This weekend my family spent a lot of time sorting and packing up our basement. You see we are moving to a smaller home on 7.5 acres. Because of this move, it has required us all to downsize and purge our life. This weekend we tackled the (dreaded) basement. Pete began the sorting process with the kids and without me (which was fabulous). He organized three sections in the basement : giveaway, trash and take with us. We have these great built in closet systems in our basement that hold all kinds of crafts, toys and electronic. They have been wonderful at hiding all my clutter, so the thought of opening them up and seeing all the “stuff” we have collected over 6 years was not really appealing to me. I started on our book closet. It has all kinds of books: baby books, noisy books, beginner reader books, textbooks, and antique books. I started by pulling out a handful and going through each one separately. So many memories flashed through my mind. I would pull one out and just sigh with happiness at the thought of reading that very book to T.J. when he was just a baby. I could visualize Pete in a rocking chair reading to our children at a very young age. The thoughts and memories just made me smile.
At the same time, Megan was going through our closet that was filled with photos. She too was going through each one, remembering times in each house that we lived in. “I remember that house. I remember that birthday party. I remember going to the zoo with T.J. that day.”
Kate would chime in at this point, “Where was I? Was I born then?”
“No, Kate. You were not born until we moved to Utah.” Megan replied.
The pictures were endless. Megan pulled out several of her kissing T.J. on the cheek and vice versa.
“Wow, I don’t remember you too being so nice to each other.” I said.
For several hours, the five of us shared such a beautiful moment together. We loved our memories. Even when Megan pulled out a stuffed bunny that she loved and said, “I think I threw up on this once.”
“Yep, probably so,” I replied.
Yep the good and the bad came upon us when we traced back through our memories. Parting with the “stuff” wasn’t so bad because it helped us relive a life that we had forgotten. The “stuff” made us remember all the times that we shared together. Over the years we had accumulated a lot of “stuff.” When we found something that was worth giving away, my kids recognized that it was going to make someone else so happy. It would create memories in another child’s life.
“Oh, Mrs. McGarty will want this for Kiley! Mom, tell Mrs. McGarty to check this out when she comes over for bible study tonight.” Megan said.
The thought of having my dear friend, Genny, come down the basement when it is a disaster zone was a little scary to me, but Megan was right she would love some of these toys for her daughter. Besides Genny will look past all this mess and see it for what it is: an accumulation of memories.
Moving can be pretty stressful, but for some reason yesterday, God gave me a moment to enjoy the move. When I sat down to write today, I was stressed out. We are trying to coordinate move-in dates with our new home, and we are in the middle of the inspection of our current home. It just can get so overwhelming, but yesterday God gave me the gift of living in the moment. Probably so I could see that this move is just what my family needs. It is allowing us time together remember how we got to where we are. It is making us downsize the way we live. It is getting us back to the basics of just being a family.
I truly believe that God gave me yesterday so that I was ready for today. I was ready to tackle problems that would just get us one step closer to moving out of this house and into the new place. When I start to doubt whether moving into a house half the size will work for our family, or when I start to worry about all the “what ifs” in the moving process, I just need to step back and live in the moment. Yes, it is going to be stressful. Yes, there are going to be times that I feel like nothing is going in the right direction. Yes, the house is going to be a disaster zone for the next 60 days.
Here is the best part: God is with me through it all.
“This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24