Thursday, November 3, 2011

So, what's the deal with our attachment to "stuff"?

Well, I've been thinking about this question quite a bit these past few weeks.  Now, don't worry, I promise to write up a post with pics of our "house in recent progress" here soon.  Bear with me though now as I process "out loud" a bit via this post.

I know that as Americans (is it just us?), for whatever reason, we love "stuff".  I remember back when we first started our journey of moving overseas two and a half years ago and doing multiple phases of "purging" our stuff.  We had lots of stuff.  Some of high value (maybe not monetarily but in other ways) and tons of low value.   I was amazed at how many times we "went through" our stuff and either gave away or sold the things we didn't need--so many times!

Of course, I know that our situation is was not the norm, most people don't get rid of almost all their possessions but I do know people go through seasons of cleaning out their houses, getting rid of stuff they don't use anymore and just overall, simplifying.  And it is a great feeling to be free from gobs of clutter and have an organized home, I've been there.

But, that is not what I am talking about necessarily.  I'm thinking along even more basic lines.  Again, I know this is not most people's "norm" but bear with me here.  I'm thinking about living with just your basic needs met and not much more.  We recently moved into our house here (its been about a week now) and  it has been super hard not having "stuff"! And I'm talking your basics here, couches, tables, chairs, furniture in general.  Not to mention the things that give a house its "homey" touch, decor and such.  We have beds--Praise God!  Borrowed linens--so thankful for our teammates.  And we have a fridge, stove, microwave, and a small kitchen table--SO thankful to be able to cook meals for my family!

But, what is it in me that desires those things? Couches, tables, lamps, rugs, decorations.  (I even found myself desiring the familiar "junk drawer" the other day!)  Is it because that is what I am used to?  All my life I've had all those things.  The people around me had those things.  But then the thought comes to mind that even with what "little" I do have right now, I have more than so many other people in this world.  And I think, truly, I have all I need: shelter, food, family.  Am I satisfied with that?  Shouldn't I be?  Honestly?  No, I'm not.   I feel bad saying that but deep down inside I long for a home I can call a "home."  One with furniture and all the  cozy, warm things that fill it.

God promises to supply us with all we need.  He has done that for me and I am ever so grateful.  I am thankful too though, that he is a lavish God who loves to give good gifts to His children (Matt. 7:11).

 And so, I land on that--being ever so aware and thankful that He has provided for my needs yet also expectant for the way He will provide for my desire to have a home I can call a "home."  What ever that turns out to look like.  He likes to give good gifts to His children.  :)

Thanks for letting me process.
Janice :)


  1. Love your processing, Janice. I've been doing much the same sort of "mulling". Until this year I had massive collections of both cobalt blue glass and blue and white porcelain. But my health continues to deteriorate and I know that it's only a matter of time before I will have to move into an assisted living facility. Not wanting to burden someone else with the sorting and purging, when the time comes, I began to give away many of those treasured items. I thought I'd be sad, but it's been just the opposite. I feel lighter and freer without all that "stuff". I didn't NEED any of those things. They were pretty to look at, yes, but need.... Not by a long stretch. I wish I'd realized this lesson many years ago. as the saying goes: "Too soon old and too late smart." I'm glad to see you learning these things waaaay before I did. :-) God is good all the time! I'll be praying for God to bless you with those homey things you desire. Hugs!

  2. I can understand - and the older you get and more settled you are the more you accumulate. BUT, what a faith challenge and what an opportunity to see God's gracious hand working on your behalf.
    Thank you for sharing your processing.