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Public Storage storage hallway with storage un...

Are you storing too much stuff in a storage unit?

Like many people I have a storage unit that is brimming with items that I don’t have room for in the little shoebox I live in, but that I just couldn’t seem to part with either. For quite a while now, I’ve been toying with the idea that I need to get in there and clear a lot of it out, and that’s just what I’ve been doing recently.

It’s sort of an amazing process because many of the items that I’ve stored I come across and just immediately say, “donate”, while others that hold an emotion or a memory are a lot more difficult to get rid of.

It amazes me that many of these items we keep because they act as an emotional trigger of sorts. They cause us to remember when something happened, who we were with, how it made us feel and all those emotions that are associated with good memories we don’t want to let go of. Because they are touchstones to our pasts, we have a hard time letting go of the item itself. Not because it’s really worth anything, but because it acts as a reminder to help us remember our own history.

Among the many boxes I cleared out, I ran across a Buzz Lightyear action figure from Pixar’s Toy Story. When I picked him up, I was instantly transported to Disneyland when my son was 4 years old. He was star struck when he saw his hero Buzz, and didn’t even want to go and say hello because he couldn’t imagine approaching his hero.

Finding Woody, the cowboy doll from the same movie, brought a totally different memory of the same trip. My son was so happy to play Duck, Duck, Goose with all the characters from Toy Story (Buzz wasn’t there). So much so, that when Woody took his hand, my son who didn’t find Woody as intimidating as Buzz, was thrilled to be with the cowboy. I remember laughing as I watched Woody carefully shaking my son’s hand loose when he had to move on. No easy feat for somebody in costume trying not to hurt a 4 year old’s feelings.

I have a friend who often refers to the need to clear things out so God can bring different blessings in, and she’s not the only one who I’ve heard say something similar. The phrase seems to be very popular today when so many people are clearing their lives out in one way or another whether they want to or not.

Many times when you are doing something (no matter what it is), you notice all sorts of other people doing the same thing. And, I’ve always wondered if it’s because you’re more aware of it so you see it more, or if people are just engaging in the same activities at the same time without even knowing one another.

I usually lean heavily to the former explanation rather than the latter, so, when I saw all sorts of moving sales, estate sales and garage sales happening this last week, I assumed I was just noticing them more because I was clearing things out too.

That was until I actually went to try and sell my things at a few local consignment shops that are really good about seeing items quickly. Every one of them ( and there were a few I spoke with) said they were so swamped with people wanting to bring things in to sell, that it would be at least three weeks to a month before they could even see clear to look at my things.

This really made me think that maybe I’m not the only one who’s doing this clearing out thing, but that many other people are too. And, more than that, there’s something a little more going on than what the surface would lead us to believe.

The LORD many times says we have to give up everything to follow Him, and, when He says everything that pretty much means everything including physical, emotional and spiritual things that we’re holding onto. And, for many of us, no matter what form it takes, that means just throwing it away or just walking away from that something that leads us further from the LORD  instead of closer to Him.

Yet, as I looked at Buzz Lightyear and Woody and experienced the memories they brought up, I thought it could also include not just throwing things away, but actually purposefully giving things to Him for safe keeping. He knows that some things mean so much to us that it’s hard for us to give them up for Him.

It would be so much better for us to place those things that are so important to us in His hands, knowing they are safeguarded by Him throughout eternity. Then it doesn’t matter if the clearing out brings us more of a blessing or not, because it’s then that we realize that His own self and the love He has for each of us is the only blessing that really matters.


A little over a year after the royal wedding, here’s a repost that I hope you’ll enjoy. 🙂 Sarah

Tower Bridge as viewed from the North-East nea...

Would you believe the LEGO replica of Tower Bridge has 4,287 pieces.

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There’s a lot to be learned from building with LEGO.

That’s what I was thinking as my son and his friend were industriously starting to put together the Tower Bridge set that my son received from his grandparents for Christmas. According to my mother, it was the very last set in the whole state of Texas, and maybe the world. This was because by the time the first week of December came around, and everyone was atwitter about the royal wedding and marriage of Prince William and Kate, all the sets were pretty much taken. But, my mom being one of the most resourceful people I know, made sure that she found one for my son.

So, there I was watching my son and his friend open the box labeled for 16+ – who knew that there were now LEGO sets designed with the difficulty level to be made by those 16 years old and above? – and all these little bags filled with little LEGO bits came tumbling out. When I say all these bags, I mean there must have been at least 30, maybe more, and unlike the sets for those 16 years and below, the bags weren’t marked 1,2,3 and so on, to be opened and built in some sort of sequential order that is easily tracked in the instruction booklets. No,  those clear little bags were just what they were with no markings at all, which means you have to pay super close attention to the instructions and the process of digging through the pieces to find the right ones because you have no idea where they might be.

By the time they emptied out all the bags and took a look through the 3 booklets of instructions, they were surrounded by 30 plus piles of little pieces. These were obviously, eventually, going to look like the Tower Bridge that spans the famed Thames River in London. But I tell you, all it looked like was little broken bits from my perspective.

Then I thought that’s just what our lives look like. All sorts of piles of bits that don’t even look like they’ll match, let alone be combined together to build something amazing. But this is just what God tells us what will happen if we just believe  Him and allow Him to be the Master Builder, taking all those parts of ourselves that He has handpicked to have a place in us, and our lives, and making them into something amazing.

Sometimes that’s a strange thought during those times of our lives when things seem so disjointed, disconnected and full of little bits, that they will all come together and make something marvelous. But, if we have faith that the Master LEGO Builders can design such a thing to happen, why is it so difficult for us to believe that the Master Builder of Creation can do the same thing with us?

“Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

Isaiah 64:8