Monday, June 27, 2011

On Getting Rid of Stuff

Last night as we were driving home from church, we noticed a lot of smoke towards our neighborhood. There had been a large fire in our city earlier, but this smoke was in a different direction. As we approached our street, it became obvious that it was terribly near our house and heart did skip a beat as I realized I had left the dryer on when we left for church.

Cars and people lined our street and it took us a while to get to our driveway. My parents live next to a field and the field was full of neighbors and strangers all watching the fire. It was, thankfully, on the street behind ours. It was a house fire and we stood alongside everyone else watching the firemen and the smoke and the huge flames shooting out of the house for quite some time.

This morning I got the girls up early (I've been needing to get them up earlier so they will go to sleep easier at night and I knew this would do the trick) to go on a walk and see the house. It was really something to see. Just about every single thing those folks owned is gone. Just like that.

I thought too about the Crawfords and all of their neighbors who lost everything in the tornadoes several weeks ago. I went to sleep thankful. Not for our home and stuff--although I was very thankful to be laying in bed in our home instead of in a hotel room or a friend's house--but thankful for the only thing that really matters to me. My family.

I was thinking about how the girls would process the fire they witnessed. The house down the block from us burned when I was 8. I saw it at night. I was scared for months that our house would catch fire. I know the girls would be concerned about their favorite toys. Any time we talk about a family who has lost their home that's what they are concerned about--their dolls. Their dollhouse. Their favorite things.

I was the same way when I was younger. I remember a hurricane headed of our home when I was around 9. I remember my dad telling me to go pack in case we had to leave for my grandmother's house. I remember sitting outside my closet door crying because I couldn't fit all my dolls and stuffed animals into my bags. Which ones would I leave? These are the things a child worries about.

I was happy to realize last night that I wouldn't worry about things today. Sure, it would be sad to lose pictures. It would be painful to watch my children miss their things. It would be a big, huge headache. But they are just things. I was never so glad we spent only $20 on that garage sale couch. Because that couch can so easily be replaced.

And then I read an article about letting go of things. About travelling lite. About not carrying our burdens and bags around with us. Yes, the article was speaking of spiritual things, but we all know that physical things can drag us down just as much.

I had read "The Biggest House in the World" to the girls this weekend. (Part of our summer reading list) The little snail learns, through a story his father tells him, that having the biggest, best shell will only be a burden and he cannot move and see the world if he has that heavy load on his back.

And I thought about how S and I have worked so hard to be out of debt so that if the Lord should call us to go somewhere---we could.

All of that combined is making for a very good day of cleaning out the homeschool room. With much use being made of the trash can, and the giveaway pile.

Stuff headed out of here...

1 comment:

  1. A lovely bit of perspective. So glad you and yours are safe!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)