Dare #15 of The Respect Dare… GOT STUFF?
Story of Stuff
It was 35+ years ago. I stood outside the police station with a group of 12 year olds, waiting for things to get started. As I watched my dad drive away in the car, my heart started to pound. The police officer outside started collecting the permission slips from the other kids…and I realized mine was still sitting on the table in the kitchen.
What to do? We’d been looking forward to this for WEEKS.
My face grew hot as I worried about being the only kid who didn’t get to shoot that night.
I looked around, and saw lights on and people moving in the house across the street from the police station. Bolting out of line, I crossed the street, and ran up the front steps and rang the doorbell.
I needed to use the phone, because I wouldn’t get to shoot and finish hunters safety if I didn’t get my permission slip.
Yes, I was a tomboy, Yes, I grew up in the West, and NO, I wasn’t the only girl. And Yes, I was/am a great shot.
I knew they were home. I saw them a minute ago. Why weren’t they answering the door? So I rang it again.
Finally, a girl about my age answered the door. “Uh, yeah?” she said.
“Can I use your phone to call my parents?” I asked.
“Um, sure…it will take me a while to find it,” she replied.
I walked in behind her.
There were three adults in the family room, all watching television. I think it was the Andy Griffith Show.
And the TV picture was in black and white.
Yes, I am that old.
And I watched her climb over piles of laundry, books, dishes, food wrappers, boxes, and I don’t even know what…to get to the wall, where the phone was plugged in.
Obviously this was a while ago, back when all we had were land lines.
And no one thought twice about going to a stranger’s house.
She found the cord, and followed it under the piles of stuff. I called my parents.
None of the adults even looked away from the television to acknowledge that I was there.
The girl and I talked for a while.
I never asked her why she didn’t go to school where I did.
And I never saw her again.
I got to shoot that night, but I remember less about that than I do about this girl’s home.
Too Much Stuff
And now, in the world we live in today, there’s a name for folks like this and even a TV show or two about them.
We in the west make light of the many serious issues our gluttony causes – we lightly refer to them as, “first world problems.”
And I’m not exempt – I have too many dishes, too many pairs of black shoes, too much makeup, and I’ve kept too much STUFF that I don’t need over the years.
And this year for Christmas, when I was asked what I wanted, I said, “I want someone else to get chickens.” I want my own chickens, actually, but I can’t have them in my subdivision. So I wanted someone else to have chickens. And regardless of what you think about the controversy with World Vision about a month ago, they took chickens to people in another country for my son as a gift to me.
And it made us both happy.
Because honestly, I would rather have things that money can’t buy – time with the people I love to pieces.
There’s never enough of that.
And I don’t really need anything else.
And who has too much love in their life?
But having said that, a friend of mine on our ministry team sent me the plaque below – it has my life verse on it. And it makes me exquisitely happy. WAAAAYYY happy.
And the best thing? I don’t get to see her that often because she lives in Georgia. So every time I see this, it makes me ridiculously happy and helps me think the best-est of things – about her, about my life, about everything He gives us.
So understand I’m not saying to be uber-minimalist.
But I am saying to be careful where you store up your treasures – because that’s where your heart will be. Matthew 6:21
Dare ya to get rid of some things and get a tax deduction. Double dog dare you to share what you’re getting rid of… 🙂
If you have tweens, teens, or twenty-somethings, you should totally follow Debbie. And if you want to read a very engaging novel about women who faced real-life dilemmas like these, read Dare to Respect. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter as @NinaRoesner. Come join the discussion!
Love to you,
If you want to explore ways of getting your tweens, teens and twenty-somethings to share in the household responsibilities, read With All Due Respect
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Decluttering is an ongoing process for me because stuff keeps coming into our home. Yesterday while running errands before leaving for Boot Camp I left a box of good stuff at my favorite thrift shop. This is not a do it once and over process every day. Too much stuff is a prison:
It takes care.
It takes space.
It charges the air with tension and hides the stuff you really need.
I take pictures of my stuff when I donate it so I can remember st tax time. Letting go of stuff is walking out of a prison. Your willingness to let go is the key.
I love you and so look forward to seeing you today
BRILLIANT as always! 🙂
Love to you!
Wow. WHAT an amazing and timely post.
This is exactly the journey He has me on. He’s had me sell and giveaway items I thought I needed. My DSLR camera, Apple Watch, furniture and lots more.
Hard at first, but so worth it because I don’t even miss the items.
And now I’m training up my boys to not “hold” so tightly to things.
As a family we’re SO much richer for it.
Thank you Father
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