…to live more fully in the present.
That’s my motto, and I’m sticking to it. Even if my husband thinks I’m a whack-basket (no, that’s probably not a word, and no, it has probably never crossed Gabe’s mind to call me that).
Anyway. The older girls had the day off (teacher work day) and we ran a bunch of errands while Nina was at Tuesday school, came home for lunch, ran some more errands, then DOVE IN.
I called them down to the basement and cast this amazing vision of what we could use it for if all the “junk” was gone once and for all. (to be honest, there’s not a ton left down there, but it’s enough to drive me batty) We talked about a guest suite, letting someone who’s homeless live with us, possibly adopting someday…
And then I started going through a “Memory Box.” With just the tiniest bit of hesitation, I said to myself, “I’m done. Let’s toss it.” A huge baggie of cross country and track ribbons and medals? Gone. 1990 Cincinnati Reds program and Wheaties box? Gone. Old Christmas cards? Gone. Letters/cards from people I barely know? Gone. Trophies (what was left after I purged a bunch awhile back)? Gone. (I did keep four.) My college yearbooks? Gone. Letters for a letter jacket I never owned? Gone. Keepsakes from here, there, and who knows where? Gone.
I know some of you are c-r-i-n-g-i-n-g (including my dad–hi, Dad!) right now. Take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay. I kept some really important stuff. I did. And it’s going to be okay. It is.
Here’s the deal. I don’t want to live in the past. (And I don’t want to live in the future, i.e., storing up on earth for “someday.”) I want to live NOW. And the things that are important to me NOW are the very most important things in all the earth–my God, my family, helping the poor and hurting, and telling people about Jesus.
All that other stuff? Not so important.
I want to leave my children a legacy. But I don’t want it to be a slew of ribbons and medals and trophies. I really wasn’t even all that good at anything. (Half of my ribbons were for, like, 13th place. Woot!!)
I have no desire to pull out a huge box of all my accolades someday and brag to my girls that I was all kinds of awesome back in the day. And I can’t imagine that “1988 Champaign County Spelling Bee Champion” is going to mean squat to them. Do they even have spelling bees in this century?
I want my girlies to remember that 1.) I loved God with all my heart. 2.) I loved them and their daddy with all my heart. and 3.) I did all I could to reconcile this hurting world to the Savior who died so that we might live.
Now, hear me on this. I’m not saying you have to take purging to this level, that it says something about you spiritually. It doesn’t. Well, it could. But it might not. I just know that, for me, I’m ready for this stuff to go. I don’t want nothin’ tying me down.
I want to be free.
(This is where I could go on and on about how many kinds of freedom I’m feeling, but I’ll spare you.)
So, what did I keep? Plenty. Like I said, four trophies. Lots of pictures. Many, many notes and cards that meant something special (particularly ones from grandparents, parents, siblings, kiddos). Certain sweet things Gabe made/drew/wrote for me. A jar of potpourri that takes me back to our first apartment whenever I open it. Our college diplomas. And lots of other stuff. (and I have MUCH to sort through still–maybe the problem is that I had an inordinate amount of “saved memories” to begin with)
Bottom line? You can’t take it with you. And making idols of stuff isn’t cool.
Next-to-bottom line? I don’t want to always be looking back over at my shoulder at the “good ol’ days.” I want THESE to be the good ol’ days. And so they are. If I live to be 97, I don’t want my kids and grandkids and great-grandkids sitting around a box of my junk, reminiscing about blah, blah, blah. I’d rather them be off loving on orphans and thinking to themselves every now and again, “I’ll bet Grandma Marla would be tickled giddy if she could see us right about now.”
Okay, I clearly need to get to bed.
Anything from your past you need to kiss good-bye?
p.s. Feel free to also share your warning words of, “You’re going to regret this!” Or, “I think you’re taking this thing just a WEE bit too far!” (that would be Gabe’s opinion) I’ll just smile and nod. And love you anyway.