Friday, February 28, 2014

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on "Stuff"

In October I went to Michigan to visit my family and attend the wonderful Breathe Christian Writers Conference. (You can check it out at It was nice to be able to spend some time with my parents. Both of my maternal grandparents had passed away in the last couple of years and many items from their estate went to a cute little antique store in Fremont. When I mentioned that I might like to buy some of my grandma's antiques, my mom and dad agreed to take a little road trip up north. 

I really had one item in mind. I knew that my grandma had a couple of bowl and pitcher sets and I wanted to look at those and possibly buy one. Sure enough, when we got to the store, the nice owner showed me both sets my grandma had owned. One had a flowered pattern. It was pretty, but I prefer the plain white design. I took a look and knew that I definitely wanted this one:
 Isn't it pretty? So, we set it aside, but I kept looking at all of the nice things the lady pointed out to me around the shop. "This was grandma's, and that was grandma's. Oh, and that was grandma's..."  She pointed out chairs and a fur stole and cute little jars and lamps and tables and a dresser. I kind of got caught up in all of it and started to pick out one thing after another. My pile grew and grew until I suddenly ended up with all of this:
My mom had the nice Hummel figurines at home and was going to sell them on the internet until I offered to buy them. I snatched up some cute crackle glass items, and some pretty Fenton Ware shoes and candle holders. Once we got home, my mom also gave me a neat old serving tray that had belonged to my grandparents and a wall hanging that my grandma had quilted.
It all looks pretty nice, doesn't it? I felt so good about my finds as I wrote out a check for mom and my aunts. I unwrapped them proudly when I got home and showed them to my loving hubby who had allowed me to choose whatever I wanted to buy.

When I had it all home I realized that I had to find a space for all of it. I had to move over my current knick knacks and make room for the new stuff. It looks pretty, but as I've looked at it over the last several months I've realized that I didn't really need most of it. The bowl and pitcher were all I really wanted, but I ended up with so much more.

When I look around our home, I realize that over the years I haven't just accumulated antiques. I've hoarded music CDs, lots of books, craft supplies, musical instruments (some of which I can't even play - would anyone like a drum set or a nice violin?), and DVDs of movies and shows we've recorded from TV. 

Emotionally, I've let lots of "stuff" build up, too. Disappointments, regrets, failures, and little grudges. Those things sometimes push aside the good emotions that are normally evident in my life. I've been exploring some ideas for getting rid of those negative emotions on Monday nights as I study the book "Unglued" by Lysa TerKeurst with a great group of ladies from my church.

It's time to declutter both my house and my thought life. Having too much "stuff" in my house and in my head can cause tons of stress. I'm not going to get rid of my grandparents' antiques, but I am going to try to get rid of some things that are just cluttering up our house. I'm also going to keep working on clearing away more of the emotional clutter that bothers me way too often.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." 
(Matthew 6:19-21 NIV)

Has your focus been on "Stuff" instead of on more important things? What do you need to declutter in the days ahead?


  1. I understand what your saying, though I'm pretty sentimental so having family "heirlooms" is pretty special also I love antiques because I feel like they have stories, if only they could speak. However, I have a small house so I also know what your really saying. And in my heart, yeah I'm there it's crowded with so many hurts and crowding out the whisper of God. I still love "junking" though (that's what we call antiquing!)

    1. Hi Jessie,
      Oh yes, family heirlooms are special. I'm not saying anything against them, it's just that I ended up with so much more than I was originally after...and I do that in so many other areas of life, too. (I'm thinking of the pile of assorted shirts that don't fit in my dresser, but I keep buying more!) Much more important to get rid of that excess mental "stuff" that fills our minds. Happy junking! ~Robyn