Monday, May 26, 2008

Stuff

I am facing yet another unpleasant task: sorting through the boys' clothes. We do not have enough space to keep two seasons of clothes in their closets and drawers, so twice a year I have to sort and transfer warm weather clothing for cold, and cold for warm. No small task, let me tell you.

There are the clothes son #1 can no longer wear, but too big for son #2; clothes too small for son #2 yet too big for son #3; sons #2 and 3 are slims, sons # 1 and 4 are regulars; sons #3 and 4 wear essentially the same size and on and on it goes. You get the picture.

Well-meaning friends give me hand-me-downs, which I am so grateful for and will never turn away; however those too must be gone through and sorted. I always end up with bags of clothes to hand down and to give away.

Each spring and fall, as I drag out the boxes of clothes from their various hiding places, I am overwhelmed and feel more than a little guilty at the sheer amount of clothing we own. It's way more than we can wear, and certainly way more than we need. I give away bags and bags of clothes, yet still we tend to accumulate more and more.

Just this week in Bible study we looked at the description of Babylon and her "excessive luxuries" in Revelation 18. The Babylonian culture was a culture of excess. So often I find myself falling prey to the same trap of accumulating stuff, stuff, and more stuff.

After Hurricane Katrina, I, like you, was haunted by the images of so many left destitute, with nothing but the clothes on their back. I wondered what I would do if I lost everything, all my stuff.

How much of my life is defined by my things? How much of my faith? If I were to lose it all, could I say "The Lord gives, the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord?" Do I truly live as if Jesus is more precious than the things of this world? Or can I only say that because I have so much of the things of this world? Do I serve my blessings...or the One who blesses?

Jesus said, "One's life does not consist in the abundance of things he possess." (Luke 12:15) How I pray for the faith to hold my things with an open hand, to bless the Lord both in plenty and in want, to be "content with such things as [I] have. For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" (Heb. 13:5) Just as our friend prayed over our meal together last night, "Jesus, You satisfy us more than this food...(or this stuff)...ever could."

He is everything, and He is enough.

Originally posted in October, 2006

6 comments:

  1. I've been doing the same thing, such a pain. Now I have to store all of daughter #1's clothes for daugeter #2 and we are short on space!!
    If you have any give aways in a size 4, 5 or 6, we'd be happy to take them off of your hands!!
    Have a good holiday!
    LG

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  2. I could have written this post myself! LOL! And great thoughtful spiritual application! Love and hugs! I SO get it!

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  3. Amen, sista! I'm right there with you! I find that since I started purging, I'm constantly purging. It's actually very freeing...though it's hard work.

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  4. That is my project this week and it is a loathsome one indeed.

    I'm feelin' ya on the Babylon thing...

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  5. I almost couldn't read this because I'm avoiding going through the girl's stuff. I've pretty much started to give things away in bulk. If you come to my house with a child that fits our old clothes, you might just leave with said clothes lol.

    I figure God will provide for us when we need more.

    I love what you said. We were studying Daniel last month adn the same comments about excess etc came up. I alway have to fight against my tenancy to allow stuff to get too important.

    Bless you!

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  6. Amen. Sometimes I wish a bulldozer would just go through this house!!

    Hand-me-downs are great, but it is amazing how it can just balloon until there are clothes, clothes, and more clothes.

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