Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I just got back from a trip to the mall in Tacoma. I needed to get some of my Bobbie Brown “hide my dreadful dark under-eye circles” corrector. I walked the whole mall but only because the other item on my list was at the opposite end of where I parked. I passed lots of shoppers buying “stuff”.

Speaking of stuff... A commercial about stuff caught me off guard last week. It showed a family acquiring more and more things that eventually ended up in their garage. I assumed the solution to their problem would be the suggestion that they take their excess to the local Goodwill. I was wrong. It was an advertisement for Public Storage Units.

Did you know that America is just about the only country in the world that has storage units for people’s extra junk stuff? Hm-mm, perhaps we have more stuff than we need?

My church youth group just returned from the yearly mission trip to Mexico to build 5 tiny homes. One of the adults who went described the horrendous living conditions and I was reminded how blessed I am and most of the people I know. We don’t have to worry about our daily survival. We have homes, furniture, indoor plumbing. We spend our money on food, clothes, décor, and sometimes just frivolous things that end up in our garages and attics.

I “get” why storage units can be helpful on a temporary basis. One of my friends is currently renting a home so some of their belongings are being temporarily stored. When my husband and I were getting ready to put our yellow house on the market, we rented a small unit. We didn’t have the time to meticulously go through all our belongings and decide if they should be kept, sold, or given away. We knew we had to de-clutter, clear out and make the whole house AND THE GARAGE look tidy. I remember how much peace I felt without all the extra junk stuff. It was quick and easy to keep my home clean and show-ready. There was “just enough".

I don’t want to be featured on “The Hoarders” show. I’m sentimental so I am a bit of a keeper. I couldn’t believe how much we had stored up in our attic! Toys, years of collected teaching materials, photo albums, even my wedding dress. I went through some of it and had a garage sale/give-away and yet when the boxes were unloaded in Illinois it was a bit overwhelming. So much junk stuff! Boxes that belong to my married son and my two college kids are full of their childhood treasures and are stacked in the basement.

I am learning to live with less while I’m living in someone's home yet all my needs are met. I have a soft warm bed, wonderful bathroom, comfy couch & fireplace, a kitchenette plus access to a full kitchen and a view of the water.

I love pretty things in pretty houses. I enjoy nesting and decorating and look forward to the time when I can putter around my Illinois home arranging my “stuff”. I just want to make sure that material possessions aren’t more important to me than God’s people. I want to share what blessings I have and focus more on relationships rather than paint color decisions.

“But if one of you has money enough to live well and sees a brother or sister in need and refuses to help-how can God’s love be in that person?” 1John 3:17

I’m still going to enjoy all my decorating/shelter magazines and I LOVE getting new ideas reading all my favorite blogs, but I need to make sure I’m balancing that with God’s word and showing His love with action. If I was back at my house in Illinois I’d go clean out a closet and head to Goodwill.

Think hard before your next purchase or it might end up in Public Storage someday…

In His Grip, Jane

No comments:

Post a Comment