Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Matthew 6:25
What a journey! December 1 – December 25 has been an eye opening journey for our family. As you know, we started a project on December 1 where each family member gives away one item on December 1, two items on December 2 and so on until Christmas Day when we each gave away 25 items. Our total? 325 items each and 1,625 items collected as a family to give away.
Along this journey and during this season, I thought many times about Mary and Joseph as they traveled to Bethlehem. Mary pregnant, I’m sure uncomfortable, and Joseph concerned about protecting her along the way. Remembering that their journey was much more difficult than our simple project continually encouraged me to keep going – to finish what I had started with our family.
Many times I had to remind my family to put their items in the “give away” box (which has now become a “give away” ROOM!) but as time went on, they all seemed to be more and more motivated to get it done. Either to stop my nagging or I would like to think they, like me, were encouraged to clear their parts of our house and begin the New Year uncluttered.
Throughout the journey, each of my kids started giving away each other’s items and even items they knew they would need in the future. Some trades were made and negotiations to allow trash to be counted as an item. At that point, I agreed to count trash and allow trades in order to keep everyone participating. Our dog even participated by taking the same two stuffed animals from the pile day after day. I took this as his negotiation to keep these two items for himself which we now call his “babies.”
Even though our “give away” project is complete, the journey is not yet over as there are several drawers and rooms that we haven’t even gone through. This project has motivated us to finish what we started and go through everything. We will continue adding items to the “give away” room until we are done. I hope this will happen within the next week so that we can actually “give away” all that we have collected.
We can’t tell that we’ve given away anything and definitely aren’t suffering with less. The kid’s rooms are cleaner than I have seen them in a long time! They are glad they participated but one said, “I won’t be able to do this again next year because I won’t have enough stuff.” I think that’s a great thing (and his room is now really bare) but am hoping we can do some version of this each year – or better yet, let’s not excessively spend and accumulate things we think we need but really don’t. It’s comforting to know that we can live with less and convicting to see the excess we have accumulated and thought we needed but in reality didn’t.
God has clearly provided and I know will continue to provide for our family, beyond measure.
Happy New Year!