Quite a few years ago, my sister, Denise, had told me she was getting rid of ‘stuff’. She said the word with emphasis. ‘Stuff!’ Like she’d had enough of it and didn’t want it around any more. Wow! What a novel thought! To voluntarily give up your things and have enough stuff!
Since we had that conversation, she’s downsized quite a bit. From a four bedroom home to a one bedroom home. Now that’s downsizing!
We weren’t too far behind them. My husband and I had been thinking about our future and determined a plan of adjustment should he not be able to manage the stairs. We lived in a two story home with the main living quarters upstairs. Downstairs was a family room with a decent size bedroom and full bathroom. We could certainly manage living downstairs though it would require me cooking upstairs and bringing food downstairs. That wouldn’t be an issue for me. So, we had a game plan if we needed it.
Then one day, I was checking out Craigslist to see what was available and I came across an ad for a brand new apartment building that had 1 and 2 bedroom units. Wow! New appliances, how nice would that be?!
You know how God works, don’t you? On Thursday, we weren’t even considering a move and the next day, I believe God led me to search apartment availability which led to seeing this new building. A God-moment for sure! We prayed about it and submitted it to the Lord. Then we took practical steps.
After a careful examination of all the floor plans, we picked the one we liked and completed the application process. They were holding an open house the following weekend so we attended that as well. That just solidified our decision. We prayed again for the Lord’s will. There were many people in attendance at the open house completing applications right there in the lobby.
We gave the unit we wanted to the Lord and asked for Him to give it to us or not. Whatever His plans were for us was fine with us. All we wanted was to be in His will.
A few days later we received acceptance of our application! We were moving!
And now the fun was to begin! The new unit was 2 bedrooms; we lived in four bedrooms. You know what that meant…downsizing, big time! Following in my younger sister’s footsteps. How sweet!
It took about six weeks to sell or give away all the things we were not taking with us. Because I used Facebook to auction off a lot of it, I had photos on my phone as reminders of what we used to have. Someone had told me that would be a good thing. You know what? I never look at them! I’m going to be deleting them soon as they are taking up virtual space on my phone.
Enough stuff. I look around our apartment now and don’t even think of the things I no longer have. In fact, I kept some rustic/primitive style electric candles that I no longer want. I’m going to pack them in a box and find a new home for them. I don’t need them.
Enough stuff. If I were to look closer, I’m sure I could find other things that I don’t need and won’t use. Someone else can make use of them.
Enough stuff. When is enough enough? When can we say that what we have is enough? When will we be content with what we have? Do we really need to have boxes stored in the attic or garage with things we don’t even look at anymore? Do we need two or three sets of dishes when there are only two of us living at home? All the kids are gone and don’t come home often enough to warrant keeping them. Chinet makes nice disposable dishes that can be used when the kids visit.
In Luke 3:14, Jesus told the soldiers to be content with their wages. Good advice. Can we also be content with our material possessions? Do we really need more?
I love what Paul said in Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am in. (NASB)
Of course, Paul was in a different setting too. He lived very sparingly and basically had the clothes on his back and meager possessions. Yet, he had everything he needed. No matter where he went, where he lived, he was content.
That reminds me of something. I remember reading a story one time, you might have read it too, so I hope I’m relaying it correctly. If not, forgive me for my memory lapse. I hope you get the gist of it anyway. There was an elderly lady who lived in a nursing home who was being moved from one room to another. I can’t remember if it was in the same care facility or another one, but when the administrator was bringing her to her new room, the elderly woman said, “My dear, I love it! Everything is perfect.” The administrator said, “but you haven’t even seen it yet.” The lady said, “That’s okay, I’ve already decided to love it!”
Isn’t that a great attitude to have? I’ve already decided to love it. Contentment begins as an attitude of the heart. Decide to be content. That’s an act of the will. Something we choose to do.
We can choose contentment or we can choose to complain.
We can choose to live with more material things than we need or we can embark on a new journey of minimalism. The choice is ours.
Yes, even now as I look around, I see things that are going into a box. And I won’t miss the vintage stuff either. Just thinking about it gives me a feeling of relief. Freeing up space sounds wonderful to me!
How about you? Do you have enough stuff? Is this a seed being planted in your mind? It might take you a few years to reduce your “stuff” just as it did for me. You might reduce bit by bit til you find that you don’t even miss what you’ve given away. Then you may get to a certain point when you do a major overhaul, similar to what we did with downsizing.
Either way, it’s between you, your family and God.
So, what are your thoughts on “stuff”? Do you have enough, more than enough, or not enough? I’d love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment if you feel up to sharing with me.