Thursday, February 19, 2015

Getting Rid of Excess- 40 Bags in 40 Days

I grew up in a denomination where we didn’t focus too much on lent. At least I don’t think we did. I use the term “grew up” loosely since I attended church with my Meme sometimes, but not all the time. The first Ash Wednesday service I attended was after Matt and I married. He attended when we first started dating and I thought it was very much a Catholic thing since the only people I knew who attend an Ash Wednesday service were Catholic. 

Also, the only people I knew who gave things up for lent and took it super seriously were Catholics, too. I guess I am not sure if I had met a Lutheran before Matt. Hmmm…I’ll have to think on that. 

In the past five year I really haven’t participated in the “giving something up for lent” practice. I am not sure if what I am doing this year will even fall into the parameters of giving something up for lent, but I have been so convicted about the excess my family has. We have been blessed with an excess of just about everything. It was apparent until we quickly filled our current home which is double the size of our last home. How did that happen in little under a year? 

We have too many toy, too many clothes, too many books, too many dishes, too many shoes and just too much junk. We even have an overload of those sample size shampoos. We need help, we need a serious intervention. 

I hate to say “I blame”, but I feel I need to share my reason for feeling like I need to hold onto things. Ready? My Granny lived through the depression. Yep, I am pulling out the Granny card because really all my issues I can blame on my two grandmothers. I kid (some). My Granny did live through the depression and she also lost her husband at a young age which left her to support her son (my father) and herself. My Granny held onto everything. Trust me - I still have some of the things she held on to for year. Some of it has been very valuable to me while completely my genealogy while some of it I find and am just like “really, do you even know this person that you had to hold onto an obit for twenty years?” She may have and who am I to judge I still have New Kids on the Block stuff from when I was 12. This pattern does follow from generation to generation just ask my parents. It’s a hard pattern to break too. 

While I “blame” Granny for have six sets of dishes I equally “blame” the documentaries and YouTube posts on Tiny Houses that I have been a bit obsess with the past few weeks. I to hear how very little people are actually able to live with and live happier than they did before strikes an inner nerve just slightly. I believe I joked with Matt last weekend and said I would live in a little house if I could fit all my dishes in too. The dishes and the vintage pyrex. The vintage pyrex and my sewing room. My sewing room and all my great aunts tea cups because I may need those for a future tea party. You see why I am in this mess? 

I don’t believe that I will be able to scale my family down to one pot and seven outfits each, but I can say that my family will be giving up excess for Lent.  To help us do this I’ve started the 40 Bags in 40 days challenge because you know it’s easier to do thing when you’ve been challenged, right? You can read more at

Also, to be accountable I will post updates along the way and need to plan for a big garage sale. So, if your local please come buy my stuff, but please hide it from me if I’m ever at your house or I may cry about actually give up my snowman dishes. Meh, but I haven’t used them in years like almost 8. 

For the rest of this week I am focusing on the one area in our house that drives my batty - the play room! My littles have hit a whole new level of excess. 

What did you give up for lent? 

P.S. As I was cleaning out the littles clothes (look for post to come) I remembered a funny story about holding onto things. I worked in a funeral home from the age of 19 to 21 and during that time I planned my entire funeral all the way down to the yellow rose casket spray. Little morbid I know, but trust me take the weight off your family members and think about those things today that and get a pre-need funeral arrangement (if they still have them) because funeral are a racket so start paying for it today! 

Anyway, I had this pink three piece skirt suite with little white roses on the top. It was very Julia Roberts in Steele Magnolia ("get her pink suite with the roses on the lapel") and that was what I declared I would be buried in. It's funny to think about now. I guess I thought I'd either die young or I'd always keep my high school weight - HA! Anyway when I was 31 (over ten years later) my parents sold their house in North Texas and my mother called to ask if I wanted my funeral suit because she had held onto it that entire time. I think my response was "Dang I wish I could fit one thigh into that skirt." Moral of the story is...I hold onto things way longer than I should and my mother is my accomplice. 

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