“I think we should just get rid of it all.”
He looked at me and said, “I was thinking the same thing but was afraid to tell you.”
We were moving back to Texas, and had a house full of “stuff”. A 2800 square foot house full of “stuff”. Toys, clothes, shoes, things to dust. Boxes and boxes of stuff.
And we hauled it all into our front yard, posted the signs and sold it. Well actually, we gave most of it away…and the rest, we might as well have.
It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Not just because it was me, but because I had to stand along side my kids while they learned the difficult lesson of materialism.
We loved our stuff. We attached ourselves to our stuff. Those are “my” dishes I bought in Mexico. Those are “my” legos. That’s “my” bag. Mine. Mine. Mine.
We kept a few things. I had a few pieces of furniture that have been in the family. I kept our memories, and school stuff from the kids. Those are still piled in my best friend’s garage in Florida. ( and I can’t wait to go back and dig through my boxes and get rid of more).
We came to Texas, all five of us, with just some clothes and shoes(and deodorant).
We call it “being in transition” but really we were technically homeless. So we shacked up with my bro and his fam for a few months until we could figure things out. Michael was waiting for his job transfer to come through from Florida to Texas, and I was figuring out how to organize the four of us in a few rooms, while feeling guilty for kicking my nephews out of their rooms.
We finally moved into our own space with still nothing but our clothes. We didn’t have a huge hunk of cash, so we financed mattresses, a fridge and a couch and dining room table (which we are still paying on a year later…smack me in the face).
My room has a bed. Yes just a mattress on metal slates. I have a broken tower fan in the corner by my side of the bed, just for the noise–it doesn’t stand on it’s own, it just leans in the corner.
We have the minimal of everything. And have now for a year.
And it’s absolutely freeing and amazing, and I love it!
Sometimes I get caught up in the materialism of the city I live in, because believe it or not San Antonio, Texas is a town that likes stuff, likes to buy stuff, and wear new stuff, and spend a lot of money on stuff.
But most of the time I stay pretty grounded, because none of the “stuff” matters.
That one time we sold all of our stuff changed me forever. Not just on what I should own, or what I buy for my kids. No just about living minimally (Because ladies if you have to clean all the time, you need to get rid of it!) But about so many other things in the world.
I find myself sometimes sickened by the materialism in America. Not just because other countries are in poverty or need. Not because I’m on some high-horse, filled with pride about being able to simplify.
The reason I get sickened is this — people don’t even see what materialism, and wanting stuff, and taking things for granted is doing to them. People don’t see how it completely blocks a flow of the Holy Spirit into their lives. People fight for the wrong things, and work for stuff that doesn’t matter. People ROB THEMSELVES of joy and peace and love because of their Americanized perspectives.
I know, I know. Not you.
It’s just me.
This has been my soapbox lately. This idea of wastefulness and taking things for granted. This soapbox standings is probably why I got in a few heated discussions over the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS awareness and fundraising.
Maybe it will pass, this feeling of being disgusted by our world’s selfishness and willingness to just accept things as they are.
But I hope it doesn’t.