Monday, July 27, 2009

Purge and Simplify

Purge and simplify.

Sounds easy, doesn't it?

Not for someone like me.

I'm a collector. A sentimental collector. I keep it all.

I might need it someday. I might want to look at it someday. Someday...

Some of you are crawling in your skin right now. I am jealous of people like you, because your house is always neat, tidy, and simple. I always want to move in when I see a house like that. Oh well.

I got a new perspective on my "stuff" this weekend. Doug and I went through our storage shed where the half of our stuff we are not living with resides. We worked a total of 9 hours in some rather hot weather, and managed to throw away a lot and pull out to semi-decent stuff to sell.

This purging is one of the steps in the process of going overseas that I've been looking forward to...sort of.

I've been reading through Isaiah, and I'm astounded how much God repeats himself over and over in different ways to say, "You shall have no other gods before me." It took a lot of repetition to get the attention of the Israelites, and I'm not sure they ever understood.

God is adamant about it! Many of us, including myself, have heard about not worshiping idols ever since we learned about the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20. I should know this stuff. But in all reality, I hardly ever live it. Israel never "got it." Will I?

In my mind, I think, "I've never bowed down to a little statue or prayed to a bobble head about my problems."

But, if I love ANYTHING more than God, then it's an idol for me. Yikes!

Isaiah was talking about my storage shed...

I'm holding tight to "stuff" that cannot satisfy any need I have.

I threw away my eighth grade basketball shoes. They still fit me, but really...what do I need those Nikes for? It sounds silly doesn't it? Keep laughing. Enjoy yourself. But it was hard for me.

I threw away most of my teaching materials. Worksheets, tests, binders full of work that represent hours of hard work. I only kept one subject that I know I will need help on when I teach my own children.

I threw away Bible study lessons I have taught and notes from conferences I have attended in the past 17 years since I became a Christian. Still hard for me.

I threw away clothes that no one but me would want, but that I loved at one time.

We got rid of decorations, picture frames, knick knacks, doo dads, Christmas decorations, cookbooks, books, TVs, rocking chair, shelves, etc, and it felt pretty good.

What I realized I'm not ready to let go of (and I won't ever be), not because they are idols, but because they are irreplaceable, are letters from family members and loved ones and photographs.

I've only tackled half the battle because I'm living with the other half of my junk back in Katy.

To Africa, we are taking bunk beds (no mattresses), dishes, cooking supplies, clothes, books, and three and a half years supply of some day-to-day things like vitamins, bug spray, and sun screen, but all in all, I've got some more purging to do.

In August, we will be having a garage sale, but I think my mom will have to keep the kids that weekend, because, you see, I have to purge their stuff, too...


kbsteven said...

I hear you girl - well spoken

mbethy said...

I love all your posts of "funnies" your children have said. it brings such joy! I am wishing your family the best as you purge all those belongings. I know it's hard!! like peeling an onion, God is getting you ready!

lisasmith said...

Love the new header. What adorable kiddos!!

Ahhh, the purge. I love to purge and there are only one or two things I ever wished I saved. But I live some "collectors" who could give you a run for your money ;0