I don’t particularly remember the last time I set out to buy an actual toy for one of my kids, but it was probably back at Christmas time, since that is the last I can actually remember. Even then, we made a point to not buy more than two play things for each of the kids, spending time searching for the ones we thought that they would really like and making sure that we sort of stuck within a set budget. Then we moved into our new house in mid January and during the move we managed to get rid of things we didn’t think necessary to bring with us, including a bunch of toys that were no longer being played with. We have not had any birthdays while living here or holidays that produced extra toys, but somehow, once again, both of my children have ended up accumulating an enormous amount of play things! Honestly, I don’t know where they come from! I go down into the toy room in the basement and its as if some magic little elves have come and dropped off more things that I have never seen before, and things that just sit around, not being played with. I can think of a handful of times where friends and family were getting rid of their overflow of toys and some things made their way over to our house, but I can never seem to understand how it amounts to so much STUFF.
Then, I look around the house as I am writing and I realize that it isn’t just toys, but that it happens with everything. We start out with not enough dishes, cups, etc. and miraculously 3 months later we have too many things to fit into our dish cupboard, having to move some things down to storage for when we have extra people over. More closet space than before doesn’t seem to equal a cleaner, more organized closet, just more clothes to try and fit in there! We buy a shoe rack and suddenly we all have more pairs of shoes creeping out of the woodwork. And once again, I have too many books to fit on one of the two bookshelves we have for displaying our library. The worst part of it all is that I don’t remember where these things are coming from, and I am sure that I am not the only one who has this problem. We don’t set out saying that we are going to spend money on large amounts of things that we don’t really need, or go to the store hoping to come home with too many things. It happens one thing at a time, often thoughtlessly, until we end up realizing that we have too many things, much of which we don’t need, or even really use. Today, I hope to turn this around.
This afternoon we are going to begin boxing up things to donate, toys, clothes, and just things that don’t get used around here. Not to make extra space for new things, but in an attempt to break the hold our things seem to have over us. To reevaluate what it is that we really need in our lives, and maybe to live in a more organized setting. We live in a culture where we are constantly looking to the next thing that will bring us joy, comfort, entertainment or happiness. We attempt to fill a void in our lives with things that we can purchase, and when the novelty of those purchased items wears off, we look to something new. Our family has been doing a lot of growing over the last few months, attempting to realize what areas of our life need to change to keep us in the center of God’s will for our lives, and today this seems like the right thing to do.
If you know of anyone or any place (other than Goodwill, where most of these things will end up if we don’t find another place to take them) that could USE these items, please let me know ….