Yesterday I wrote a post on where I am at as it pertains to my “straggling list” and to be honest, I didn’t see myself writing on it, or in general, again anytime soon.
As I sat in the floor of my guest bedroom opening box/tub, one after another, literally FEELING my way through them, I thought isn’t it strange how we change.
Five years ago, I would say that I had a pretty enviable book collection. One that had been cultivated and added to with care over the years. In some ways my collection represented my heart, trying to recapture the past while building for a future, and numb to my present. During the my #threeyearpurgefest I left my books for last and was surprised by how many I gifted to friends and family or simply gave away. At the time, I was simply trying to finish well the purge; I had to put aside the fact that I had one pretty large asset left to sell and empty.
When I sold my cabin and land last year, my niece packed up my books. In hindsight, that was a pretty gnarly task. The books filled TUBS upon tubs. When I bought, designed, and built that home, I had anticipated it to not only be my singular future home (down the road) and office, but ground zero for all of my future treasures. In some ways, I see now that I was building it to be a museum.
I just finished going through the last of it, and I now have ten more boxes (in addition to some I already had) to gift to others/ship out, another couple of boxes of donations, and a bag of garbage.
You know what else I have???
Closure. A sense of self-awareness. Healing.
I wish I could go back and un-live some stuff. I sure wish I had some money I invested back. I wish I had not lived in denial or the past for so long. I really wish my brokenness hadn’t hurt so many people. I wish a lot of things, but….
But, the truth is that I don’t live there anymore. I don’t live in the past…not of who I was then or the pain I operated out of…that is not me anymore.
The funny thing is that it took a lot of packed up books to show me that who I am TODAY is the person who’s skin I am living in, and this girl isn’t into museums of my past or building altars to my future. I am swimming in the present of who and where I am today, and that is plenty for me. I am satisfied with the present.
Now this doesn’t mean I don’t dream or plan. I do. Oh do I.
I wrote a lot about it during the purge; I learned a lot about how I operated from it and why. Scarcity touched on this part too….this need I had to restore what was lost and store up for the future. Those are lies the enemy sold me. That I didn’t have enough. That I could get what was lost back. That I couldn’t trust God. That I had to depend on myself. That I had to keep hustling and storing up or I would be left with nothing - nowhere to live, nothing to eat, and no one to take care of me. It was all on me. A life of abandonment and poverty (at times) sank those wounds deep into a child, and they took root. Every single part of me was operating from them. Every asset I acquired. Every relationship I had - friend or family, work or personal, alive or dead. Every job I took. Everything rooted in a scarcity mentality.
I have often said privately, that the last five years have felt a lot like a girl finding herself. Who am I really? What do I love to read? What do I love to eat? What do I like to drink? What do I like to do in my spare time? Oh and the 2016 epiphany - at what pace was I built to live my life (before brokenness)?
You combine all of that with a lot of growing up emotionally - #counseling - that is a lot of change for anybody, but you know what - I wouldn’t change a thing. It all brought me to here.
I had a beautiful book collection, and I still do. It is more than half of what it once was though, and for that I am genuinely glad. Some people over the next few days will start receiving packages of books. Books I once read and loved. Books I have never read, simply perused. Books I have ADORED reading again and again. All amazing books, yet I no longer need them. My home is not a museum or an altar. It is simply a home. A place to rest. A place to study. A place to eat. A place to share. A place to be alone.
Just. A. Home.
I get asked a lot how in the world I downsized so much AND how can I live such a “small” life (i.e., space) now.
The real question is how did I survive so much for so long without drowning in so much STUFF.
The truth is that similar to Jonah, I got swallowed by a big fish, and one day God told the fish to vomit me up. We don’t have a nice clean ending to the Jonah story in the Bible. I like to think that Jonah took about five years getting pummeled with the lessons and one day he realized what a jerk he had been and all of God’s lessons took hold in new ways and he started operating from God’s desires which had been placed in his own heart and story. That is taking a lot of liberty with the story, not to mention the ending, but the bottom line is that the Bible is full of slow learners - so I am pretty sure I am in good company.
I see you God. I see you.
I love you.
Scriptures Speaking To Me //
“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.” // Isaiah 43:19
And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” // Revelation 21:5
All Things New by John Eldredge can be pre-ordered at http://allthingsnew.com/ with special bonuses available for pre-ordering. I am part of a team that had the honor of reading an advance copy. This book will give you HOPE in a world that seems to work daily at stripping that away from each of us, and it will point you to the promises of God.