The next phase in my story of stuff....
The summer months are an awkward time when it comes to the accumulation of "stuff." It's a time of compiling - birthday presents, school supplies, new shoes and socks, the right size of uniforms. Not to mention produce to be "processed" for the freezer for the winter, the smattering of seeds drying all over my kitchen and other tell-tale signs of summer.
But this summer, our story of stuff took a somewhat different turn. It was regifting our blessings that have gotten us through the last few years.
I've been reading FlyLady off an d on for a few years, and I admit very little has actually stuck into process (as evidenced by my office.) But the one concept that stuck with me was that our unused items can truly be a blessing for others. Maybe it's the idea of Christian stewardship. Maybe it's because so many helped us in small ways in those three years of immense need. Maybe it's simply time to pass things on.
But doing so means breaking free of worries - and in a sense, letting God take control. What if I get pregnant and need those boxes of baby items stashed in my closet (and surprisingly not yet being climbed on by my precarious three year old)? Then hopefully the right garage sale or hand-me-down will materialize.
What if I don't see that toy again? It's SPECIAL (though unplayed with), my children will cry. That too is mitigated, by sharing with a younger neighbor friend, our daycare, or baby cousin.
But those kind of mindsets take time to change. So slowly, box by box, bag by bag, items have disappeared from my house. Outgrown clothes are boxed by size and put on "sale" - dirt cheap - on our employee classifieds, helping everyone from grandmas now raising their grandkids to foster parents-to-be.
Sets of snowsuits and boots went to a garage sale this weekend, blessing my neighbor with a less expensive winter expense and me with funds to do more damage at the farmers market.
The last of the girl clothes were divided into a box for my sister (wrapped, so she can't return a holiday gift!) Those few items in unneeded sizes went next door to our expectant neighbor.
The cloth baby burp rags and blankets? Being boxed this week for our crisis pregnancy and adoption center.
My well-worn work clothes that I struggle with parting with? Getting picked off, one by one, for Goodwill.
In the end, those things that got us through the tough times might help another through their's. And it's a good feeling.