1,500 pounds. 5,000 pounds. 10,000 pounds. No, this isn’t my weight gain from the holidays. And no, it’s not the amount of money I have left over from Egypt (the currency in Egypt is called Egyptian Pounds). What it is, in fact, is the total estimated weight of our household belongings from El Paso, Egypt, and Kansas. Four different deliveries dropping off box after box after box of everything we own in this world. Which is why I didn’t post a blog last week and am one day late this week.
Our new home has been a sea of cardboard, paper, bubble wrap and little blue or yellow stickers (my military friends will know what those are!). This move has been different for me. I’ve had a heaviness that I haven’t been able to shake that has led me to dislike our new home, dislike the area we’ve moved to, and dislike this season in my life. There was nothing truly different about this move than the others. But there was definitely something weighing me down. And then I had that “Aha!” moment. That was it! The weight was weighing me down. All 16,500 pounds of it.
When we moved to Egypt we were only allowed to bring 4,000 pounds of personal belongings (household furniture was the only thing provided). Our family learned to live with less. With less, we were able to unpack quickly, organize better, and make do with what we had. If we didn’t have it, couldn’t find it, then we did without it.
Now here I was with rooms filled with boxes of items we had lived without for two years. Did we really need 45 coffee mugs (did I mention I don’t drink coffee?), or seven juice pitchers? I figured out that I wouldn’t have to wash a towel for two weeks because we have that many extras for our family of five to take a shower every other day and still use a clean towel each time. It was crazy! And it was making me crazy!
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
The truth for our family is that we just had too much stuff and we’ve begun to purge ourselves. In the basement are three boxes marked donate, save, and trash. With each decision I make about what item goes in which box a sense of freedom is coming over me. My burden is becoming lighter and my joy is coming back. I’m beginning to see a new life here in Virginia, one full of hope and joy. I just needed to clear the clutter to see it.