I am so known for weeding out unused items that my children now ask me, “Mommy, I can’t find my insert toy here. Did you get rid of it?”
Having said that you can understand why I didn’t think I was attached to my possessions… until this past summer.
I had no idea how deep my sentimentality wove into these Earthly possessions until God required it of me to give them away.
It was the precious pink sling I had used with all four children. It was a simple circle of stretchy pink fabric. We’re not looking to have more babies in the house, so while all the baby clothes and toys were being tossed out left and right the unused sling hung, protected, by the front door.
One day I was on my way to a farm I volunteer at in Ontario. As I was in front of the door slinging on enough bags to retire a pack mule I saw the little pink pounch and heard Him tell me I would be giving it away today. I paused for a nano second and finally thought, “Fine. I’ll take it.” What were the odds of me finding someone in an Ontario farm just walking around looking for a sling? I’m sorry to say that’s why I brought it.
It sat forgotten in my lunch bag for hours. Finally, at the end of the day, I was packing up to head home. It was just me and the young owner, Amy, who no longer has little babies in house.
I saw the beautiful paisley pattern that brings so many happy memories, and, with a sigh and some doubt, I took it out to Amy. I kind of tossed it around absentmindedly as I asked, “Hey, um, Amy, you don’t by any chance know anyone who needs a baby sling, do you?” I almost packed it back in my bag as I said it, too. She looked at me with an expression that read, “That’s random”, but answered, “Well, my sister just had a baby.”
I hope she didn’t see my shoulders slump in disappointment. I handed it over as I explained why I had brought it and I handed it over to her.
Amy, a mom of five, understood the sting of giving away certain baby items. She assured me she would give it back when they were done with it. But I already know, if I ever come in possession of it again it is meant to be passed on to the next mother-in-need.
It was just a round piece of fabric. I have the four thriving children, who are way too big for the pouch anyway, and I have pictures of me keeping them close by when they were little. And yet that one item was so hard to give away.
That same summer I gave away more baby items. Some of them I gave away to women at church and I almost asked them to sign a visitation agreement. Nathan, my six year old, gave his beautiful Build-a-Bear that sang the Star Wars theme to “the poor” and my initial response was to grab it out of his hand and scream, “No! He’s mine!”
Yes, this summer’s revealing of my heart was surprising. And it was sad. I pray the LORD continues to teach me in giving the little things away, in order that I can live in my life in freedom from bondage. Bondage to “the good ole days”. Bondage to finding my identity as a mom of little ones. Bondage to that which I am blinded to.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21