Friday, June 20, 2008

a journey to learn about less

Today's Selection

We have too much stuff. I've been working on eliminating all year and have a long ways to go. However, I have been uncertain about how to handle all the toys the girls have of which 80-percent comes from a certain set of grandparents. I've finally come up with a plan.

Everyday this summer, the girls and I will all select one thing to get rid of. This is going to be very interesting.

Today was day one. Boy was it a struggle. Stinkerbell doesn't seem to get what the purpose of this was at all. After fits and starts she selected something that I do not think will upset (I need these initial efforts to be easy so that when understanding comes there isn't massive regret).

DramaQueen simply picked something at random. She is a random person. When she goes into a store with money from Grammy she just grabs the first thing that catches her eye. Money doesn't seem to mean anything to her. Unless she is buying a gift, then she is very particular about how she selects her item. We give her a chore-based allowance but it still isn't adding up for her.

Her first random choice was a Raggedy Andy my Mom made. I didn't think that was an option. So then she walks around the room selecting mutual toys that she isn't fond of but her sister is. Finally, we settled on her going through the small plastic animals and selecting a number of them. Her sister would have gotten rid of the whole bin.

I tried to explain why we were doing this but it didn't seem to make any sense to them but I figure I will get another chance tomorrow and the day after and the day after and the day after.

I got rid of two Dad's Rootbeer mugs that I've held onto for years because our MIL gave them to us and I felt I should, a coffee cup that is lovely but I don't use, and wine glass. I explained to my oldest daughter why I chose them and that actually seemed to make sense too her.

At a forum I frequent, I had discussed this situation briefly and one woman suggested that children shouldn't be made to feel they should keep something because it was given to them (which I totally agree with although it is hard in practice). That issue did come up today. When DramaQueen picked the Raggedy Andy. I suggested she look at other dolls and she said "No Grammy (my MiL) gave them to me as a gift, I won't give away my gifts." I pointed out to her that all her toys were gifts as she didn't buy any of them.

I am going to need to look-up some scripture passages for us to memorize while we work through this process. These are two passages that I am considering

Matthew 6: 19-21

19Do not gather and heap up and store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust and worm consume and destroy, and where thieves break through and steal.

20But gather and heap up and store for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust nor worm consume and destroy, and where thieves do not break through and steal;

21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Matthew 6:25-34

25Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?

26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?

27And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?

28And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.

29Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these. [I Kings 10:4-7.]

30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?

31Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear?

32For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.

33But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.

34So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.

This should be interesting.


  1. Wow.

    I've been going room by room in preparation for a garage sale.

    It has been easier for me to get by without having a car than it is to get rid of a cute bit of who knows what.

  2. We do something similar and have found that it gets easier each year as the family learns that the kids have the option to give up something they received as a gift. (I tell everyone that the kids have to get rid of an item each time they get something new--and they get to choose what to get rid of.) We found that the items that are special can be placed in a bag and stored away for the future--so if someone asks about a special gift we can say we still have it but that it is put away for now.

  3. Oh this is a hard one. I like the idea of memorising scriptures relating to stuff. The Word of God is living and active, it can do the job. We started a new tradition this summer of throwing out/giving away 5 things each on Wednesdays. It has been very well taken so far.

    Sorry to hear you are unwell. Pneumonia sure seems to take a lot out of a body. Rest lots!

  4. That does sound difficult, but I applaud you for making it a lesson. I decided today that the Certain Little Boy needs less than half the cars and trucks he has. I usually just pick some to get rid of at night and hope he doesn't notice. :(