accumulation

first off, i apologize for letting so much time go by between blogs.  it has not been my intent to be so lax. i assure you i'm not asleep on the job, on the contrary... life has been moving at a light-speed-to-Endor-pace and i finally have a momentary gap in the time/space continuum to catch my breath.  (sorry, i have a sci-fi loving son and it tends to rub off.)   secondly, we just moved. (no, not out of Montana!  we're staying put!)  now, for those of you that have ever packed up house and home and pulled up roots just me saying..."we moved" is all you need to hear to feel my pain.  right?!!   i've read that moving is often referred to as one of the most stressful life events you'll encounter.  i've done it somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 times in the 20 years i've been married.  we just moved this past May, as in 5-months-ago-May and then moved again 2 weeks ago.  crazy, i know.   i think the fact that moving must take place while life still goes on at a normal pace (kids still have school, family must eat, parents still have to work etc...) is one of the things that makes it cause SO much stress physically, mentally and emotionally.  anyway, yes, it's been a stressful few months... specifically the last couple weeks.  however, as i mentioned early on, i have a little breathing room for the moment and the pause has given me some time to think.
as i have been packing and unpacking for what seems like endless hours.... trying to find the proper and most efficient place for all of our books and bedding, shoes and socks, coats and cowboy boots, kitchen utensils and cleaning supplies, the thought, 'i have a lot of stuff', has crossed my mind more than once.  i spent a great deal of time during our last move weeding out the things we don't use, can't wear, or aren't playing with anymore and that was a huge help this time around.  the previous move took us to a much smaller house and the act of downsizing, though difficult, was long over due.    so the fact that i'd done a lot of the difficult, dirty work before was definitely in my favor as i packed up recently.  however, as i've been unpacking things over the last few days, even just today, it still seems like there is no end in sight!  there is no denying it... no getting around the fact....we've got a lot of stuff!!  i guess when you've been married for 20 years and have a couple of kids, things accumulate.  although, i must say,  i'm the opposite of a pack rat to a fault.  i love throwing things away, giving things away, finding new homes for things....however you want to say it, i don't like clutter therefore i don't like keeping things around that i don't intend to use.  at least that's how i've always thought of myself.  but i'm currently being reminded that we have most absolutely been accumulating.  there are clothes that i can't bear to part with...dresses that carry with them special memories of special moments..., toys my kids played with that hold precious memories, paintings my husband painted that, while they may not be my favorites of all time, i could never toss. (my favorites are all hanging in the house).  so as i take advantage of the opportunity to take inventory of all i own, i'm reminded...painfully, obviously... of Matthew 6:19-21
"do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  but store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal.  for wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
last week as i went thru our garage where we've kept some things stored over the summer, i came across a box of clothes that i've loved over the years.  i don't wear most of them anymore, but i'm excited to pass them on to my daughter, and perhaps a granddaughter, someday.  i found mouse droppings in the bottom of the box.  gross.  thankfully not on the clothes themselves, but close enough! however, one of the jackets was destroyed.  it was stripped of some of the fur on it's sleeves, and the mice ate thru several different places, leaving wholes and tears in the fabric.  i might be able to salvage it...turn it in to something else maybe...but i thought of this verse above.  it wasn't rust and it wasn't moths, but mice can be just as destructive.
the things i've accumulated on this earth, while not evil, not even bad, can still cloud my vision of purpose.  my focus can so easily be diverted.  i truly believe that we fight an enemy that ultimately wants to see our destruction (1 Peter 5:8), but happily settles for our distraction.   my goal, as i (hopefully) finish up putting things away this week, is to make the effort, to purpose in my heart, to put the important things first.  to store up for myself more in Heaven than i have stored up on earth.  thank you Jesus for being my treasure.