Wednesday, July 23, 2008


"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." Corinthians 4:17-18

I've been reading through 2 Corinthians and was in chapter 4 yesterday. As I was meditating on these particular verses, I asked God to show me what it really means to have an eternal perspective. It's complicated. I'm not used to looking through EP (eternal perspective) eyes in how it relates to my day. I'm not even sure I know how to write about it either, but I will give it a shot.

It began on Monday when I was having lunch with my friend Candy. We were discussing them leaving next year (they will be missionaries to the Philippines) and what they will be bringing with them and what they will be storing, etc. Since the cost of shipping is so expensive, they have to be very limited on what they can take with them. They will have a few boxes shipped with absolute necessities (undergarments, her BOSCH of course, lol, clothes, etc.) and then Josh will ship his tools for him to maintenance the airplanes, but other than a few boxes, they are selling EVERYTHING. Yes, you heard me, EVERYTHING. They will store nothing, unless it has some family significance, but will sell everything. They are going with a few boxes and nothing else.
I told her, "Just think of the stuff you have accumulated over your last five years of marriage, plus the stuff you brought with you to the marriage, and your selling everything?"

As I looked around my house yesterday, I couldn't imagine having to sell ALL of my stuff. I mean we have stuff everywhere...closets, out buildings, stuff everywhere. After almost ten years of marriage, we have a lot. Things that don't necessarily have any family importance, but things I just like or enjoy looking at. Wow! Where exactly are my eyes? Now, there's nothing wrong with having stuff, but when the stuff becomes your focus instead of people, your eyes are off focus. God hasn't called me to sell my things, but He did show me yesterday that I have too much stuff and that is was time to rid out! I am not a pack rat and I hate clutter! I normally don't let things just lay around forever, but rather I get rid of it if I hadn't used in say over a year. But we are outgrowing our house because I think we still have too much stuff. I love simplicity, but sometimes I don't want to do what it takes to live that way. I love my stuff!! I love my dishwasher, washer/dryer, my BOSCH, and my stove. All of these things make life easier so I don't regret having these things, but it's the other stuff I'm referring to.

How many toys do kids really need? Think about it. Kids today are absolutely spoiled! They don't play with half the toys they have. Most kids have a few favorites and could care less about the other things. People even have separate rooms to house the toys. The children on Little House on the Prairie were content to have a homemade doll to play with and that's about all they had. They were creative and made their own toys. They played outside building tree houses, playing two-a-cat (baseball,) chase, hide and go seek,swimming, etc. They didn't have tons of toys to entertain them. I'm not against toys by no means. Little toddlers obviously can't build tree houses or play baseball, but they can play with plastic bowls, wooden spoon, pots and pans, and tupperware. A few months ago I bought Libby a toy that sticks on her her highchair thinking she would love it, but she could care less about it. She would rather play with my tupperware bowls and pilfer in my cabinets. Fine by me. Saves me money and she's content. She does have a few toys that she is interested in, which is totally ok, but I don't want toys in excess. A few things that she likes, but that's all. We don't have a play room or an attic or a storage building in which to house all her things, so therefor it keeps us from accumulating too much.

How much kitchen stuff do I really need? I began going through my kitchen cabinets this week and have gotten rid of a ton of stuff. I realized I didn't need ten plastic mixing bowls, six glass serving bowls with lids, two crock pots, two roasters, three sets of dishes, plastic cups galore, six pitchers, six 9x13 pans, three crystal bowls that I never use, and a bunch of odds and ends. I kept the necessities and what I thought I would need even for a crowd and took the rest to a consignment shop. I felt better, but my cabinets are still full...just not jam packed like they were before.

I am going through closets and getting rid of a lot of me it's a lot. I am tired of stepping over it or getting lost in my closet and not being able to find my way out. It feels good to declutter my life a bit. I have a ways to go, but I'm getting there. Hospice and RR, here I come.

A determining point for me to see if I have an EP, is I ask myself, "If my house burnt down tomorrow, would I mourn my things?" Some things I would like my pictures, my Bible, and other things that have family value to me, but what about the other things? I read somewhere that said if you would, you still have an earthly perspective. I'm not there yet I confess.

Our neighbor's mother passed away on Monday and she had five children, 38 grandchildren, and I'm not sure how many great-grandchildren. She was 85 and has left such a legacy! One women's life gone, but what she has left behind will be remembered always. What kind of vision do we have for future generations? Are we leaving behind a life of character, integrity, dignity, honor, and perseverance to our children, or is our vision skewed and our focus on the here and now and what we can do to gratify ourselves? Only what's done for Christ will last! I want to leave a rich heritage for my children, my grandchildren, and for future generations. The things I do for and with Libby now will impact her children, my grandchildren. It's not just about me. How I teach her, train her, love her, and guide her will impact future generations of my family. When I pray for her I pray also for future generations that will come that they will know Christ and make Him known. I want a legacy that will be remembered. We don't have much material wise when you compare us to some, but we are rich compared to others. I want to make memories that last a lifetime. Mimi was telling me yesterday what a wonderful childhood she had growing up. Wonderful, godly parents, siblings galore to play with, special memories with extended family, and yet they didn't have much material wise to speak of. Those things she doesn't remember much, just the sweet precious memories of growing up. Her parents left her with a legacy.

I have just touched the surface of this. There is so much more that can be discussed. I just want to be more available to be used by the Lord, have more time for my family, be ALL that He wants me to be and not be bogged down with junk that can take up so much of my time.

"O God, open eyes to see where I'm deceived and help me to fix my eyes on you and to see things the way you do so that there's no room for anything to crowd my vision and to get me off focus."

My rant for this week is: NO MORE CLOSET CLUTTER!

If you have any comments, I would love to hear your perspective. Such a rich topic.


Joey said...

Amen!! and Amen!! I am ready to get rid of it all (the stuff) if it means my focus would be more on the Lord.