Living with hands wide open

So the tone of this post is much different that whole shower curtain conversation. Same day. Same hour actually…different tone, hence another post.

I hesitate sometimes to share too much personal information here. It’s kind of senseless. It is my blog after all. My online journal…much easier to read than my handwritten one, but also, very public. And so for the privacy sake of my husband more-so than myself, there are some things I hold in. And yet, the whole idea of blogging out in the open is a true tool for accountability as well. So, while I know that B doesn’t read my blog very often, I’m going to make a mad dash and go for it while it’s on my heart.

We have not sought out someone for accountability with our ‘debt snowball’ since we moved to Tennessee almost two years ago already. And when it comes to the ole’ ball we’ve been a little lazy as of late. I think it’s probably more tired than lazy, but they both amount to about the same thing fiscally speaking. Anyhow, we’re taking FPU again and are both so motivated. The people in our class are incredible. They are inspiring and they challenge us. It’s very much an iron sharpens iron situation as I see it from where I stand. I feel blessed that the Lord put us all together for this time…

Dave often says, “sell so much stuff the kids think they’re next!” and stuff like that that makes you laugh and then go, “oh – yeah…i get what he means by that!” We have been scaring our kids (unintentionally) with that tactic for a couple years now. We’ve sold so.much.stuff. It’s really actually pretty incredible how much has been passed on from here, and then, what’s left…our favorite stuff, for the most part anyway. Some stuff you don’t care much about but it’s stupid to get rid of just because you need it, and you don’t want to have to replace it.

There has been this one thing in my mind that would kill a chunk of our debt and yet – it was practically out of the question to even consider selling it. It is a chest of drawers, which Bri was afraid we would lose friends over with help in moving simply due to it’s sheer size and weight. It’s pretty ridiculous. It’s also my favorite piece of furniture.

I have prayed that God would remove my attachment to this thing and help me move past it. And He clearly did, so when I listed it for sale and it didn’t sell, I was incredibly confused and even felt hurt. I thought I might not be hearing the Lord’s voice and leading correctly or that i might be manufacturing something. It was truly frightening – and lonely.

That was about 6 months ago at most. I really did think that if the Lord would soften my heart and release me from loving my material stuff that He would also allow someone who would also love it to come along, be thrilled to find it and even want to pay me more than we had paid since it is now from a retired line of furniture that is increasingly hard to find.

And … no.

I’ve spent a bundle just listing it on ebay. I’ve debated whether or not I care. at all. And if once I was debt free, I would pursue buying another…just to have it again. And then I wonder why I want it so badly. And why I even like it (and so many other things) in the first place.

Stuff’s not bad. It’s the love of stuff that starts to own you. I don’t (and haven’t) loved it per-se in quite some time. Enjoy it, yes. Like it, very much so! But love it…no, praise the Lord I’m victorious over that through Him alone!

So yesterday morning I’m standing at the kitchen sink. I’m doing dishes and these thoughts start to streaming into heart: Why do you hold onto these things? Don’t you know that I brought them your way? You didn’t earn or deserve them…you helped yourself to them. But why don’t you trust that if you release them, I will bring you things that you will enjoy just as much, or more? This is not the end. I have great things yet to come…if you’ll just let Me show you!!

And I stood there holding back tears yet again at the reminder that God has so much more for us. It’s not just wrapped up in a chest of drawers & doors and thats it. There are far more greater things waiting. Material, yes…but emotional, spiritual, mental…if I can just…let go.

I had this image in my head of me holding on to all these things. And if I’m holding onto them so tight…I’m not able to give or receive, and in turn, I miss out on blessings flowing either way.

So I felt like I had this ah-ha epiphany at the kitchen sink yesterday. And as I went to check my email a bit later, there was an email from someone who is interested in buying it. I think sometimes I get so caught up in how big God is and how small I am – and especially how insignificant my so-called problems are that I think they can’t possibly matter to anyone but me…and then God reminds me He’s been there watching & waiting and says, “can you take your hands off and let Me do My thing for you now?”

Maybe we are meant to keep this furniture. Maybe we’ll have it and pass it on to our children. We certainly had that in mind when we bought the coordinating pieces (one of which paid off 3 credit cards when sold in 2005! Hoo-ya!). But it is all just stuff. And it can all be replaced. It was very evident to me as the tornadic weather was approaching nearly 2 weeks ago this Tuesday that it can all be gone in an instant. You do think about what really matters in those moments, and really, few things do.

So all those tears I’d been holding back let loose tonight as Brian and I talked about gettin’ after it again in order to become debt free. To cut back on extras until we get it done. To part ways with some stuff. And to live with our hands open so we are able to watch what the Lord has been waiting to do. It may not be an immediate thing. It may just be a part of the story that keeps evolving and flowing. The story of us. But we’re going to get there. Brian says sooner. I say later. Either way, you’ll hear about it. By the time we get there, I hope that I can find a true sense of forgiveness within myself for all of this mess these last many years. It will be a true victory for us. The start to a new chapter.

But first, wish us well and watch us go…nearly 90k down and 15,200 to go…to God be the glory!

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt


~ by hthr on February 17, 2008.

One Response to “Living with hands wide open”

  1. That is so awesome. I wish I could say we have made a huge dent. We have NOT! Also, yesterday we spent the day looking at vans to buy. What a mess. what is the Dave Ramsey answer when you are upside down in your car to the tune of $8300.00 and you can only get $3000.00-$4000.00 for it. Also you NEED to buy a van for your growing family???

    I agree completely that we see the small things and get very overwhelmened. We have been blessed by someone in our church twice in the last couple of months. We have been randomly handed hundred dollar bills. I am thankful. But at the same time you begin to wonder if God knows something no one has told you yet but God shared with someone else and you should hold onto this for the rainy day.
    You hear those stories where someone NEEDs $100.00 and God provides and I almost wish that could be our story. NOT that we can’t use extra money, being a one income family of soon to be 6. There is always something you need to buy. 🙂

    Anyways I am going on and on….thanks for being open and reminding me that I too need to get back on the right track with our finances.

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