Yesterday we made an impromtu trip back into Stratford. When we first left for Honduras we had no idea how long we would be gone for. So we rented out our four bedroom house as a three bedroom and stored all the “stuff” we wanted in Ben’s room. When we were in Stratford a couple weekends ago, we emptied out the room so that the couple that is renting the house could put laminate flooring in that bedroom, like they did with the rest of upstairs.
Unloading that room took forever. Hours. We had so much stuff. The whole time I am thinking “why did we keep this?” Useless junk. Granted we did keep a lot of nice things….but still, it is sitting there unused in a locked storage room collecting dust.
We took all the items from that room and put them in a storage unit. The plan was to come one day while we back in Canada, and go through it. That day was yesterday. Dale had been putting it off because he felt sick to his stomach every time he thought about doing it. The task was overwhelming. We made three piles. Keep, Toss, and donate. We felt like we were on an episode of the show hoarders. It was a trip down memory lane. It was liberating to let stuff go. We gave away a lot of really nice stuff. A crammed car load full. So full I had a box on my lap on the drive over to the Goodwill store. However, we did keep some sentimental things. Photo albums, some tea cups that were my grandma’s, beautiful tea pot my mom gave me that has been in the family for years. It would be too fragile to make it in a suitcase to Honduras. Also there was a quilt that my grandma made me when I was a little girl. But in reality, will we ever use these ítems again? I don’t know. Maybe, Maybe not. We still have a few pieces of furniture that we would love to sell but no clue how to go about putting it on Kijiji when we are here at Braeside and the furniture is in Stratford.
After we dropped all our possessions off at the Goodwill we drove back to the storage unit and loaded up the car with the remaining pile of stuff we were just throwing away. I was filled with sadness by this point, because in reality none all of what we were tossing was garbage. There were some well used appliances there, garden tools. (Things that probably would not sell at the Goodwill though.) But again for whatever reason it was stuff we had held onto. I wish we had sorted through it all before we left for Honduras, but I suppose we just ran out of time. Anyway, once we got to the dump we paid the $15 to get rid of it all. One by one our items that at one time meant something to us, landed in a pile of garbage. I almost came undone. Again.
See, the whole time we were throwing away perfectly good stuff I had a flash back to home. Honduras. Home; where it is normal to see entire families standing in garbage dumpsters, or standing around a garbage bin rummaging through it for something of worth. Usually it’s plastics that they try to find so they can sell it later. If only we could have shipped all of our belongings we no longer wanted or needed back to Honduras. People there would have loved to have had some of what we were just throwing away. People that I know. I thought of the older lady I see and talk to all the time who goes through the garbage bins in the colonia I walk in. I thought of her two young grandsons who work along with her because they do not have the money to send the boys to school. Every day they gather pop bottles, and collect them to take back home. I thought of the families we minister to who have nothing. It makes a difference when poverty has a face. Poverty has a name I know.
One thing I have noticed about being back in Canada is all the excess. There are so many choices available. I have already mentioned in another post about the yogurt and deli aisles…but how about the cereal? How does anyone possibly decide? Even though, I am Canadian and it was all at one time very normal. Don’t get me wrong. I am happy to have some of our favorite things that we had forgotten about…and I plan on trying all the treats I have missed in small doses. But my heart is longing for the simple life. We don’t need so much stuff to be happy. Because, really when we leave this world we cannot take any of it with us. Not even that tea pot I love so much, that still sits in a box collecting dust.
Matthew 6: 19-21
Do not lay up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.