Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Life of Excess

I sat in our basement yesterday and cried. I've been cleaning, organizing and purging down there in preparation for adding another member to our family and was just suddenly overwhelmed at how much "stuff" we have. Mind you, I've already sold or given away huge amounts of "stuff", but I still felt deeply ashamed of all that we have.

"Stuff" packed up in boxes. "Stuff" we don't care about. Boxes and boxes of clothes the children have outgrown.

Why. oh. why. did. we. buy. all. this. STUFF!?

We do not live an extravagant lifestyle by American standards. I generally clearance shop and don't spend any money on perks like a professional dye job or manicure. We don't live in a huge house or have a new car. Our shopping and spending habits changed drastically a few years back when Jeff lost his job, but we still have work to do. Learning the difference between what we NEED and what we WANT has been good for us all - including the kids.

When I looked around at all of our "stuff" I realized how foolish and wasteful it was. I wept for the dollars I spent on things that don't matter to us. Things that get shoved to the back of a closet. I think of all of the good that could have been done with that money. A few dollars here and there would have added up to a lot that could be given to people making a difference or to people lacking the basic essentials to live.

The truth is that I have a deep desire to simplify. I want to be a better steward. My possessions have slowly lost their meaning and I am thankful.


stephanie garcia said...

I have been thinking similar thoughts as I begin rearranging in preparation for our boys' homecoming. Thank you for sharing.

Lena Wright said...

I am crying with you, in a similar state of what I call "overwhelm" and I too have given and sold so much stuff....yikes. so much STUFF.

Thanks for sharing-putting words to something I've been struggling with and experiencing. I need to continue simplifying and downsizing.....for a whole variety of reasons....



Tereasa said...

I hear ya, sister. Oh boy, do I hear ya. I have been purging for months now and I can't figure out where all this stuff came from! We live on one small income and I do not spend frivolously. It's embarrassing, I tell you. Embarrassing!

blessedfamily said...

I am soo with you there! Since I began researching adoption, I became fully aware of all the stuff we have and how much simplier our lives may be should we declutter and also differentiate between NEEDS and WANTS. I too have a need to simplify. Getting there has been difficult.

crispy said...

I share those same thoughts. I am embarrassed by how much we have. More than we need. And we buy our clothing at Goodwill, and yet it is still more than the rest of the world.

carol said...

I feel your "stuffness!" It's crazy. All the clothes, the toys the junk we don't need. Then you have that beautiful little girl waiting for you in Haiti. Puts in all in perspective