Sunday, August 05, 2007


The amount of junk in my house is reaching an all time high. I'm feeling thwarted in my attempts to clear out. It's the stuff coming in...getting tucked into corners, under beds, in piles here and there...that is never-ending.

I think there is some sort of psychological pull about bringing things home that is really difficult to acknowledge. Whenever we go out, it seems, we have a need to get something and bring it back. Maybe it's something to distract us from our worries, or a temporary lift to our spirits to have something new.

We go to the library, and we bring home books. And we return less books than we check out (I know this because I have a copy of our library fine record). We go to the mall, and we look around for what we might need. Now think about that. Sometimes, yes, we make a list of the things that we need, but even after checking off the items on that list, still we look.

What are we looking for?

This morning, before church, I thought about the things that the children would be bringing home with them. I thought about the magnetic frame that someone would make in Sunday School. I thought about the plastic sliding puzzle, or the bookmark that might make its way onto the kitchen counter, and into someone's treasure pile where it would sit and gather dust for weeks and weeks.

So I brought the children together before church, and I asked each of them to take something out with them, and not to bring it back. They were a little confused, but it was an interesting idea. My oldest brought a CD to give to our drumming friend in the band. The next one brought a fleece shirt that had been in my basement since give back to its owner. The twins found a stuffed kitten no longer played with, and a book off the bookshelf.

None of these things came back home with us, and when I walked back into the house, I felt a bit lighter. It's only four things, but I have this idea, that...well, we leave the house quite a bit. We will be giving tiny gifts to cousins and grandparents. We will be returning books to the library. We will be watching for mothers with toddlers in their shopping carts at the grocery store. And when the mother turns to pick something off of the shelf, she will turn back and wonder at the new little toy that her child is grasping. Four things by four things, we will eventually rid this house of pounds upon pounds of stuff.

That's my idea anyway.


Momma played Bass.... said...

Ahhh - I'm feeling overwhelmed with all of our 'stuff' too. I think its the back-to-school time that makes it more apparent.

I sooooo badly want to throw away all of our toys in the basement. I just can't quite bring myself to do it.

MathGeek said...

Hey thats just like me....