Wednesday, April 2, 2014

We are blessed to be a blessing

People ask often why we are not just storing everything.  The truth is, our storage options are limited and we don't feel the need to hold on what life looked like before moving to Scotland.  We know when we get back years from now, everything else will have changed. 

So far the emptying of the house has not been too hard.  It has not been fun seeing how much I crammed in a closet or what I have needlessly held onto for years.  But the sorting through and letting go of everything is quite freeing.  Almost everything in our house was given or handed down to us in the first place. We will take one or two suitcases and carry-on each.  We know that half of those will be filled with clothes, bedding, and towels.  The other half will be for items of the heart.  And for each of us that looks different.  I am sure Luke's will be filled with books and Levi's crammed with Legos.

The first boxes I filled to give away were done quickly.  Filled with nick knacks,  books we had read, and clothing outgrown. Easy.  But this last week I filled up the boxes slowly and deliberately.  One was filled with most of my blue glass collection I started in college.  Another with candle sticks and platters from our wedding, and mugs and plates the boys first drank and ate out of.  The two prints that have hung in every home got placed in a box and removed at least twice before the final box got taken.  My favortite blue pot is still sitting on my door step.  I am waiting for the daffodils to bloom one last time for us before giving it to a friend.  And the pile of what we will take or store is getting smaller with every box I deliver to a friend, a thrift store, or consignment shop.

It is funny how the things you have amassed and enjoyed for years can become just things.  Still meaningful, but also replaceable.  When you only have a suitcase to carry with you, you choose the few things that can't be replaced.  I think of how much time I have spent organizing and corralling all the stuff in our life.  How so much of it was not used daily.  

And it feels great to let it go.  One of my favorite sayings is an African proverb we heard at the first Young Life international meeting we went to.  It was over seven years ago and we snuck in because we were curious. At the end a man stood up and with a heavy accent shared "We are blessed to be a blessing."  He spoke about how blessed Americans were, how much we had been given.  And he encouraged us to pass it on.  To not hold on to it all.  I keep replaying that in my head as I pack another box.  It is in the giving this month, that I see how blessed we are.

For those who are curious, we hope to rent a furnished apartment or house in Scotland.  There seem to be many options for renting furnished.  If we are unable to rent furnished there are many "Charity shops" that have been described as really nice thrift shops.  Thank you for your prayers as we near the move date.  We are close to being fully funded and are still pressing ahead in the last bit to be raised.  It will be wonderful to take one more ball out of our juggling act.  The boys are ready to finish the school year well and have more time with family and friends.  If you find a box of random things on your doorstep, know that we are just passing it on.