My family is moving. It is a local move which will not require us to change churches, phone numbers, or even schools, a feat I thought was impossible in this town. It does, however, necessitate that we scale down on the amount of stuff we have gathered over the years. This is easier said than done, especially when I have children watching me sort things. Every toy I dig out from the bottom of the toy chest is someone’s favorite. Never mind that it has been down there for at least two years, they have outgrown it, and even when the batteries were good, they rarely picked it up, now it is something they can not bear to part with. Finally, I got smart and started doing my sorting during school and nap hours. Things progressed much quicker from there.
The next thing for me to tackle was my husband’s stuff. Little did I realize he would be worse than the children. He likes to write notes on the backs of envelopes and other scraps of paper while he is on the phone. The problem is, you can’t read the notes, he doesn’t remember what exactly it is pertaining too, but he does know that one day in the future he is going to need it, so just put it in a box and we will store it in the basement. I still have at least three boxes of these in the garage from the last move that have never been opened. After some reasoning, and sorting, and a sad moment where we donated a pair of pants he finally admitted he would never fit into again, I was done packing his things.
I’ve packed dishes, and pictures, and all sorts of things, but I save my biggest hurdle for last, my stuff. For all of the grief the rest of the family gave me during this process, I know the single biggest baby when it comes to sorting the trash from the treasure is me. We have been here before and I know where it ends. I’ll be sitting in a pile of old letters, magazines, and never finished craft projects, crying because I have tied emotions to the stuff. I have confused memories with belongings. I have made these things my security even though I know in my heart there is none to be found in this stuff.
It’s funny how easy it is to see this problem in my children, my husband, my mother, my neighbor, but I fall into the same trap over and over again anyway. I honestly never realized I was placing so much value on these things, but when you are sitting between a box and a trashcan it becomes really clear.
Each time I move I get a little better at packing, a little better at organizing, and this time I am getting better at letting go. I prayed my way into this move and I will be praying my way through it as well. With God’s help, I am placing my security where it belongs, with Him. The things of this life are temporary and it is about time I started celebrating that instead of fighting it.