Thursday, March 01, 2012

A Trash Can A Day...Or...Lighten The Load

 I made a new goal for the past two weeks. I purposed to fill my big black trash can full or at least half full everyday. I went from room to room or attacked a problem area with can close by. I didn't know if I could really do it, but as I started going through all my wonderful junk, I found that it wasn't all that difficult. Actually, once I got going, it was down right exhilarating!
Why would I get the crazy idea to do this, and why now?
I am recognizing more everyday that I am in a season of life that demands much. I have 5 children, 2 of whom are Littles, 3 and 13 months, and the Bigs are 10 and under. Still not very big, but getting there. I am homeschooling the older 3 with one of the younger Littles begging for 'school', too.I am also helping my husband manage parts of our business. Spring is almost upon us and I am hoping for a successful garden this year. This requires me to be on top of planting, planning, watering, etc. Summer will follow hard on the heels of spring and with it, Lord willing, will be peach season. Peach season is very busy for me. And then there are church related things. Outreach. Fellowship. Ministry.
My life is very full.
I don't have room for clutter and non-essentials. I don't have space for stuff I am not using. Not even good stuff for someday if it is slowing me down. Cute stuff. Broken stuff. Free stuff.
I was born in Oregon, and my ancestors came to Oregon by wagon. They left everything behind except what they could fit in their wagon and headed toward a new life, a new world. The people who traveled the Oregon Trail were people who had big ideas, hopes and dreams, and were well acquainted with sacrifice to get there. As they journeyed, they came to places along the Trail that demanded sacrifice or die. The evidence of their choices lay scattered along the Trail. Chairs, tables, books, beans, wheels, clothes, cradles, and other non-essentials were tossed out to lighten the load. To hang on to those things would have endangered their purpose, their mission. It was all good stuff. Stuff they needed when they got there.
We don't really live in the relm of river crossings, mud, and mountain passes being things we fight everyday in a wagon with all our worldy possessions at our side. We don't physically come to those type of crisis moments where we see the choices before us as black and white. Keep the stuff and die, or at least, lose everything, or dump what can be dumped and move on. But I see in my life that sometimes all this stuff I am hauling around is hindering me more than I realize. I don't get as far as I could because I am dragging a wagon that is too heavy for the terrain I am on at the time. Even if it wasn't too much 100 miles ago, it is now.
So, I am lightening the load. Some may seem drastic to others or feel drastic and nutty to me. Too bad. Gotta get where I am going and a wagon that it too full for me to manage won't make it.
I've left a pile on the trail the last few weeks. And more will join them.
Fabric stash. Mending pile. Broken toys, toys with a jillion pieces that are scattered from here to there. Good empty containers. Good empty boxes. Old wool sweaters to make diaper covers out of. Clothes that don't fit. Clothes I don't like. Things I don't want to admit to keeping. Etc...Etc...Etc.......
So, if you see me in the next few weeks and I seem to have a strange compulsion to hover close to a big black trash can, you'll know why. =)
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