Living the Life

Recently a new friend read my blog and remarked later in passing that she didn’t see anything about my spiritual life in any of my posts and was happy to see a link to my church and a Christian unschooling group on my blog. I was honestly surprised that anyone would even be looking for that on a blog that is just a hodgepodge of whatever happens to be on my mind at a particular time. I wasn’t offended or upset. I just wasn’t expecting a comment like that.

I’ve always believed that each person’s spiritual journey is their own. I have no problem asking for prayer for… anything really. But I don’t make a point of announcing my beliefs to anyone who will stand still long enough. I think it’s like my lifestyle choices of eating whole foods and exercising. I don’t go around preaching or nagging (at least I try very hard not to) and trying to convert others to my beliefs. (I do have my health blog, but readers choose to go there; I’m not forcing people to listen to my opinions.) I will talk about what I believe if the subject comes up, but for the most part I prefer to just live the life and try to be a good example rather than beat people over the head with my convictions. As far as I can tell, beating people over the head only serves to achieve the opposite of the desired effect. At least that’s how I feel when people preach at me.

Do You Love Your Stuff?

Blogging for me is either feast or famine. I can go weeks without blogging, then three or four ideas hit me at once. Right now, I have two other posts started and two more ideas sitting in my inbox. (I emailed them to myself from my phone so I wouldn’t forget. Don’t act like you haven’t done it.)

Every few months, I look around at all the stuff I’ve accumulated and get rid of some of it. Some goes on eBay, some to Freecycle, some to a local consignment store, some to charity and some even goes in the trash. I started again a couple of weeks ago. Right now I have over 60 items listed on eBay. I’m always amazed at what people will buy online. And how much they’ll pay for it. But that has nothing to do with my purpose today… or maybe it does…

Some of what I have on eBay is my Stephen King book collection. From the time I was about 9 or 10 and found my dad’s box of Stephen King books stored in the back bedroom, I’ve been hooked. I’ve read everything he wrote before his accident. (I believe there are a few short stories that were published in a magazine that I never read.) I’ve only read one or two of the books he’s written since. I still like his writing, but I just haven’t made the time to read the books. Knowing what a big fan I was at the time, my mom joined a Book-of-the-Month Club for Stephen King books. So every month for who knows how long (no, wait… I’d say about 40 months…) we received a book in the mail. Almost all of them, I had read previously. A few I reread. Some I never even took out of the shrink-wrap. They moved here to GA with me and have lived on the bookshelves downstairs in my office for six years. I’ve only read a couple of them since moving to this house. Every time I go through my cleaning-out phase, I look at those books, and I think: 1) Those were a gift from my mama, 2)If I get rid of them and want to read them, I’ll never be able to get new copies for what I could sell them for, 3)I MIGHT read them someday!

So why did I finally post all *40* of the books on eBay? Because if I haven’t read them by now, I’m not likely to. I can find them new homes where they’ll be appreciated and loved and hopefully read until they fall apart. If at some point in the future, I decide to revisit the King collection, GA has a wonderful library system. If my library doesn’t have a book, I can request it at no charge from almost any library in GA. There were books in there I didn’t even know I had. A couple looked really good and it was very tempting to keep them, at least long enough to read them. But I reminded myself that there is always the library.

I’m not getting rid of every book I own, just ones that I think could find better homes elsewhere. But looking at all those books that I didn’t even know I had made me think about how we accumulate stuff until we don’t even realize what we have or how much. If you had asked me how many Stephen King books I have, I would have said 10 or 15. I had no clue I had 40! We do the same thing with clothes, shoes, and anything else we can stick in a drawer, closet or box. Other than maybe a few childhood treasures, everything we own should be out where we can enjoy it, not in a box somewhere. I have boxes in storage near my parents’ house that have been there at least since I moved here more than 10 years ago. Most of it has been shuffled from storage building to storage building since I was 12. That was… a long time ago, I assure you. I can also assure you that aside from the pictures and school yearbooks, which are probably ruined by now by the humidity, there is nothing in there that was worth saving for 20+ years. If it were, I’d have it with me, not packed away in storage.

I’m hopeful that the weather and the timing of my visits will cooperate sometime soon so I can sort through my stuff in storage and free myself of that baggage. (And cry over my pictures and yearbooks.)

Take a good look around you and really SEE all that you have. Are they things that bring you joy or suffocate you? Does everything you own fit in your house? If not, maybe it’s time to consider that you may own too much stuff. I come from a family of packrats and at first it’s a little scary to get rid of something you “might need someday.” Actually, it’s a lot scary. But I read something one time that completely changed my attitude about hoarding and hanging on to things. If you believe in God, do you trust that he’ll provide everything you truly need? Or are you saving stuff in case God’s busy that day? I didn’t instantly purge my whole house, but I was able to get rid of things that I’d been hanging onto for years. And every time I sort, I find new things that can go. Usually things I look at and think, “Why did I keep this?” LOL

Someday, I hope to only be storing ideas for future blog posts. Those don’t take up much room.