Posted by: R M White | 07/11/2009

A Work in Progress … Completed!!

This was written June 17th and I thought it was on ‘automatic publish’ or some such thing – so although it is dated it is still relevant to where I am in life right now … in the process of CHANGE.

Our closing of the Charlotte house continues to be a work in progress. I don’t think the moving in to that house was as nearly as complex as the moving out. I do realize had we spent a little more consideration on what we piled into it then the place I am now would not be nearly so difficult.

‘Throwing out of stuff’ is a time-consuming, heart felt ordeal. Why and how do we become attached to so much stuff? None of it is really of any value to anyone but us… and then it isn’t monetary value it’s this ‘sentimental worth’ of the thing. Well, I believe my kids have learned lessons from my hoarding – they don’t seem to cling to near as much stuff as I have through the years. That’s a good thing. It’s not that I haven’t purged as I’ve moved from place to place either – to a certain extent I have. I have, but there’s still all this wonderful, interesting, annoying stuff.

Some of it has been good – this sorting, discovering, these visits into our past — for example, letters from friends that we still hold dear to our hearts – we looked through them but now I have selected a few and tossed the rest. Letters from our Moms – oh, now they will not be parted with. Each letter I read from Lowell’s or my Mother’s hand is just like sitting down for a sweet conversation. Through these notes of theirs I see a running story … what they planted in the garden, how the weather is, what was for dinner … and they’re written like they talked, Jerlene was a lady of few words and my Mom more detailed. Ya gotta love it!

But then, there’s the cards – ooooo – so many! I made decisions on which to keep and which to toss. Some criteria for keeping a card was: the sender – are they still close to us? do we even know who this person is?  and then the situation: the miscarriages of the babies, Lowell’s blood clots in the lungs, my near-death car wreck experience … yeah, some warrant keeping! Just as reminder of God’s love and comfort and his saving and merciful grace given to us by those being used by Jesus.

Okay, and also, there’s clothes – why or why do I still have the winter suit I wore as my going away outfit when we married? or our first housecoats as newlyweds? Oh dear! Some of this is ridiculous. But of course there are the “keepers” – like Lowell’s football jersey or his jacket – “81” and “73”.  A pair of shoes from each of the kiddos when they were babies – yes, that’s understandable, but honestly! pacifiers and baby bottles? – OUT!

Toys??? Honestly, Robin, what were you thinking? Most of these are so far gone that it’s to the dump they go … all kinds of stuff now, over 30 boxes, jammed full have gone to the dump! and yes, there’s been not just one trip to the dump but another carload and yep, you guessed it, there will most likely be another.

Well, I was going to rejoice in a ‘repentance’ here – ‘no more hoarding!’ However, I must confess, I probably will end up keeping a few odds and ends now and again – but hopefully it will be done with a little more wisdom and clarity of mind. Can this fit into a scrapbook? Will I really wear this again? Can someone else use this? Will someone enjoy reading this one day? Is this trash? What is it going to cost me to keep this? Can that money be used in a more benevolent way?

What all this STUFF represents is in reality who we are and that isn’t and will never be found in any material possession. These physical items are held in our hands as we sort through and they jog a memory here, cause a laughter to erupt, or a story to be shared out loud. There is no value necessarily in the item, but the worth of the memory that is produced. We stand affirmed by what we have kept, or we stand condemned. In our case, I feel a thousand times affirmed. I read notes from my journal when I was just 18 years old. I had dreams and aspirations of who I would be when I grew up; of the kind of family I wanted; of what we would do and where we go. I can rightly say if that 18-year-old-me could see who I am today she would be very pleased. It makes my heart happy that I charted that course, and set my path to serve the Father all those years ago. By God’s grace I was blessed to be found by a godly, humble man who placed Jesus as the head of our home.

So, have there been struggles? Wow, you better believe it! Have there been obstacles? Well, duh. How about big ol’ detours? Changes in plans? Heartaches? Broken promises? Failures? YES! However, there has also been bookoos of laughter, “I love you”s bouncing off the walls, hugs and kisses galore, heartfelt singing, a love of reading, prayers lifted up in requests and rejoicing and always, Jesus was at home.

Some great pointers and tips that might help anyone who is moving can be found at FlyLady.

And here are some scriptures to ponder as we reflect on material possessions and what truly owns you in this world.

Joshua 24:15

15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve …. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.

Matthew 6:

19″Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Ephesians 5 –Wives and Husbands

22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31″For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

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