Thanksgiving hits every year and I begin. I purge. I think it started years ago when the reality of Christmas continually hit me. One child, two child, three child, five. Christmas and all its stuff overwhelmed me so every year, every Thanksgiving Day weekend, I begin.
The back of my Jeep has been full of boxes and bags and I have a room in my home that continually collects the stuff I’d rather not have but just haven’t figured out what to do with, stuff that is easily discarded because I JUST WANT IT OUT. So this year I asked myself WHY?
WHY can I so easily toss out those shirts and shoes, those plates and cups?
WHY can my kids so easily discard what was once a favorite toy?
For me it comes down to one thing and one thing alone.
I NEVER really wanted it.
It is easy to discard what never really held any value. Maybe a thought pops in my head of the money that I spent but at the end of the day, meh. I really can do without it because it never really added anything TO me. In fact, I am learning the more stuff I have in my life that I never really wanted, the more the well within me deepens to collect even more. It’s like some ravenous pit, never fulfilling or fully satisfying.
I wish when I was younger someone would have sat me down and asked, “What is it that you really want?” Perhaps they did and I was rebellious and stubborn and their questioning made me more determined to go after what I thought I SHOULD instead of honing in on what I wanted. Perhaps I never even knew that was a question that could be asked. “What do you mean, “What is it that you really want? I want the same things as you. To be happy, healthy. To have a great job maybe some kids, find true love…blah blah blah.””
I had no idea HOW to dig deeper to find out what I wanted in life. I did not know how to sit with myself and discover what was really IN me and because I never took the time. I was like some butterfly fluttering along, filling my life with things (and at times people) that I could easily discard. Instead of waiting for what and who I REALLY wanted, I took what was available. What was quick. What was easy.
AND I KNEW IT.
Frustration is a friend when you know you are settling. Anger, bitter resentment… constant companions. When you know that you hold in your hands something you’d really rather not have or you’re stepping into doing something that you know is really not for you, it strips a part of YOU away. It dulls your senses a bit each time you say YES when you should have said NO or NOT NOW because you know it’s not where you are to BE and if you’re not careful, you can go from one thing to the next searching.
One job to the next. One church to the next. One relationship to the next…
Tired and worn.
As a mother of five, I have encouraged my children to WAIT. WAIT for the ONE because the last thing I want for them is to give away their time, their feelings or their bodies to someone who does not see their value and identity and will not commit to them relationaly. I don’t want them giving pieces of themselves away flippantly to anyone and everyone. WHY? Because I know. I know the cost attached to doing so and it is steep. I want my children to VALUE WHO THEY ARE, so I encourage waiting.
As an adult, I am NO different.
I am finding that whenever there is a lack within myself, I quickly try to fix it by adding something or someone to my life. I bring in another outfit. I volunteer with another organization. I find another friendship. None of these things are wrong or bad. Clothes are needed as naked people have little to no influence in society…I am sure you get my point.
Things, doings and relationships can be used to fulfill deeper longings within us if we are not careful. Places where God Himself wants to reside. Places where He wants to takes us deeper. Places where HE want to fulfill.
In order to know what it is that we WANT, we first have to know WHO we are.
If there is anything I have discovered over the last two-years, it is this: Take the time, MAKE the time, to discover WHO you are. What is on the inside of YOU? What are you passionate about and WHY? Why do you do the things that you do? Why do you respond the way that you do? I could go on and on…the point is, ask yourself questions that go far beyond the “What you want to do when you grow up?” Try instead, “WHO do you want to be?” When you take time to ask yourself questions that you never knew to ask yourself because you were just too busy living everyone else’s version of you, you will begin to HONE IN and embody YOUR identity. You will gravitate towards HAVING things DOING things that support and encourage your real identity to shine bright. You will be drawn to the right people…YOUR people.
So friends, take the time. Ask yourself the hard questions. Don’t sell yourself short and fill your life with things that really never had value TO YOU and don’t VALUE YOU. Emptiness will overwhelm you, it is a mere distraction. Stay focused and intentional on what is on the inside of you; your goals and your dreams. What is on your heart? Steps are necessary but those steps should always line up with what is already on the inside of you. Don’t waste any more time going after what it is not…
Discover what it is you are truly longing for. It will tak you back to WHO you are.
Round Table Discussion:
Look at the stuff in your house, your weekly calendar and where/who you spend your time with.
Now ask yourself the hard questions. You’ll know the ones…