Yesterday while I was rocking Torrey, my eyes drifted to Alana’s bookshelf. It’s a chintzy three tier shelf that we got at Ross when Stu and I were first married. We keep joking that one day we are just going to come home and find that poor sucka has given out crumbled on the ground with books flung left and right.
It’s interesting though, this humble shelf has quite a story. Our first place had no linen closet, let alone any bathroom storage to speak of, so we go it to hold towels. Then we moved again and low and behold we had ample bathroom storage, but our lovely dishes were too wide to fit in the cupboards of our new kitchen. So our once towel bearing shelf became a place for kitchen odds and ends. Fast forward nearly 5 years later and now this rickety shelf holds all my daughter’s story books. It sways when you pull books off it and I am certain that it will bite the dust fairly soon, but as I stared at that worn out little shelf, I was reminded of how precious our lives are.
We hold such deep stories. Our things, although just things, they hold meaning. I look around my home and I can tell you stories of the life Stu and I have built together that would make you laugh until you cried. There is a fan with the base that looks like a dinosaur egg that we purchased in desperation during a rare Seattle heat wave. There is my parents old oak table that is now shabby, less chic by my sweet girl’s rogue finger paintings. I have books on my shelf that people have given me throughout the years, blankets from kind souls that wrapped my babies when they were still in the NICU, glasses hand carried from Germany, and original artwork from artists that I am privileged to call my friends.
I know there is such a pull for minimalism and I agree that it’s easy to sit back well-fed, fat, and happy while a people go hungry and children go thirsty. Here’s the thing though, if you pare down and allow your heart to stay the same—it means nothing. We can all schlep our unwanted goods to a donation site. We can streamline our excess, but without a grateful heart we are just plump impostors to grace.
Look around your home.
What stuff do you have that tells your story?
Do you have things near you that bring joy?
Do you have things that you never touch that someone else might cherish?
My daughter’s bookshelf is dodgy at best, but it has adapted and grown just like I have. I never thought when I first got it, that someday it would hold words that would light my girl’s imagination on fire. Our stuff is just stuff, and I tease Stu all the time that if our house went up in flames, I’d grab the children, Lizzy, and run, but if I had seconds to grab for one more thing—I think I’d honestly grab for peace—courage to let the rest of it go. At the end of the day, my stuff tells stories and thankfully whatever difficulties might come, I’ve etched those memories into my soul.
Tell me the story of something you own? I’d love to hear it!