Monday, August 4, 2014

THE "STUFF" OF DREAMS


I literally had a dream about *stuff* the other night.

MY stuff.

So, wanna hear it?  (Say yes, or stop reading now 'cuz I’m gonna tell it…)

OK, the dream starts out with "The Hub" and I walking along a beach.  It's a long stretch of coastline, the weather's good, and we're having our best time.  Then, in the distance, I see something that looks like a long, plastic barrier of some sort.  Curious, I run up to see what it is.

Well, it's this long "chute-like" thing, and it's full of stuff.  All kinds of stuff. I'm getting excited about this, because I just love going to antique stores and swap meets and garage sales.  I am immediately thinking, "Treasure Hunt!"

Well, after a few minutes of going through things, and not finding anything I want, I start digging down deeper.  For some reason – don't ask me why, dreams are weird I am now using a shovel to push and prod and pull the stuff apart.

All of a sudden I push aside a pillow.  A fleeting thought crosses my mind, "Huh.  That pattern looks kinda familiar."  I push a few more things aside, and slowly my mind starts to click in…"That looks familiar, too.  And that, and that, and…"

Then it hits me.

All this stuff is MY stuff.

Stuff that I had given away or thrown away in the past.  I've gone through two major "purges" in my lifetime.  One was in 2008, when we remodeled our house down the hill.  The other was in 2012, when we moved up the hill (after 29 years of pack-ratting fun).

Actually, all of those above-mentioned "I's" should really be "we's" – for I could not (and maybe would not) have done any of this without "The Hub's" help.


OK, so back to the dream.

I'm starting to look at this stuff – my stuff – and feeling increasingly anxious.  You see, it's hard enough for me to get rid of anything in the first place.  I get really attached to thingsmostly for sentimental reasons – and it is very difficult to *downsize.*  Without "The Hub," I just might be a hoarder.

So, in my dream, my heart rate is increasing, I'm starting to breathe a little faster…

I look at "The Hub" and say, "What are they going to do with all of this?"

He points out to the ocean and says, "Somewhere out there, I guess they're going to bury it all."

This makes me more anxious.

I glance back up the length of the "chute" and I see more and more of my stuff.  My eyes land on some old toys, and I start to tear up. "Why did I give those away?" I think.  Now it's like seeing my sons sitting on a trash heap.

So, I start doing the intelligent thing…

I start re-looking through my stuff.  And re-evaluating, and even re-acquiring some of it.  I can remember distinctly a large, silver trophy cup.  And on the front of it were engraved pictures of moose, and bison, and bears. I mutter under my breath, "Why is this here?  This would be perfect for our new mountain home."

At this point, one glance at "The Hub" shows his utter dismay that we will now be adding to the pile at home – (which includes some still-unpacked boxes) – but I am in total panic mode…and sad.

The thought of my old possessions ending up buried beneath the waters of the Pacific Ocean is very unsettling.  And then I wonder, "Why didn't someone else want this stuff?"

And then, I wake up.

My heart was racing, my breath was ragged, and my nerves were on edge.

If I was an armchair psychologist, I could probably analyze the *wazoo* out of this dream.  But, I am not.  However, since I am currently sitting on a couch, I'm going to give it a try!

I know in real life, as I mentioned before, it's really hard for me to get rid of things.  Really, really hard.  Because so many things have some emotional meaning attached to them.  Clothes are like memories, toys are like babies, knick-knacks are vacations, etc.  I am a sentimental fool.

When I finally am able to screw up my nerve to actually fill a box or two for Goodwill, I almost always don't want to go with "The Hub" and drop it off.  It's just way too hard to see the stuff leave the car and enter an impersonal warehouse.

(I know, I'm weird).

And then, my very worst real-life nightmare would be going to a local thrift shop or garage sale and actually seeing some of my old stuff.

So, there are some conscious feelings attached to this unusual nightmare.

But what causes those feelings?  And why now?


It occurs to me that it has something to do with staying with my mom at her house.  Since my father's death in January, we've had to have people look at our stuff, and value our stuff, and we've begun the discussion about distributing stuff – (at Mom's prompting, mind you).

And it's all rather difficult.  Things are things, yes, but for me they're things with memories.  And perhaps, nowhere else are there more memories attached than with the things that belong to my parents.

And then, another possible reason for this dream is that July 17th was the one-year anniversary of the day we got evacuated for a raging wildfire that threatened our home and our town.  I will never forget the fear of leaving our home with two cars packed with just the *important* stuff.  Very scary, very unnerving.  

(Add to that some extra-anxious moments when we were hit by two lightning-caused fires close by our home over the weekend...)

So, perhaps fear and loss are issues that are close to the surface right now.


And yet, I realize that I must reflect on this.

I have asked the Lord to forgive me if I have an *over-attachment* to my things.  I know He understands that the things we choose to surround ourselves with are important.  For they give our homes a certain *feel* that we enjoy.  I wouldn't trade our bear carvings, or our paintings, or our multiple pictures of buffalo and wolves, or our bed and furniture made out of Aspen tree logs – or any of the other *treasures* that we have in our home.

For these are the things that give "The Hub" and I that cozy, rustic, nostalgic feel of the Old West that we so love.  And now, finally, the outside of where we live is a perfect *fit* for the things that we have so thoughtfully and lovingly collected to surround us inside.

I think God understands this.

But, though my heart can love the things, it must never put weight to the *soul importance* of them.

And this is probably where God has some work to do in me.

Last year, with the fire, I dealt with these feelings.  Not once and for all, maybe, but certainly for the most serious time ever.  And I did realize some important facts:

I learned that people are WAY more important than things.

I learned that earthly things are fun, but they're finite.  What really matters are those heavenly treasures.

I learned that our possessions can be enjoyed, but they must never be our focus.

I learned that we enter the world with nothing, and we leave it the same way. ALL that counts is what we decide about Jesus.


So, beyond some of the armchair couch psychological analyzing of my dream, on further reflection I realize that God is reminding me of the great Truth that He wants me to hear…yet again.

HE is all that matters.





Stuff is just stuff,
and it won't last
forever.
And guess what?!
Someday I'm trading it all in
for a crown!


(Two of my favorite *stuffed* buddies)








"Do not be overawed when others grow rich, when the splendor of their houses increases; for they will take nothing with them when they die, their splendor will not descend with them." (Psalm 49:16-17, NIV)

"No one can serve two masters.  Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and money." (Matthew 6:24, NIV)

"For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.  And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows." (1 Timothy 6:10, NLT)

"Sell your possessions, and give to the needy.  Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail..." (Luke 12:33, ESV)

"'Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.  Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.  Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.'" (Matthew 6:19-21, NLT)


"'So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat?  What will we drink?  What will we wear?'  These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.'" (Matthew 6:31-33, NLT)

"'[For] what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?  Is anything worth more than your soul?'" (Matthew 16:26, NLT)

"'You say, 'I am rich.  I have everything I want.  I don't need a thing!'  And you don't realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.  I advise you to buy gold from me - gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich.  And also buy white garments so you will not be shamed by your nakedness.  And buy ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.'" (Revelation 3:17-19, NLT)

"For we must all stand before Christ to be judged.  We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body." (2 Corinthians 5:10, NLT)

"For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return." 
(Genesis 3:19, NLT)

"...people are like the grass.  Their beauty fades as quickly as the flowers in a field.  The grass withers and the flowers fade...And so it is with people.  The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever." (Isaiah 40:6-8, NLT)



"I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.  Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him." (Philippians 3:7-9, NLT)



Do you find it hard to get rid of *stuff*, or are you good at cleaning house?



Linked today with:

SHARING HIS BEAUTY, PLAYDATES WITH GOD, UNFORCED RHYTHMS, MONDAY'S MUSINGS, TITUS 2 TUESDAYS, TELL ME A TRUE STORY, UNITE, TESTIMONY TUESDAY, SOLI DEO GLORIA, CAPTURE YOUR JOURNEYA LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAYS, WHOLEHEARTED WEDNESDAYS, WOMEN HELPING WOMEN, MONDAYS AT SOUL SURVIVAL, WHIMSICAL WEDNESDAYS, WINSOME WEDNESDAY, WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY, THREE WORD WEDNESDAY, COFFEE FOR YOUR HEART, WORDS OF LIFE WEDNESDAYS, TELL HIS STORY, THOUGHT-PROVOKING THURSDAY, THRIVE AT HOME THURSDAYTHRIVING THURSDAY, FAITH BARISTA, EVERYDAY JESUS, GRACE AT HOME, HEARTS FOR HOME, FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY, FAITH FILLED FRIDAY, ESSENTIAL FRIDAYS, SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS, WHATEVER IS LOVELY, COUNTING MY BLESSINGS, MAKE MY SATURDAYS SWEET, FELLOWSHIP FRIDAYS, STILL SATURDAY, WEEKEND BREW, RECOMMENDATION SATURDAY, SATURDAY SOIREE, GIVE ME GRACE, SUNDAY STILLNESS



BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

35 comments:

  1. Hi Sharon, excellent blog once again. I think He is trying to remind me of that also. Maybe some time in the future I will write a blog about it. So, never to old to learn and like you I am hopefully always a "work in progress"

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  2. A great post, my friend! I too, find it hard to part with some of my "things" but it seems I always feel so much better when I finally do! I have had recurring thoughts through out my life of what I would grab if the house was on fire. The first thing that came to my mind were old photo albums...of course now, it would be my computer since so many are there. I have actually been to the Goodwill store and saw several items of clothing hanging on the rack that I had donated. The sad thing is I was tempted to buy some of them back...lol! Thank you for this wonderful reminder to keep our possessions in perspective :) Have a blessed week!

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  3. Your not weird, I have a hard time getting rid of things. I really need a huge purge in my house right now. (That's what five years of blogging has done to me) I would think that having to evacuate your home would definitely bring on this dream. I love the memories of things but I also know that after cleaning out my aunt & uncles home after they died that my memories will not be important to my children when they clean out our home! I like your list of important facts and I agree 100%.

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  4. Oh yeah Sharon ... "stuff" .. dreams ... emotions ... treasures ... keepsakes. Don't get me started (holding back tears and recent memories of our many losses from our 'totaled' house fire-insurance has blessed us but cannot replace the 'stuff') ... so this wonderfully written memoir of your "stuff" dream hits all to close to my reality and so thankful that God protected you and yours from the fires last July ... (thinking and praying for those affected by the current spread of fires once again in CA) ... and I too seem to be a "pack rat" of memorabilia filled with emotional attachments and memories and ever so thankful that lives were saved or made it out of the fire at least (although I still believe that triggered the onset of alz for my other half)(sigh) ...this dream adventure was a bit heavy hearted for me and learning to let go of "stuff" ... My "couch" talk might have been more about discovering the spiritual significance (as your Bible verses point out so well) ... to the whys and the how comes ... of this parachute dream and dealt with more of my emotional issues and those recesses of my heart and mind that hold on to or guard so much that I need to sort out or rid myself of ... and I might have look at that aspect of "refining" that you wrote about this summer being the prompt for such a "dream" or nightmare (for me) of "stuff" ... Yep, as always, very raw but real post from you penned from a very insightful, wise and beautiful heart. I'm sure as you deal with this "stuff" with mom/dad's valuables, etc. that this topic of downsizing is near and dear to you and ever so difficult (I dread that happening). It was hard enough for insurance purpose to walk into the (make shift lean to holding all our sooted remains) to account for our losses ... I broke down often and each day that I attempted to handle that task. So forgive me for saying this but this is not one of my favorites of yours (although so beautifully thought out and written) the topic was far too sensitive ... and your question ... well, I know you know my answer. You're a brave one Sharon! May God keep you and protect you and your "stuff" ... in Jesus' name, I pray ... sending my love, hugs, blessings and prayers still for you with JOY and HOPE,(((U))) Peggy

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  5. Sharon,

    Great post and one I think we can all relate to at some level or another. I think moving days are when we really see ALL of what we have accumulated and none of it is fun to move. Years ago, I got on a tangent to get rid of this accumulating stuff, the stuff you have to move to dust around, the increasing numbers of clothes and shoes we acquire yet seldom where but don't want to part with. I think your post helps me realize what is important.

    We enter this life with nothing and the only thing we leave with are our memories. All of that "stuff" stays behind to be sold at an estate sale by the relatives we leave behind. People may not appreciate it for what it meant to us, but the important part is the memories that go with them, not the actual item itself.

    I know when evaluating my own "collection" I need to consider how might this bless someone else instead of merely taking up space waiting for me to make use of it again. I guess I have a ways to go but one such instance was holding on to some beautiful suits I had from my corporate days. They were expensive but they no longer fit, waiting for the day when I would be able to wear them again. Yeah that never happened, but I did donate them to our church who was having a clothes donation and thought, someone might just need a suit for a job interview but they can't afford it. Now is the time to pass these items on to bless those in need who might not be able to afford them, but need them to move on to the next chapter God has waiting for them.

    As always your posts bless beyond measure and I love when you stop by!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

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  6. First I need to tell you in response to your comment on my post today . . . we had a golf cart too in Lake Geneva and oh my us older kids surely did some damage taking that thing out and about the property and the streets by us. I laughed out loud when I read your comment. It's a beuatiful area, isn't it? I miss our days there. So many wonderful memories.

    Now to your post. I have to say I do not typically struggle with the parting of things. We have very little storage space in our home so it has forced me to not hold on to much. There are times I'm guilty of parting with something a little too quickly though. I'm wondering what I would consider as important stuff if I was ever in a situation like a fire. Hubs, kids and dogs of course. Pictures too. Pondering. But always appreciate the reminder that Jesus is all that matters. And I just love the way you write. Much love to you. xoxo

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  7. I think your analysis is probably right on the money. I sure have to agree with you, it's hard to part with some of that'suff'. We have recently sent a lot of my hubby's western collection to an auction of western antiques in the fall. It felt so empty up in his room when it all left in a truck, but somehow,we feel a little lighter, and find ourselves forgetting some of what is gone... :)

    Good thinking Sharon, and I've always thought our dreams often reflect our lives on some level. Have to say, that trophy sounds pretty neat!! :)

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  8. Hey Sharon. I am the opposite of a hoarder. I get rid of stuff all the time. Have to explore that at some point. Your dream sounds like a nightmare from post traumatic stress. That's my armchair psychological analysis. �� I hope you don't have too much anxiety when it comes time to weed out your stuff.

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  9. I love your stuffed buddies, Sharon! What a dream! (or perhaps bordering on a nightmare!)

    So true about not being attached more to stuff than to Jesus. It is so easy for me to get rid of things. Unfortunately, as you may already know I live with someone that is not so readily able to part with things in a house still not as cluttered, but containing things of his parents that he really doesn't want, he just doesn't want to get rid of them and I can't get rid of them because the aren't my stuff, which has been a hard thing for me to deal with for over 3-1/2 years, over stuff, which I really should just let go, know what I mean?

    I do agree that it is basically all stuff. Sentiment and value can be attached to it, but at the end of the day it is stuff we can't take with us when we go eternally home to Jesus.

    betty

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  10. Bless you as you learn to listen to the One who makes all things clear - even dreams. Thanks for sharing with us at Unforced Rhythms.

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  11. I am terrible at getting rid of stuff - because, like you said, the stories that the item evoke. However, sometimes I do manage to pry myself loose from them, but then I worry - what will help me remember? However, I've learned through items breaking how to let go and focus on what really matters. What a dream! I felt the anxiety along with you!

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  12. Great post - so transparently honest and vulnerably written. Thank you for sharing this... I'm sure it touches most of us.

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  13. Without my husband, I might be a hoarder too. I attach lots of sentimental value to things as well. That was a crazy dream, the kind I would have. But very interesting! And a great reminder that stuff is just stuff; only Jesus lasts.

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  14. First of all, you are definitely not weird. I can relate so much to this habit. I'm a hoarder. Anytime I'm excited to throw things away, even things that haven't proven useful for years, I have a hard time with it. I think it's definitely true to say that the circumstances of our upbringing play a role in shaping our relationships to material things, possessions, money, 'stuff'. But like you say, God really does set us free, some times instantly, other times gradually. I've known both instances. But I think the cool thing is the way he'll use our experiences and stories to help one another in that process of liberation. This post is a great example of that.

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  15. Stuff does have value and memories with it, but we must hold everything loosely and let it go at any time. I recently told my girls to look through my pretties and take anything they would like to have. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story with us here at "Tell me a Story.

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  16. I think I live right at the base of the hill from you. I will remember to pray for you when we see those storms roll over the mountains. I remember the one last year. Scary! I totally understand attachment to stuff. It seems like there are cycles of seasons where, for a period of time, things aren't necessary then we give them away only to move on to another season where particular items would now be useful again. I have to trust God to provide for each season when that anxiety rises up. Thank you for sharing! I hope you have found much comfort in knowing that you are not alone and so many share your struggles. Blessings! Rachael

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  17. Loved this post! I have "stuff" and many times a too close attachment to it. I am in the process of purging a lot of my stuff this summer. It is hard and so time consuming. Somedays more stays than goes. I need to keep reminding myself that I can't take it with me when I'm gone and remember that God is all that matters. Blessed to be visiting you from Testimony Tuesday. Mary

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  18. Your post triggered a memory that I will write up a short story and I will mention your post in my story. ♥

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  19. I hung on every word of this. I wish that I had hung here sooner, but I was called away yesterday before getting a change to read like I wanted to.

    I see SO MUCH here. It's not just the "stuff" for me, although I am trying to have much, much more discipline with that than ever before. For me, it's the abstract "stuff" that I think I have given away but am clearly not willing to see it float out to see because I am constantly swimming out to retrieve it.

    This post made me think about how happy I am when I look in a closet or other "innie paradise" as I call it around here and find it more empty than full. I get a feeling of being able to BREATHE. I think God wants me to have that same feeling with my emotional stuff. I think He is really tired of me cleaning out my emotional closets and then running out to the emotional thrift store and buying back my JUNK.

    Make sense? I hope so.

    I'm trying to get my act together. I even dyed my hair darker today just to help my brain along. I'll let you know how it goes...

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  20. Yet another thing we have in common Sharon, although my clinging to things doesn't seem to be because of emotional reasons. I tend to think I just might need the one day. I had every intention of getting rid of stuff while I was off on vacation but sadly I haven't gotten rid of anything and it's time to get back to work.

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  21. I hang on to things for sentimental reasons but also, as Wanda said, I think I might need something one day. I guess everyone holds on to too much stuff but I don't mind keeping things that were given to me by those I love. Those things hold a special place in my heart. As we have gotten older my hubby and I have given more and more things to charities, Goodwill, etc. Good post, again, dear Sharon.

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  22. Hello, I felt so to think really we all have the same feelings deep down! But in the long run as we get rid of things we are free to move and change things up. I have always said give things away and God will give you new things. Release is very freeing to some of us! You just have a very big heart and tender!
    Thanks for sharing Sweet dreams always, Roxy

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  23. As someone with a degree in counseling, I have to say, I think you did a pretty fine job as a "couch psychologist" ;-D. Really, the memories you have bravely allowed yourself to dig through here, all the emotions this raises and the way you are sifting through, is not easy for any of us. I think you're courageous. I love how you're gracious with yourself, too, trusting that the One who knows you so well understands the way you tick - and in the struggle of it all, you land on the real treasure. We're all in process, aren't we? I appreciate you sharing this story through Unforced Rhythms.

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  24. Ugh, I'm at Barnes and Noble and I think I just lost my comment. A friend of mine dreamed last night her daughter traded her legs in for a pig hoof transplant. I sure spiritualist that! About three years ago we went though downsizing with my parents. It's difficult when everything holds childhood memories. One thing that helped is taking pictures of precious (to us!) things. We have the same emotional pull when we look at the picture but the stuff is gone. I love how you back your posts up with so much Scripture. I always look forward to them. ~Pamela

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  25. You're not alone in the dreams department. I have some interesting ones too. I'd like to find out what they mean but sometimes I think it's better left unknown. :)
    I also have a hard time getting rid of mementos and regret some of my earlier purges. You're right, you can't take it with you! Far better things are awaiting us! :)
    Linking up next to you at Coffee for your heart.

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  26. Hi! I found you at the linkup! I am loving all of the verses you included in this post and they are touching my heart today! My girls have grown from littles to school age and I have a real hard time parting with all of their baby "stuff" even though I know we will never ever need it again. Thank you for your words today!

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  27. Boy! Do I know this place of yours! I have a Memory Box Room in my basement - a large walk-in closet where my kid's childhood is kept. Along with what I have of my own, too. And then - there are the bins and racks of props and costumes acquired through the years. Resources all. But, some are treasures, too - I never know when I'll need it. When I purge, I always find that within a month I need something I got rid of. Gah!

    And, then there are the homes of my grandparents I've been a part of liquidating over the past dozen years. I am also the one who will have to do my dad's house, and both my aunts. Lots of stuff.

    God uses them to inspire me with story. Thankfully - but stewarding them can be weary. And hold us down to one place. There is comfort in the familiar. In the end - it all belongs to God for His purposes. May I be wise enough to know that - and thankful for each treasure He blesses me with in its season.

    Joy!
    Kathy

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  28. Hmmm... Second time in the last 24 hours I have read about folks struggling with "stuff." I have been there, but our frequent army moves keeps me from collecting to much-- most of the time. Every time we head to a new duty station, I wait for a day when the purging mood strikes me and I go to town, tearing through our stuff and donating to Goodwill like Jesus is coming tomorrow.

    I have released multiple SUV's full of stuff to Goodwill... Kind of like ripping off a bandaid, do it quick and feel the freedom as you heal.

    Always love your words. Thanks a million for sharing them weekly at #EverydayJesus. Much love.

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  29. Love how you just chat with God over "what could you maybe be showing me." I think we just keep asking and being willing to listen. I get the fear of losing stuff. I have been one to tell God that He has permission to take it from even if He has to pry it out of cold dead hands! I can't let go without his help!

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  30. The Lord has been really putting on my heart...what do I deem valuable.
    We have so much, projects our boys made, Christian books, computers.
    I know I need to purge and clean house, but the question is where to begin.

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  31. Oh my dear Sharon... I was reading every word you wrote here with much emotion. That dream could very well have been mine... and the way you wrote this post, there was something in it that made me feel I could very well have been the one writing it. For the very sentiments you expressed are the exact same sentiments I have about my "stuff." Thank you very much for sharing this dream. How powerful that dream really is. And I just love the way you write so honestly about your heart. So refreshing. And of course, ultimately, it is the heart lesson that touches a deep spot in my heart - that it is only God who matters. But I realize that in heaven, all the things that mattered to us in this life - our stuff which have been so much an expression of our personhood and life story - will be with us for eternity. A constant reminder to us of how uniquely we are created and fashioned, and God loves us the way He wired us! Isn't that exciting?

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  32. This was so good, Sharon. So good. You are a wonderful writer and bring your dream alive. I don't dream and maybe that is a thought for a blog post someday.

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  33. Hi Sharon! I am so impressed that you remember your dreams...although this was a pretty vivid one, wasn't it. I think dreaming is our brains working out all the stress and flow of life that goes so fast, and needs to be looked at again. So here you are, doing just that.

    I can't imagine how amazing it must have been to see all your 'stuff' in that canvas tube. So surprising! (And your husband wasn't surprised at all.) I'm so glad you could see that it all connected to 'letting go' in this life. I think it's hard for everyone to do that. But you led me to remember that things here are 'things' and not the important focus. People and faith...that's the key.

    Beautiful as always my friend. Good to see you again :)
    Ceil

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  34. sharon, i can identify w the struggle over "things." we have moved twice in the last year. last yr. we sold our home and moved from TX to AL to be closer to family. this year we moved into an apt. to get more serious about down-sizing. our summer has been spent clearing away boxes of stuff that we should have dealt with last year when we had the space to do it in! not fun! it's nice to be shedding a lot of that stuff tho' and in something smaller so the housework in minimal!

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  35. Hi, Nice to meet you, I'm Lynn from My enraptured heart. I loved this story of your dream. I understand totally about being sentimental with "stuff". I am too. I too, don't want to be around when Salvation Army comes to pick up a large item or we take boxes to Good Will. We live in FL, I had this lovely winter jacket with a hood and fur around the hood. Really it may get cold here sometime and I need to be prepared. hehe. Seriously at the time I bought it we were traveling up North in Fall and some of those nights are cold to me with my FL blood after 30+ years here. I carefully laid the jacket on a chair. Somehow something else that was going to GW was put on top of the jacket and yes, off my beloved piece of clothing went with everything else. Sadly, I did not realize this for a few weeks. By that time it was way too late. I gave myself the mental picture of someone needing to go in a cold region and not having a jacket or the money to buy one and finding mine. That made me smile and feel so good about my jacket "having a new home" that now, when I give and donate stuff I specifically ask the Lord to bless that person who needs whatever I am giving and then that person "paying if forward" again. Since then I have had only twinges when giving away stuff. For the most part, mind you. I am still very sentimental about certain items which only have value to my heart. Have a blessed day now!

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"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!