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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

.Craving Simplicity.

 We've started selling our possessions. It is a very strange thing to walk through my home, with a camera, and try to put a price tag on the items that have helped make our house a home. I am able to detach for the most part, because I am passionate about moving on, but I will not lie and say that it has all been easy. I have gotten a burning lump in my throat on a few occasions when the memory that is attached to those items are especially powerful. But I am attempting to be intentional on focusing on the memory, and the fact that I am not selling those. I remember when Habi first came home last year, and we would drive past some of the huge estates in the middle of our town. He was so confused by these massive houses with multiple vehicles outside, and on more than one instance I can remember him saying, don't those people know that they cannot take their house, their cars, or their stuff with them when they die? What are they doing with all of that? That has stuck with me, and he is so right. None of this lasts, and it just makes life more complicated.

I don't like the hold that stuff has on me.

I am tired and worn out from feeling like I need so much. Somewhere along the way I started believing that my possessions somehow defined me and made my life more meaningful. It sounds ridiculous as I reread that sentence, but it is sadly true of me. I've fallen for those lies so hard, and I really am ready for a different way of life. I don't think that I am the only one who craves simplicity. I have been craving it for years now. I probably sound like a broken record here, and I am just adding to all of the other "noise" out there. I crave quiet and open spaces and less. We live in such a unique culture and period of time, and while so many of the things we live with are promised to bring "ease" to our life, I fear they just clutter our life more than anything. Sometimes I feel as if I am on information overload with the dizzying array of choices and information and knowledge at our fingertips. While many times it can be good and convenient, many other times it is just too much and leaves me feeling overwhelmed and empty. I crave stillness.

I feel like there is just so much unnecessary, and it is taking over the necessary.

I think that one reason I was so utterly drawn to Ethiopia was the slowness and simplicity. Sure, Addis is a big city, and it does, in a way, have the typical hustle and bustle and energy of a city, yet it is different. Simplicity is easier to grasp. The pace is different. Relationships are different. Technology is different. And the stuff is just less, and doesn't seem to matter as much. That's appealing. I understand that I haven't really lived it yet, and I am guessing that even there in Africa, there will be a tendency to fill up the empty spaces too much. But I'm really looking forward to starting over again, and trying not to.

I want to live a life of abandon - sold out for the King and the Kingdom, but I have found that really difficult to do while I am surrounded by my possessions, which actually have played more of a role of idol in my life. As I pack and sell and purge and think through what really is necessary, I am finding more and more idols, because, honestly, this stuff has played too important of a role in my life. My heart is grieved to realize that I have allowed kitchen accessories, clothing, home decor, and other possessions to become a god to me. I want to fix my heart and my eyes on things that last, not things that gather dust.

Life just seems far too cluttered and with the clutter brings stress and complications, and it is just so antithetical to Jesus. I just want simply Jesus, or at least I want to want simply Jesus. I want to redeem my time and life back from the clutches of stuff and invest that time in Jesus and His Kingdom.

I'm just trying to figure out how - one possession at a time.


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