By Lisa Huddleston
My daughter and son-in-law moved into their first real house yesterday. Naturally, they and all who love them were very excited about it! We all could picture the sweet little place picture perfect with its white picket fence and brightly colored zinnias growing along the borders. Serene and peaceful.
But let’s face it–moving is hard! Your body gets tired, your emotions get strained, and your nose clogs up from breathing too much dust that has collected on the too much stuff that takes almost all of us too little time to accumulate. Oh my goodness. So much stuff.
And here’s where it gets personal. Sarah and John have only been married for about a year and a half; Chuck and I have had a home for almost 30 years! Can you imagine what it would take to move us? Ugh. It literally unsettles me to the core of my bones to consider. That horrible load of stuff that has crawled bits and pieces into the corners of the closets, the attic, and–I can’t even bear to consider–the basement where all sorts of detritus of this life of ours has gathered.
It is convicting. It is disgusting. It is gluttonous. It has got to go.
And it is going. As each child has moved out, they have scooped up old couches, beds, dressers, and enough dishes to set up housekeeping. And while I have deeply grieved the child, I have rejoiced over the loss of the stuff.
Soon our youngest will be moving from a dorm to a “home” of his own and with him will go more stuff. Then we will begin in earnest to shed the gluttony of our past, and even now we have begun the process. Sorting and categorizing. This to the dump. This to Goodwill or the Help Center or the Habitat store. This for Nick. And before something new comes in, something old must leave.
Truth. If we haven’t used it in years, we never will. And to keep what others need when you do not is a sin. Like stealing. It simply is.
Yesterday reminded me. The more I own, the larger my burden. Help me, Lord, to simplify. Less of me, less of this world, and more of you.
“My practices change over time, but the goal is consistent: to learn to live a happy, useful life on this earth without using up an unnecessary share of its goods.” Barbara Kingsolver