happily ever after: Stuff

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


So I have this book that is called 'Does this Clutter make my Butt look Big?' The title alone, made me buy it. I haven't even read it, it just sits on the shelf along with the other 17 books I have on 'simplifying your life'. Sweetie just laughs at me.

Sweetie - 'How about simplifying by getting rid of some of those simplifying books.'
Me - (I just roll my eyes at him.)
Sweetie - 'Why do you have a statue of a sheep that says 'Simplify' on it?'
Me - (Again with the eye rolling.)
Sweetie - 'Do we really need that sign that says 'Simplify'?
Me - (Okay, now he's just getting on my nerves.)

Today I started clearing away some clutter in the upstairs boy rooms. I was in a great mood, finally over my cold, well rested, hyped up on my diet coke and ready to conquer. 10 minutes into it, I'm seething and yelling. Seriously, what is it with boys and all their 'treasures'. I've boxed up everthing and the pile of boxes looks big enough to fill a 1500 square foot house all on its own. I'm wondering who I can hire to light a fire under it.

We have this wonderful couple in our church. He teaches our ABF class on Sunday mornings. They are missionaries, or used to be, in Africa, I think, somewhere. There they were working for the Lord when they found out that they needed to leave IMMEDIATELY because some bad guys were coming to kill them. (He tells the story WAY better than I do.) Well, they left their home with all their things and just took their kids and the clothes on their backs. The bad guys came and burned everything. They had NOTHING left. But wait, that's not true, they had the good stuff left. Themselves, their children, their God. Everything else was just fluff. Wasn't it? Sure there was sadness over the pictures. Sadness over heirlooms. Sadness over memories. Sadness over the things that bring us comfort and make us feel like we're at home. But when it really came down to it, after the dust (or ashes) had settled, they were actually thankful. Thankful.

Tim shared that story with us months ago. It still haunts me. Probably because on my own journey here to recovery from being such a shop-a-holic, I yearn to get to the days when all the stuff does not matter to me. Or at least, it doesn't have such control in my life. You know the saying, "Your stuff owns YOU, YOU don't own your stuff." That's me right now.

I'm sitting in my living room, looking at boxes all around me, I feel completely overwhelmed. How will I ever get this done? How will I paint the walls, when I'm such a horrible painter? What if it's not enough? What if the house still doesn't sell? Why do we have so much stuff? Ugh. Overwhelmed.

I'm determined to do it. To get it all done. I will not burden Sweetie with this. He is working so many hours, trying to keep two companies going, he doesn't need a wife that is not 'gettin' it done' at home. With God's strength I can do this and I will. One step at a time, one box at a time, one day at a time.

Maybe in the course of all this, God will cure me of my everlasting love affair with 'stuff'.

I'm off to find my matches.