I literally had a dream about *stuff* the other night.
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 things – mostly 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
HE is all that matters.
Stuff is just stuff,
and it won't last
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)
"'[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 JOURNEY, A 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 THURSDAY, THRIVING 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
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