
But God keeps reminding me of a conversation with a wise friend that adjusts my perspective and reminds me of why I am doing this.
Me (realizing that I am wearing my only pair of jeans to build a fire Saturday night and that I planned to wear them to church the next morning): "Oh, I'm going to have to wash these. This is all kind of inconvenient..."
Wise friend: "So is being poor."