When Piles of Stuff End Up in the Museum

©yadvashem.org
©yadvashem.org

“You can’t take it with you” takes on a whole new meaning when it’s piled up in Yad Vashem, the memorial to honor the Holocaust victims of WWII. Piles of shoes, photos, books, dishes, clothes. Each thing is something taken from someone. Each thing represents a person’s life. Each thing is a reminder of the horror of disregard for human life, the lack of dignity and respect. Each thing is proof that we can’t hold on to the stuff of our lives. We can choose to give it away. It can be ripped away. We can leave it behind. But eventually, we will be separated from our stuff.

What does our stuff say about us? How tightly do we cling to it? How important is it to us?

What are you leaving behind? Stuff? Words? Teachings? Advice? Faith?

You are leaving something behind. Be intentional. It is not all under your control, but you can steward the time and resources God has given you. Trust Him. Choose well.

I want to live in a way that chronicles my life so that no one else has to chronicle it for me.

Too Much Stuff In My Hands

Every hand was full.

I’m not talking about my own hands. I looked around the airport and starting searching for hands that had nothing in them. There were entire families with not a single hand free. The kids toted miniature suitcases on rollers and sippy cups. Or they wore small backpacks but clung to a favorite stuffed animal with both hands. They’d made it through security and no one was going to tear their well-loved buddies from them again for a long time.

Moms had the overflow of the kids’ stuff: everything they’d pulled out of their bags while trying to entertain themselves or those items the kids needed to keep in sight for comfort but couldn’t carry. Of course, moms also had their own purses and carry-on luggage. Those who could juggle also firmly grasped a favorite Starbucks drink.

And then there were the dads. In some cases, they were nearly imperceptibly human. A variety of bags hung from every available limb. Often times, hands clung to two bags at once, pulling fingers in contorted directions. One dad had looped his arms through the luggage handles, so he could carry the entire family’s lunch, including a full drink tray.

The Styx song, Too Much Time on My Hands, played in my head as I watched people loaded down with stuff. I  slightly adjusted the lyrics. People getting off planes were juggling stuff. People getting onto planes were juggling stuff. There were those, who likely travel often, who didn’t have much luggage but still had a coffee cup in one hand and a phone, e-reader or other device in the other. I felt crowded, and I realized it wasn’t because of the people swarming around me. It was the vast amount of stuff!

I have too much stuff. I’ll admit it. I’m no hoarder. I don’t have everything I could ever want, but I have too much. How do I know?

Because I have plenty. My guess is you have plenty, too.

Plenty is more than enough. So today, I’m challenging you (and myself) to share. It will be a double blessing. Sharing will bless someone else in need (or perhaps want). Sharing will bless you, because it will lift a burden. You can’t possibly hold everything you have in your hands anyway. Why juggle and potentially drop it? Just go ahead and share it now. Be intentional. You don’t have to wait until something is outdated, half-broken, or forgotten. Hand it off to someone.

Share your plenty.

You had plenty of everything, but you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a pure heart. (Deuteronomy 28:47)

What’s Your “Stuff”?

What’s your “stuff”?

Even when I rationalize I shouldn’t “sweat the small stuff,” it just about drives me crazy when I can’t find the birthday card I bought for a friend, can’t locate a particular photo of a funny moment I suddenly remember and want to share, or start mixing cookies before realizing I’m missing an essential ingredient. Perhaps it’s because I’m an organized person, and when something doesn’t “fit” the way I think it should, I take it personally. I’ve admitted in past blog posts that I’m a recovering control freak.

I don’t get it. I can be in the middle of tearing apart my closet looking for the jacket I haven’t worn for three months, and I’m telling myself, “You have plenty of jackets to wear. You don’t need this jacket. Let it go. Quit wasting your time.” And I’ll keep searching.

Maybe it’s just me. But maybe not. I’m glad Francesca wrote this song to remind me – and perhaps you, too – that “In the middle of my little mess, I forget how big I’m blessed.” 

Let “This Is The Stuff” encourage you today…and leave a comment of the little stuff that drives you crazy. I imagine there are many of us that have some little stuff in common!