After seven years in a too-big house, I’ve come away drawn to smallish houses and simpler living. There’s a lot about simpler living that appeals to me, but getting there is proving to be lot of work: sorting, tossing, cleaning, organizing, heartfelt goodbyes to once-favorite belongings and things-you-still-like-but never-use, and the draining emotions that emerge when you realize how many battles consumerism has won.
We’ve been in our new place for almost two months now, and we’re living quite well with the little we’ve brought. The embarassing part is that the old house remains…with all our remains.
The issue at hand is what to do with all we’ve accumulated. We don’t actually have a lot of furniture. Just a lot of STUFF! Pairs of shoes that I’ve worn only once or twice (yes, some in more than one color), clothes from years ago with the tags still attached, toys ad nauseum, craft projects, unwrapped (but unused) gifts, a shelf-full of vases from flowers that were given in celebration of one milestone or another, house decorations galore, and much more.
Every trip to the old house is like beating a dead horse. I get it. I so get it. I’ll never buy another thing again. Okay, not that extreme, but trust me, l get it. Really, it’s been eye-opening and shameful. To be quite honest, this is mostly my doing. Staring my self-indulgence in the face has been a lot like forcing a child to eat brussel sprouts to the point that he develops an extreme aversion to said vegetable. I have developed a serious aversion to shopping from consuming too much merchandise! Seriously.
But as with everything, we faithful know that God uses everything for good. So in the midst of all this excess, we thank Him for blessing us with all that we need and more. We look forward to sharing our extra with those who are in true need, and we thank the Lord for the reminder that sometimes when something is placed before us for the taking, we should politely take only a little…or none at all.