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Perspective on Accumulating, Downsizing, and Enjoying the Moment

When I was in the thick of doing life as we know it in this culture – balancing homeschooling six kids, family/music ministry, work, housework, etc. – no one in a million years could have told me how difficult downsizing and empty nesting would be. Two dumpsters and a multitude of trips to Good Will and Craigslist consumers, while much of the culture is in the thrust of all the Christmas shopping and preparations to add to the ‘stuff,’ we continue to be in ‘downsizing mode’ Phase 2. It’s absolutely amazing how much stuff one accumulates with six children, music/art/dance/design/photography as callings, college degrees, teaching, ministry, 35 years of marriage, and so on. Some ‘stuff’ is easy to part with…some, not so much.

Yesterday, I ran across two more tubs of our oldest’s ‘keepsakes’ – I thought I had already paired his down to three tubs sent his way to decide their fate, since being married and living in TN for four years now, it was time. I was a bit taken back when discovering birth announcements/photos, preschool screening results (very bright smile emoticon, beginning unit studies and big books made, prayer journals, favorite toys, jerseys, pen pal letters, preschool photos of friends/family, and the whole nine yards from birth to age eight, as well as a box of grad announcement/photos – even a missed uncashed graduation check, etc.. Those years go by soooo very quickly – right before my very eyes in two boxes waiting for me to decide their fate. While changing diapers, being doused with projectile vomit, doctor/dentist/orthodontist appointments, school schedules/activities, friends, practicing instruments/taking and teaching lessons, church commitments, etc. and the task of keeping all of the balls balancing, it doesn’t always seem like one will ever get to the other side. In the throes of endless laundry, cooking, cleaning, and all of the commitments, etc., we don’t remotely understand how enjoying every one of those moments should be our top priority (at least I didn’t), as a day comes way sooner than we could possibly imagine for deciding the fate of all the ‘stuff’ from days gone by.

I am learning these days, “Do not remember the former things, Or ponder the things of the past. “Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even put a road in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert. “The beasts of the field will honor Me, Jackals and ostriches, Because I have given waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My people, My chosen.” (Isaiah 43:18-20 AMP)…all with a new set of lenses for the path ahead :)!

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