I have had much time to reflect lately. I have sorted and sifted through bins. I have looked back on memories and a lifetime of pictures. I have found things and pondered why they were kept as a "memory" and why they weren't thrown out, not remembering their significance from a time forgotten. I have thrown away. I have given. I have gotten rid of every single item of baby gear and clothing that I am no longer using for Keaton including all of my baby girl clothes. Well, you know me...I kept a full tub of "memory" clothes. One tub with memories from all 3 kids in it. I think I did well. Anyway... It has been a process of emotions. I have felt joy when I remember a special occasion involving this or that. I have felt sorrow as I gazed into the faces of loved ones gone on or friendships of the past. I have felt the sting that only a parent can feel realizing that my "babies" are quickly running out of that catergory. I have felt a mini "church camp euphoria" as I found a token of a lesson from camp and remembered the power that it had.
Above all, though, I have felt guilt and shame over the massive amounts of STUFF that I have...still HAVE after all of that sorting, giving, and trashing.
We are such a gluttonous people. I fear what God thinks of the sheer amounts of junk that we have. There are people in this world with 2 outfits to their name and I am giving bags and bags of clothes away...some just because I don't want them any more. There are people who have a few outfits for their babies and they rotate them and wash them until they are threadbare. I have kept an entire tub of clothes just because I want to cherish the memories.
What a humbling reminder of how incredibly blessed we are. We are spoiled rotten. We feel entitled. We feel that we are lacking.
We are big babies. Most of us wouldn't last 2 seconds living...truly living...in an under priviledged nation, much LESS a 3rd world country!
I would like to challenge each of us to really reevaluate what we have in our closets, storage rooms, and under our beds. Take stock of what you have in your pantry, cabinets, and fridge. God blessed each of us by putting us where we are. He chose this life for us. Praise God and thank Him for it! Remember those who aren't in the same station in life as you are and pray for them, bless them, give to them.
Next time you think about something you "need," challenge yourself on your own thinking. I'm pretty certain you'll determine that your needs are all met and your wants are not far behind on being all fulfilled.
As I try to stuff everything that I have...and I do mean stuff into the biggest U-Haul available, I pray that God speaks to my heart the truth about what I can do to pare down my belongings further so that all that I have is used for His glory and that I am living within my means and only as He would have me live.