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The Things We Hold On To

I successfully delivered three truck loads of old baby clothes, furniture, books, toys and various kinds of paraphernalia to Goodwill today.  With the help of my parents, I confidently tackled the most ominous space in our house: the garage.  For six years it has taunted me, and I’ve been too wimpy to face the junk.  Today I conquered my fears and took my overstuffed garage by the horns.  It’s been a long day, and as we sit in the living room, nursing sore muscles and still sneezing from the dust, dirt and cobwebs, I keep thinking about all the meaningless, weighty stuff that we held on to for so many years, and wondering why it took me this long to lighten the load.

Going through boxes, plastic tubs and footlockers – that I’m sure were purchased way back in the 80’s – I was struck by the wide variety of things we have held on to: papers, old coats that went out of style 15 years ago, toys our children have outgrown.  There was even one unidentifiable object that has seen us through three different moves.  What a crazy thing to hold on to!  It was time to let it go (whatever it was).

Just as I have a tendency to hold on to material junk – you could call me a tidy hoarder – I know I am capable of holding on to other kinds of junk too: anger, hurt from the past, resentment, a grudge.  Eventually someone wise speaks into my life and says, “Isn’t it time to clean out your garage?”  And as painful and overwhelming as it seems in the moment, once I get started the better I feel.  The weight of the burden, the unidentifiable objects I’ve been carrying around for years, begin to lift, and life looks good again.

It is surprising to me the things we hold on to.  And most of those things we don’t need.  What about you?  Is it time to clean out your garage too?

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2 Responses to “The Things We Hold On To”

  1. Amy says:

    I loved your honesty over on Jon Acuff’s blog and had to come visit. You had two things going for you… your honesty and your name. I like the visual of cleaning the junk out of our garage. I have to do that, often, both spiritually and physically. I’m going to come back and read more, when it’s not past my bed time. (I am in the same time zone as you, I’m afraid) LOL. Are you in Oregon now? We frequent those beaches quite a bit. I live just over the border in Washington. :) Good to meet you!

  2. Amy says:

    Thank you, Amy. It’s good to meet you too. :) Yes, we’re in Oregon…not too far from the coast. We were in Washington for a few years before moving south. Love the Seattle area!

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