Sometimes a hefty dose of healthy frustration is good for us, right?
No doubt you can relate to a tidbit from a recent page in my journal . . . .
July 15, 2019
According to the calendar, I’m 65 today. I don’t know where or how to begin to wrap my head around that fact.
My mother-in-law suffered a stroke nearly five weeks ago that stopped us in our tracks and turned us in circles. I was finally on a writing retreat facing a couple of days away to write on the novel. I haven’t looked at it since the call.
She was in the hospital for six days, the rehab center for twenty days, now she’s been in the assisted living home for one week. Having sold her mobile in the past two weeks, I’ve nearly emptied it and both of her sheds.
I’ve seen my mom, my step-dad, and now my mother-in-law suddenly separated from their former lives and their stuff as the result of disease and the need for more directed care. In each case, I found myself sifting through every photo, squirreled away bread wrapper, birthday card, to-do list, and unused stamp.
Drawers, cupboards, closets, sheds, and garages full of stuff. Unorganized excess. Baggage—emotional and physical saved for someone else to sift, sort, dispose of or save in an unbroken cycle of disorganization and distraction.Baggage—emotional and physical saved for someone else to sift, sort, dispose of or save in an unbroken cycle of disorganization and distraction. Click To Tweet
All three essentially had their lives pared down to existence in one small room that contains the necessities. Dementia, disease, and/or looming death dictated the separation from the temporal in preparation for the eternal.
Life isn’t about the stuff! Shouldn’t be about the stuff.Life isn’t about the stuff! Shouldn’t be about the stuff. Click To Tweet
And yet … I am surrounded by, weighed down by so much stuff! Closets, sheds, and garages full of it. And the piles grow with every family death and distribution.
This morning, Lord, I’m out on the patio. Listening. Seeing Your beauty … Your creation. Cardinals, hummingbirds, and finches sing, flutter, sip, fly free unencumbered, returning to a simple nest or constructing a new one.
Aunt Alma just texted me a “Happy Birthday! I love you!” Tears stung my eyes. Yesterday, Mom had no response to my news that it was my birthday today.
Here’s one of my lightbulb moments: This life isn’t about the accumulation of things for the sake of surrounding myself with stuff. This life is about establishing, nurturing, and growing relationships. It’s about accumulating moments and memories. A life worth living is centered around Jesus; a life grounded in His love and grace, mercy and leading.This life is about establishing, nurturing, and growing relationships. It's about accumulating moments and memories. Click To Tweet
Lord, I am sick of butting up against strength-sapping, temporal stuff. I desire to serve You with my whole and undivided heart. Help me, shake off the rest. Help me sift, sort, and organize our stuff like a good steward. A resource to be used by and for You in establishing and growing relationships.
You ready for a little irony? For my birthday, I bought or am buying two things for myself:
- A closet organizer.
- A nose-hair trimmer, attributed to the relationships category.
Thanks for letting me rant a bit as I chew on my life lessons.
Now it’s your turn . . .
What issue do you aspire to resolve following your recent or upcoming birthday?