These two quotes were in the Bible study I just finished up Becoming a Woman of Simplicity by Cynthia Heald.
"There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less." G. K. Chesterton
"Everything we own owns us. IT takes time to use it, dust it, paint it, maintain it, build space in the house for it, and work to pay for it...Every thing has the potential to become a hindrance to "fixing our eyes on Jesus." Richard Swenson
They are very good food for thought for me as I look forward to Christmas coming in two weeks. My husband made a comment yesterday about how many things we hold onto, but are we really ever going to use or read them again? I regularly look through my cookbooks and get rid of ones I just don't use. I still have a lot, though, because I happen to love cookbooks and good food. But, yesterday, I went through my books on the bookshelves again--though I think I've gone through them twice in the last month. And I asked myself if I would really recommend or loan a particular book or if I would really ever read it. I ended up with two more stacks to donate. Knowing that they will leave my house soon made me feel a little lighter inside. That's how I feel every time I get rid of things. I'm trying to keep that in mind.
That's not to say that my kids aren't getting any presents for Christmas. I realize that everything has cycles. On Wednesday, I am looking forward to going to Kohls to get them new pajamas for Christmas--it's our tradition. Every Christmas Eve they get to open one present--a fun new set of pajamas. But, I look forward to every spring and fall when I get to purge their clothes and pass on the ones they've grown out of.
I just want to keep a balanced perspective.
In the next year, my mom is hoping to sell her home, retire, and move in with us. For her, that means a lot of things. It means moving out of her home for the past 18 years and then moving across the country and leaving behind all of her friends and her church. I can see God preparing her for this huge change in her life. I am thankful for His preparation and how He is allowing her to do it gradually. She broke her kneecap a few weeks ago and although it is suffering, God is using it for good. My mom can now rest and has had time to get her place fixed up and ready to sell. She wouldn't have had that time otherwise.
For us, her move also means a lot. It means that we need to get our home repaired and in the best shape it can be in. It also means finding a new home or adding on to our home. I don't want to add on simply because I'd like a little more room all the way around so we won't all bump into each other. But, we'll see what God has for us. Reading these quotes reminds me that I don't want a huge home that is difficult to take care of. I would like a home that isn't high maintenance but that is big enough for all of us. This quote reminds me to be wise about what we look for. This next year portends to be an interesting one full of change.