Monday, May 21, 2012

7: Possessions

In her fast, JH does wages war again. This time she fights the good fight against stuff.

I dig this one.

I am in the perfect spot to focus a week (or more) on this fast from things, since I am in the process of preparing a houseful o' stuff to be mobilized across the country. Its amazing how aware of all the stuff you have when you are trying to fit in all in an obscenely huge moving truck.

This one strikes a cord with me this week as I mentally prepared because while we were driving this past week, hubs pointed out the size moving truck we will be using for our move. This thing was grossly huge. More concerning was his remark about how he was concerned we would fit in it. What?!

Looking at that truck while sitting at the stop light, I thought ..."surely we could live with less!"  Granted, we are talking beds for 5 people, dressers, furniture ..etc. but what we 'need' has really changed a lot for me.

Getting rid of things this week is not going to be an issue. So much so that I wonder if I could even call it a fast from excess, except that it has already changed my thinking a bit. I am thinking of things in terms of what we need more than what I can fit into a truck, and what we can sell so that we can spend less on moving it, caring for it, etc.

It has changed how I am packing and moving - so I will embrace this week of letting go.

Here we go ...

Day 1 -

Getting rid of stuff has never been an issue for me. I love to release myself of stuff. One challenge I have found since reading JH's book is that she talks about getting rid of things purposefully to people who need them, rather than absently dropping them off a charity center. Not that that is bad (its what I have always done) but that it would be so much better to seek after the individuals who really need things we are casting off. Connecting this way may even inspire more sacrificial giving.

I think this will be true for my children, and so we have been looking for opportunities to give to real people.  I think this one is important for them because I really thing my kids think I made up this  whole "there are kids who dont have anything, that is why I am loading up all your stuff and taking it to Goodwill."  They need to see the faces of the kids they are giving to.

I feel a little sad because our time is so short this week we arent going to be able to actually couple all of the things we are giving away with actual people.  We will likely being taking loads and loads to Goodwill or some other such place instead. But I would like to plan to do something better with all of it in the future. I love the concept of direct giving, rather than the abstract kind.

Day Two -

Honesty, "giving" of my possessions has been more about getting rid of stuff I dont need or want any more. To say it was a "donation" kinda seems like I am sacrificing stuff, which I dont feel like I am at this point. 

This kind of giving doesnt hurt really.  I am pondering that today. Do we need to give until we have so little it hurts? What about the intrinsic sense of peace that comes with doing God's will? Does it have to be that suffer in our giving? Or is it simply that we give to the point of sacrifice?

Meaning, does our sacrifice have to hurt or can it be something that though we are giving up we get so much good feeling from it that it doesnt even feel like sacrifice?

I think of those times when people serve me - when I feel they are going above and beyond for me. I know we have been the benefactors of some wonderful blessings in terms of money and other thiings in the past few years. I know that sacrificially it wasn't something that really "strapped" them, but yet the blessing for us was awesome. It was still such a reason for thanksgiving for us.

Sacrifice, yes (of course I am thinking of the widow and her two mites). But hurting in terms of actual suffering for that sacrifice? ...not sure yet.

I feel like its such a blessing to be good with less. Its so satisfying to know I just gave up a closet full of clothes for those who need it more. It doesnt really hurt that bad - so does that make the sacrifice less valuable in the long run?

Hmm. Gonna ponder that this week. ..thoughts?

Day Four - 

As suspected this whole getting rid of possessions thing is no kind of sacrifice.

We have moved a shocking amount of furniture out of here this week - loving the idea of going from two couches, a loveseat, a recliner, two tables (one in the kitchen and one dining room), a large dresser drawers and a filing cabinet,  to hopefully one larger couch and one table. I love it. 

We also sold our car - partly because it was a good idea before it worth nothing, and partly because we didnt want to pull it behind the moving truck. We had it sold in less than 10 minutes from the time I posted it on Craigstlist.  Yay! 

Because time is creeping quickly by, my ability to really go through everything and get rid of stuff as I go is quickly diminishing. I am a little bummed about that but we are still making strides in getting rid of stuff. 

It feels good to release ourselves of the burdens of it. 

One thing I have noticed is how often I think "I can get another one" ...or "I need to pick one of those up ..."  ..really, most of the time I don't need to replace anything, or I really dont need to pick up that thing afterall. Its a habit though. 

{Update April 2013: looking back after almost a year I see I never finished blogging about this one. I guess it was because I was in the getting settled still. I am realizing that while I participated in all the fasts on some level that I stopped blogging about it during those crazy few months. I am a little sad about that! No worries, I am about to start this whole crazy thing again!}

Follow one more fast ...Stress

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