Freedom from the flood

“It made me think about what George Carlin said: All you need in life, is a little place for your stuff. That’s all your house is: a place to keep your stuff. If you didn’t have so much stuff, you wouldn’t need a house. You could just walk around all the time.”

I was with a woman last night who had lost all her possessions in the floods that ravaged our area. She said it was freeing really. It was stuff she had to go through and decide what she wanted and what she didn’t want anyway. That’s why it was in the basement. I know this feeling of freedom. When I would go on short term mission trips, I would take all the personal items I would need in a back pack and fill my allotted two suitcases with provisions for the people I was going to help. I lived for a month with 3 suits of clothing (2 for work and one for worship), toiletries, underwear, nightwear and some miscellaneous body care items. Honestly, I didn’t need anything else. Like Geroge Carlin said, “[I] could just walk around.” I enjoyed beating my one suit of clothes on the rocks with the women in the late afternoon and then laying those freshly washed clothes out in the sun on the rocks to dry. It was the equivalent of having a latte with friends back home.

I have been trying and trying to remember the name of the “syndrome” that describes the experience you get when you fix something up or purchase something new and then discover that everything around the newness looks really bad. You get the feeling that you have to fix everything or you have to get all new things to go with it. Can anyone help me here? One of the ladies at my church yesterday had painted the door to the fellowship hall green to match the shingles on the church roof. The ladies discussed how good the door looked, but said they really had to paint all the trim now because it was very obvious that it needed it, now that the door was done. See what I mean? The more you have the more you need.

Anyway, when I saw the picture of the huge animal being pulled uphill by a lone person, I couldn’t help but think that maybe the lightening of the loads caused by the flooding may revolutionize some lives. The conversation with my friend last evening confirmed this may be so. Would to God that we would learn our lessons from the flood.

Have a wonderful weekend, Friends,



5 comments on “Freedom from the flood

  1. You made such great points here, Dawn. I do NOT know the name of that syndrome, but I have certainly been there! But right now, I don’t have to worry — all my stuff looks old, outdated, and in need of replacement. So . . . the new name for my old look is “rustic shabby.” I border on being a hoarder. The more unstable things became for me as far as income, health, etc., the more I felt I should hold on to things — “just in case.” I’m learning to let go. I’m learning I don’t need my gigantic clothing of 4 years ago when I was 100 pound heavier. I don’t need to keep an old pot if I get a new one. I don’t need to keep the old insert to a crockpot that doesn’t work when I get a new crockpot. You get the point —– I was keeping everything. I have a long ways to go, but things are finding new homes where they will be used, not just stored. I feel guilty with all my “stuff,” and that I need such a big house and storage sheds to hold it all.

    Thank you for the reminder to keep at this, and to free myself from all that holds me back from doing what I should be doing. Besides, there is a greater joy in giving it all away. My pastor reminded us last night that “we don’t really own anything until we can give it away — until we can do that, it owns us.” What a truth that is!!!!!

    • Dear Cora,

      I went to bed last night under the music of Children of the Heavenly Father that you linked to over at Craig’s. I hadn’t thought of that song in a long time. There certainly are a lot of wonderful Christian hymns, aren’t there? at least one for every season of our souls.

      Thanks for your comments here. I live in a downsized house (900 sq ft) by American standards, but I think of those around the world who live in 1/10th the space I have and they are truly free and truly happy. I think living in the ever present is a key. Saving for what might be or keeping what we have either out of sentimental value or “just in case” shows our lack of trust. I know there are Scriptures about storing up and times for doing so, I’m speaking about living day to day.

      You mentioned the Navajo in a comment earlier this week. They are a present people. Everything is thought of for use in the moment. For example, their art is sand or a weaving or some kind of message on a rock or in the dirt, but art is never meant for mere gazing upon or to be collected. The materials are used again and again for the next event or honoring. The sand is resculpted, the beads reused or the message surface reworked. They even telecommunicate with drum beats and smoke signals. They were truly a “no garbage” people; they were forever recyclers of their Mother Earth.

      Ah, Cora, so much to say. You make my mind spin and my heart soar.
      May the Lord grant you rich blessings today,

  2. Dear Dawn . . . I have been reading Job chapter 5 over and over the last few days and think of you and the flood every time.
    Verses 8-10 say: “But as for me, I would seek God, and to God I would commit my cause – Who does great things, and unsearchable, marvelous things without number. He gives rain on the earth and sends water on the fields.”
    I was struck by the notion that the first marvelous thing mentioned was rain on the earth, water on the fields. Doesn’t seem so marvelous does it? But if a flood can help us let go of “stuff” and water dormant seeds . . . that’s, well . . . marvelous!

    I have made several big moves in my life which included getting rid of a lot of stuff and I totally agree that less is better . . . I have everything I need.

  3. Dear Andrea Dawn,

    You sent me right to Job last night when my brain was too weary to reply to you, and then, again, this morning when the crisp autumn air perked my puppies up and they ran like the wind in delirium (except for Sebastian who is too weak). One of the verses I am shouting out in these early morning runs comes from Colossians 3
    Let the message of Christ dwell in your hearts richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit singing to God with gratitude in our hearts.

    You always take me to the word through the actual word or through songs or prayer or visuals. I am SO blessed by your friendship. And…speaking of visuals, I’m going to head right on over to The Illustrated Word. I have to look again at The Lesser Light. The moon was beautiful here last night and all I get when I shoot is a white speck in a black sky. Your photographs are MUCH better!

    Bless you,

  4. When a flood went through Texas years ago because the flood gate guard was sleeping and then they had to release the built up flow, my friend lost her home. She also said it made simplifying life easy, and though in many aspects it was a disaster, she was able to see God’s gift in it. It would be wonderful if we could simplify our lives … without floods!
    Thank you for all you have shared…the moon was also a bathing beauty here this week. Praying God’s blessing on you all.

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