Thursday, October 13, 2016

Sweating The Sentimental Stuff

"He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; 
and he that hath meat, let him do likewise."
Luke 3:11
(KJV)


On this journey toward a more minimal life and a deeper trust in God,
we are finding that there are many layers.
Looking back, as we began minimizing, we peeled off what I call the superficial layers first...
stuff in our attic that hadn't seen the light of day in years,
clothes that no longer fit or were worn,
extra dishes and pots and pans and kitchen utensils that were never used,
excess that was collecting dust in our garage,
and forgotten things in drawers, cupboards, and closets that we no longer needed to keep.
Basically, these superficial layers weren't too difficult to handle, emotionally.
They were more physically-taxing than emotionally-draining.

Some time has passed, much progress has been made, by God's grace,
and now we have reached the deeper levels.
The hardest parts.
The parts I have been dreading.

As we continue to go through our stuff in storage,
(please read this post for an explanation),
I am finding a continual roadblock.

The things I am having the hardest time even considering placing in the ""to keep, or not to keep?"
category is the stuff that is sentimental.

That is what has given me the most trouble all throughout this minimizing journey.
Because I feel deeply.
I appreciate every, single thing anyone has ever done for me,
and when I know they have spent their hard-to-come-by money buying something for me,
or even harder yet, if they have made something for me with their own hands,
I just have such an awful time even considering letting it go.

I am ashamed to admit this, but up until a few months ago,
I still had both Dad's and Mom's clothing.
Dad went to be with Jesus in 2000, and He called my precious mother home in 2012.
(Speaking of Dad, today would have been his 82nd birthday....
perhaps that explains why I am missing him and Mom so much lately.
Does one ever stop missing them?)
I just never could bring myself to donate or let any of their clothing go.
Each time I would think about it, it was just too much for me,
and it was easier to put it away in a crate in the attic and postpone the inevitable.
Knowing it was up there, somehow comforted me...
made me feel closer to them or gave me a false sense of them still needing the clothes again.

I know.
Total foolishness and completely ridiculous.

Mom and Dad are resting in Jesus' arms.
They have won their crowns and are now clothed in the white raiment spoken about in this verse,
"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels."
Revelation 3:5

So, why would I insist upon hanging on to the simple, few, meager clothes they wore while here on earth?

As we continued to downsize and donate, sell, and throw things away,
I kept shoving the quandary about Mom and Dad's clothes to the far back recesses of my mind.
I just couldn't deal with it, so I ignored it.

When we knew for certain that God was leading us to make a long-distance move,
at some point, it came down to, "are we moving these clothes with us, or are we not?"

I finally mustered the courage to open the crate where I had, at some point, 
combined their clothes, and I started looking through them.
Amazingly, after being stored for so long, they were in the same condition they were
when I placed them there.

So, what to do with them?

A plan began to form in my mind.
I thought how nice it would be to make an heirloom quilt for Zachary, 
using pieces of Dad's shirts, Mom's clothes, some of Kevin's old shirts, and my maternity dresses. 
(Yes, you read that right.
Our sweet boy is now 15... and I still had them.)

But, even though I liked the idea of creating a family heirloom quilt for Zach to cherish,
and it was not only a way I could still hang on to those clothes,
but they would also, once again become useful, 
I cringed every time I thought about taking scissors to something that belonged to Mom and Dad.
It just didn't feel right.
It felt like I would be desecrating their possessions and disrespecting them in some way.

So, I did what I do when I have this sort of dilemma.
I called Aunt Joyce, who, sadly, now lives in another state.
I explained my problem, and I asked her for a humongous favor.
Would she consider cutting the clothing into squares for me?
It was a huge undertaking, and an even bigger favor to ask, 
and she is not in the best of health.
Would it be too much for her?

Bless her heart, she agreed to do it.
God bless her over and over.
We took the clothes to her, entrusting them to her faithful care,
and she began the arduous task.

As the process unfolded, she told me how hard it was, not only physically, due to her health limitations, but emotionally, as well.
She and Mom were close...she was close to Dad, too.

But, again, God bless her, she struggled through, and she got it all done.
She gave them to me when I saw her last month,
neatly cut into uniform, five-inch squares.
I could never thank her or repay her enough.

Now, I have the task of sewing them together.
I've been thinking of doing it by hand and just taking my time to relish the project.

So, the problem of Mom and Dad's clothes is solved,
the crate they used to be stored in is now being repurposed to hold other things,
and their clothes are condensed down into two small boxes sitting on the shelf of our bedroom closet.

The other day, as we were sorting through some stuff in the storage unit, 
getting a load ready to take to a local community thrift store,
we hit another hurdle.
There it was, Mom's old walker.
Oh, my!
How many times have we put that walker in and out of the trunk of our car on our many outings with Mom?
There must be a million or more memories...and emotions...wrapped around that walker.

Up until that moment, standing there, I had never even considered EVER getting rid of it.
I looked at that poor, old walker.
Then, I looked beside it at the nice, new walker Medicare had bought for Mom.
 She never liked that new one.
Even though it had an attached seat and would have made it easier for her to be able to sit when she became tired, the seat made it heavier for her to pick up and down,
and she never used it more than once, maybe twice.

The newer one didn't have near the emotional attachment to it that the old, faithful walker did,
so it was no problem handing the new one to Zach to place in the back of our truck to donate.

But, my eyes fell back on that other one...the one Mom used non-stop for so many years.
I felt a tug-of-war going on inside.
And, then, all at once, it was like I could hear Mom's voice.
"Cheryl, let it go.  I don't need a walker now.  I am walking, unassisted, on streets of gold.
My legs are strong.  I need no help in walking!  I am healed!  I am whole!"

I saw the absurdity of keeping that walker...
of paying storage rent to store it...
of not letting it go in order to bless some other soul, 
who may need one and who can't afford to buy one.

How ridiculous it all seemed to me, in that moment.

"Here, Zach, take this one, too."

He looked at me, with surprise in his eyes, and he told me how proud he is of me for letting it go.

Once I made up my mind, it didn't hurt near as much as I thought it would.

One of the things I have seen in lots of minimalism articles by those who also have a hard time with letting the sentimental stuff go, is to take pictures of the item(s) you are having such a hard time with.

We have lots of pictures, already, of Mom's walker.

I let it go.
I know she would want me to.

Mom was never a sentimental sort like I am.
Come to think of it, Mom had this minimalism thing down pat years ago.
She never hoarded anything, and even when it came to the real sentimental stuff,
like cards we would give to her,
she would only keep them for a certain time, then she would let them go.

It used to hurt me a little, when I would see her going through the stash of cards we had given her,
tossing the majority of them in the trash.
I wondered why she never seemed emotionally attached to things like that.
After she died, I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I was to not have to deal with deciphering which one of those cards and sentimental trinkets to let go of or keep.
It is most difficult to make balanced decisions when you are in the throes of grief.
Bless her dear heart, Mom had already made those decisions for me.
She always knew that this life is temporary, and she lived her life with eternity continually in view.

There are so many things I am coming across as we sort through our stuff in storage
that I am having such a hard time coming to a decision about.
It is all coming down to choices, really.
Our current living situation is limited on space, and I have questioned the Lord as to why He allowed this at this season of our lives, because had He led on a different path, we would not have had to have the additional expense of a storage unit rental imposed upon us.

As I sought Him diligently,
He clearly showed me that this is all a very specific part of His plan.
Had He allowed us to occupy a larger space, we would not have encountered the need for a storage unit, BUT, we would have simply transferred our stuff from one location to another.
We would have more than likely felt that our minimizing journey was complete and that we should hang onto every, remaining thing we owned, and, clearly, this is not God's will or plan.

Living small is forcing us to make very intentional choices.
We are literally taking a hold of every, single possession we own,
regardless of how big or small it is,
and truly assessing its worth to us.
Oh, it is a cumbersome, tedious task!

To be honest, when we remove the lock and open the storage unit door, my heart sinks.
Every, single time.
It is daunting.
Because, even though we have downsized from a 4 bedroom, 3 bath home, with a very large, attached two-car garage to a 10x20 storage unit, we still own SO much stuff!
Sometimes when I look in there, it doesn't feel like we have even made a dent.
But, we are taking it one box at a time...
one piece of furniture,
one remaining drawer, etc.,
and we are steadily, but very slowly, making progress.

I really thought when we left our home of 14 1/2 years, we could truthfully qualify as "minimalists"...or close to being minimalists.
Looking back now, it feels like the downsizing we did while still living in our home was the mere beginning.

Again, the sentimental stuff is the hardest for me.

God is continuing to teach us some very simple, yet practical points through this process,
and, though I've probably mentioned at least some of this before, I wanted to share again, as these lessons continue to become more clear to me, in very tangible ways.

1.  Choose between two...let go of what you love less.
Example:
If I open a garbage bag, and it contains one of the soft, "waffle-style" blankets we have owned for years, (and we love to use so much, by the way), and it also contains an afghan I crocheted for Kevin several Christmases ago, which happens to be his favorite extra cover to add to our bed each fall/winter, there is a choice to be made.
Yes, we love the blanket.
But, we love the homemade, hand-crocheted afghan more.
So, the blanket goes.
The afghan stays.

2.  Condense what you decide to keep.
Example:
We have several, and I do mean several, small crates full of pictures.
By the way, pictures are where I draw the line on letting things go.
Many of them are of departed loved ones and can never be replaced, and they are just beyond precious to us.
Some minimalists say to digitize everything, including pictures,
but, my personal opinion is that is not something I am interested in doing, at this point.
I may or may not reach that conclusion one day.
For now, I really like holding an actual photograph in my hand and looking at it,
so, by personal preference, the elimination of pictures is not an option.
Anyhow, as I looked at these crates of photos that are piled high on the shelf in top of our bedroom closet, it hit me that there is absolutely nothing at all stored under our bed.
So, I believe I will go to Walmart and buy a flat, long crate with a lid that will fit under the bed,
and I will transfer all of those pictures into one crate, and this will free up a lot of space in the top of our closet, and it will efficiently utilize an out-of-sight already available storage space at the same time.
It's a win-win.

3.  Decide what is truly meaningful.
Example:
Anyone who knows me at all knows how much I love primitive decor.
It just makes me happy.
I love anything old and antiquey and rustic looking.
We had still have lots, and I do mean lots, of these special pieces that we have collected over the years.
Some of it is just really neat-looking...things that have caught my eye while shopping at thrift stores,
yard sales, and the occasional antique mall.
Even though the item still catches my eye, and I think it adds a primitive touch to a special spot in our new space, we find ourselves asking the question, is the item really meaningful to Kevin, to Zach, or to me?
Is there a special memory attached to it?
When we look at it, does it bring to mind a really special day or time the 3 of us or someone else special spent together?
For instance, we have several primitive lamps, repurposed from old things, and most of them are pieces I have personally come across and purchased through the years.
But, there is this one electric, primitive lamp created from an old lantern that Kevin picked out and bought for me that I really love.
That one stays, and I am ready to part ways with most of the rest.

4.  Do not, under any circumstances, get rid of anything you really, really love.
Example:
I have been collecting Boyd's bears for years.
I am not sure when I started, but I love Boyd's bears.
I loved them when I started collecting them, and I love them still.
Even after moving them all the way from one state to another,
and even after them sitting in storage for a while,
as we uncover them tucked in boxes, usually purposefully placed around something fragile to protect it, I still love Boyd's bears.
They make me smile.
Kevin has bought me nearly every Boyd bear I own.
They are extremely precious to my heart, and, yes, they truly spark joy each time I look at them.
They look adorable placed in and around primitive decor,
they don't take up much space, and, at least to me, they do not look cluttered.
So, I have decided to keep all Boyd's bears.

5.  To accurately analyze and assess what to keep, 
put all like items together in one place.
Example:
As we unpack, one box at a time, I am starting to really realize how many quilts, afghans, and other linens we have accumulated over the years.
At our old home, a lot of them were stored away in closets or scattered throughout the house, in various spots, so I never really had them all in one place.
Let me just tell you, that, as far as material possessions in this life, I must confess that linens are a sort of obsession for me.
All kinds...doilies, blankets, pillowcases, afghans, throws, scarves, you name it,
but of all of my linen obsession, there are no other linens I value more highly or love more dearly, than comfy, old (even new) quilts.
I just absolutely harbor a deep love for quilts.
They speak to me of home, and family, and Mom and Dad, and love, and security, and deep-running traditions, and hard work, and stability, and durability, and longevity, and old-timey values.
I used linens, including quilts, and the above-mentioned Boyd's bears, to carefully pack in boxes around breakable items when I was packing for our long-distance move.
So, as we unpack, I am finding them often.
Instead of putting them away in a linen closet, I am stacking them all together,
on the bottom shelf of a special, handcrafted table we have placed at the bottom of our stair landing.


As the pile keeps growing, (it has actually enlarged since I took this picture, and, oh, my, it is now nearing the underside of the top shelf), I am starting to see how many quilts/linens we really own.
And the thing is, I can think of at least five additional, special quilts that are still packed away somewhere.
Putting like items together in one place gives a visual and allows us to assess just how many like items we need or want to keep, and, it makes us see how much excess there really is in our home.

And, I find that I am ashamed, dear friends.
Because I read the words of John the Baptist,
"He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none;
and he that hath meat, let him do likewise",
and I see the tremendous error of my ways.

The National Alliance to End Homelessness website makes this claim,
"On a single night in January 2015, 564,708 people were experiencing homelessness — meaning they were sleeping outside or in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program."

Here we sit, with blankets, throws, quilts, and afghans galore, and there are people sleeping on the street, many of them without adequate means of keeping warm.

As I ponder this and continue to work through this minimizing process,
I am reminded, once again, of why we started doing this, in the first place.

There is a special tug-of-our-heartstrings going on...
you know the feeling.
It's when you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that GOD is asking you to lay aside something, or even yourself, for the sake of a greater cause...HIS cause.
There is this calling to let go of what is temporal, for the sake of what is eternal.
There is this compelling, impossible-to-ignore pull upon our hearts to be more like JESUS...
to live the minimal, undistracted, unencumbered, unattached-to-this-earth, God-honoring,
Divine-ordained-mission-focused life that He lived.

Once again, the echo of Mom's gentle voice sets things right for me,
as in the corridors of my memory I hear her repeat,
"Only one life, 'twill soon be past.
Only what's done for Christ will last."

To read more about our minimalism journey, click the following links:

32 comments:

  1. I say if it's been years since you haven't used it, I don't see any reason in the future you will. So either throw, sell, or give. I used to be super sentimental. Now I just take photos of some memorabilia and give them away or recycle.

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    1. Great philosophy, Lux! I wish it was as easy for me...you sound like you have the great mindset my dear Mom had. Thank you for your visit and for sharing your ideas and heart here. God bless you, my friend. :)

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  2. I give you all the credit in the world for not just talking about change, but actually doing it. That makes you one of the rare ones indeed! The hard things are usually the best things. And what lessons you're instilling in that young man of yours; priceless. Excellent job, Cheryl. I'm proud and encouraged for and by you.

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    1. Thank you SO much, Floyd. Your encouragement and kind words mean the world to me. I just can't begin to tell you how much you bless us, and I can only thank God for you and the priceless gift of your friendship. May He bless you indeed, brother!

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  3. Bless your heart, how well do I know and recognize the struggle you are going through. When we downsized, the hardest part was the "memory heavy" stuff I called it. What to keep, what to let go? I appreciated each and every one of the 5 steps to take to decide whether to keep it or donate it. It helps to pray about it too, because sometimes I have kept something for no reason, only to find later that I had found a use for it. God knows just what we need, and He is able to help us let go, and help others, and still have enough to keep us for whatever lies ahead. Blessings and hugs to you on this journey, it surely is not an easy one, and my prayers and love are with you! By the way, I love the idea of making a quilt out of your parents clothing, that will be a very special quilt indeed! Hugs to you today :)

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    1. Dear friend, I know you have been through this same thing, and you have been such a support and blessing to me through this ongoing process. You are so right...praying is the most important thing we could ever do. Oh, how we need God's wisdom! Only HE knows the future and what we will or won't need. The Lord keeps reminding me that we are not to have anxious thoughts of tomorrow...there is enough to be concerned about today. Thank you for your precious words, your kindness, and your friendship. Sending you much love and gratitude!

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  4. oh my ... this is one of my hardest things... letting go of stuff. And since I sell 'stuff'.. 'stuff' is all around me! Very rarely - and I do mean that - have I finally parted with something that later - at some point - I didn't wish I still had. But I do make myself let 'stuff' go here and there. At least I put it on a yard sale that I do twice a year. After the sale... some things come back home with me till the next sale - and some things get donated. I try to hold it all with an open hand - I truly do. But I do enjoy having things to tinker with. Gradually - I AM getting rid of more and more. I'll not call it 'arrived' or 'success' - but perhaps there has been some 'progress' along the way. And I trust my true treasures are not in the 'stuff' but in heavenly things! :)

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    1. Dear friend, Oh, I can SO relate to all you said. It is so difficult...there is just no getting around it. I love what you said about holding it all with an open hand. What a great mindset! And, I agree with you that I trust my true treasures are not in the stuff here, but in Heavenly things. What I know of you, I surely believe this is true of you. God bless you abundantly for your support, encouragement, and friendship.

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  5. It is very difficult when we have items from our loved ones long departed. It is worth keeping some as a reminder to thank God for the part they played in our lives. When we miss someone it is because their presence in our lives had a positive effect on us. And for this we should be for ever grateful.

    God bless you and your family, Cheryl.

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    1. Thank you ever so much, Victor. You know, I had never thought of it that way, but, you are so right (as always!) that when we miss someone it is because their presence in our lives had a positive effect on us. I love that thought...it really explains a lot. God bless you abundantly, my friend.

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  6. This is a great post, Cheryl! Thank you for sharing your struggles and how you face them. Doing housecleaning work and helping people pack for moves, throw things away, and send other things to thrift stores has definitely influenced my perspective on things. Every time I come home from a job like that, I feel like cleaning and minimizing! I'm not an overly sentimental person in a lot of respects (only in a few :D), but things do add up over time if we're not conscientious about them.

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    1. Thank you, sweet Bethany. I am so thankful for your visit and thoughts. You are always a blessing. God bless you, in return!

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  7. Oh Cheryl. I just love you sweet lady. Your descriptions and suggestions are tugging at me to put away the past and embrace the future. Yard sale hasn't happened yet. I need to get over the distractions and get busy!

    Hugs,
    Laura

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    1. I love you so much, too, dear friend. Thank you for your support and presence in my life. I am so thankful this post helped you to put things in perspective. Oh, my, this is quite a journey, but having friends like you to walk alongside makes it so much better. God bless you abundantly!

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  8. My own mom and I have the reverse mindsets of your mother and you. She's very sentimental. I can't toss anything when she's over here, and I dread her seeing the things I ship off to Goodwill. But clutter makes me crazy. When I find myself upset over things, many times I'm overwhelmed. It's not worth keeping things when they cause you to feel that way!

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    1. Oh, wow! That would be a switch to be in your shoes, with your Mom having the opposite mindset. Clutter makes me crazy, too. You are so right, it's not worth it to keep stuff that vexes us. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and stopping by, Jamie!

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  9. I was glad to read this because so many of us are going through "letting go" stages and you explain your feelings so well. I thought it was interesting to read that your mom had this thing down pat long before you decided to minimize! Hugs to you, Cheryl, for sharing your journey and blessing us so much! Love you.

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    1. Thank you so much, sweet friend. I find that interesting about Mom, too...she was teaching me by her example, and even though I was not ready, at that point, to receive that instruction, I am learning it now. It is funny how you just don't see things sometimes, and it is amazing how much you realize how much wisdom a person truly had after they are gone. I miss her so much, but she is still teaching me, and I know her prayers are still being answered on our behalf. Love and appreciate you and so thankful for your encouragement, Mary. :)

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  10. Oh Dear Cheryl, Your large heart and sweet spirit just resonate throughout this post.

    What a journey your family has had so far here on Earth and what memories you will always carry whether you have those sentimental things or not.

    I appreciate so much your thoughts on sentimental items, and how to determine what she stay and what should go. I have a camera that was my grandmothers. I cannot even think of parting with it because it reminds me of how she used to LOVE to take pictures.

    I tend to be more like your mom. I am not one who keeps cards for long periods of time, unless it had very special meaning. I can't handle clutter and so it is very easy for me to throw things away. In fact, my husband and I will be doing a big purge in the coming weeks after my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter move out. We will be doing a major assessment and reorganization of the remaining items. Your suggestions for keeping or letting go will echo in my mind.

    Thank you so much for always sharing such humble, thoughtful, God honoring posts. Oh what a bless you are to me and to all of your readers.

    May God bless you and your family abundantly as you seek to honor Him in all that you do and say.

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    1. Oh, my! It IS quite the journey God has us on! And, your precious words, encouragement, love, and support is such a huge blessing to us on this journey! I know you will miss your sweet daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter when they leave, and I trust the directing of the energy into the big purge will keep your heart and mind off of missing them. Sending you much love and gratitude for your precious words, my friend. God bless you abundantly!

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  11. Kudos to you for all you have accomplished. Sentimental items are the most difficult indeed. I have been on a similar journey though without the storage unit. I keep reminding myself of the saying, "I've never seen a hearse with a luggage rack." It might sound silly, but it helps me let go so my heirs won't have to deal with the items. My most difficult items are family heirlooms like my G,G,g-mother's china that has been handed down. I don't want it & I know my daughter won't want it. I don't feel like I should burden her with storing it. Quandary. For now I am storing it.
    I just found you through the simple homestead blog hop:)

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    1. I like your saying about the hearse. No, you don't sound silly at all...it is so very true! I imagine it is very difficult to decide about things like the china. God bless you and give you wisdom in every situation and challenge. I am SO sorry I am just now responding to this! Thank you ever so much for your visit and kind words! God bless you. :)

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  12. When my parents moved from their farm into town, there was over 60 years of 'stuff' to go through and get down to what would fit in their new house. My dad was a collector, and I couldn't bear to have all of his treasures just end up who knows where....so I have a cabinet full of antique vases, and dishes. It's been 7 years, and I'm ready to part with them, I just haven't done it! One thing I have from Dad's treasure room is a collection of old Bibles that belonged to various family m,embers. My family wasn't a church going family, so I love having these Bibles, a few with markings, as an indication that some of them did indeed know the Lord. That collection, I'll hang onto! :)

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    1. Oh, my! You surely have been through a dilemma! I totally agree with you on those old Bibles. I wouldn't part with them for a million dollars if I were you. Now, something like that is just plain irreplaceable and invaluable. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I so appreciate your visit here! God bless you. :)

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  13. It definitely sounds like you're on a challenging journey Cheryl. Household items can certainly be sentimental and taking time with each one of them undoubtedly brings back memories! I pray that God will give you peace and purpose as you walk this path of minimizing your life. Have a wonderful week and I'm happy to be visiting via Donna's place:)

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    1. Thank you ever so much for your sweet visit, kind words, and encouragement...and most of all, your prayers! I appreciate it so much and am so thankful to meet you! God bless you. :)

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  14. Wow Cheryl- you've made great progress! And I get it- I feel very attached to stuff too- there are boxes in the attic that I have yet to deal with coming on 10 years in our home... BUT I love that you are making a quilt with the old clothes- I did this a few Christmases ago with my old baby clothes that my mom still had tucked away (I was about 34 when I made it! LOL!) And it was an awesome way to re-purpose. God bless you my friend as God walks you through the rest of your downsizing journey. ♥ Neighboring with you today at #graceathome!

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    1. Thank you ever so much for your visit, Heather! It was so encouraging to read your comment tonight...I apologize that I am only now getting to reply to it. Maybe God knew I would need it now more than ever! I so appreciate your sweet encouragement and kind words. God bless you!

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  15. Doing it and thinking about it are two different things. I seem to go in spurts, and here a bit there a bit. I have some blankets that need to be sent to the hope center. Thank you for sharing your inspiriting words with us here at TEll me a Story.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Hazel. It is always a blessing to have you visit! God bless you!

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  16. Cheryl, thank you for your honesty and good advice on this difficult subject. I've been through various stages and forms of this over the years. I remember when we were trying to help my grandparents reduce their possessions when they moved into a limited care facility and how hard that was in many ways. A couple people I had communication with at the time actually tried to tell me what we should be keeping without much respect for the realities of the situation. I've also known of a situation where someone who had no business doing so got rid of an extended family members' school and childhood things without ever consulting them about it or even knowing what they wanted done with the stuff. It can really be hard and also touchy. I appreciated reading your advice and observations, and I really appreciate your honesty in dealing with it. :-)

    I have struggled with this myself, and am continuing to try to press forward in reducing the pile. Sentiment over _things_ is such a stumbling block at times. I also come from a family who can generally think of several reasons why "this might come in handy someday", which is another hurdle to jump before getting rid of it. I keep thinking that we really need to travel lighter in this life. It would help in so many ways, but most especially in keeping our focus on the things that the Lord wants us to be doing.

    Making a quilt with the old clothes is a great idea. My sister-in-law had several quilts ordered last year that she made with the clothing of the husband/father/grandfather of the recipients. They turned out so pretty! :-)

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    1. Thank you ever so much, Mary, for sharing all of that with us here. I so appreciate your visit and kind words. May the dear Lord bless you abundantly, sweet friend. :)

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