Yard Sales and Fires–Letting Go of Things

I tend to hang on to things.
This could be why I have at least five huge Rubbermaid bins full of my children’s baby clothes, in sizes up to…their age right now.
I like to remember how cute they looked in those favorite outfits, I tell myself. Someday, maybe they’ll want to use those “retro” clothes for their kids, I tell myself.
In reality, they’ll probably have to do a massive yard sale, like we just did with my parents.
It’s easy to form emotional, sentimental attachments to things. After all, we have so many memories attached to them.
But the things we really remember don’t need photos, or leftover clothing. Those memories of playing in the swimming holes, or our Senior class trip, or even our honeymoons.
They’re engraved in our minds
When I was a teen, I watched my dad’s newly renovated doctor’s office burn to the ground, just down the road from us. The well-fed flames licked the sky, greedy for more. They ate the cedar siding, the insides…everything.
Since then, I’ve hated fires. I’ve been praying so hard for everyone in Colorado–everyone who will lose those precious things that filled their homes. Everyone who will feel displaced and alone. Everyone who will wonder if God was watching or caring.
He was and He still is. And He knows what you’re suffering.
It was only after I grew up that I realized the rest of the story of my Dad’s office. The hot-water heater literally blew up and melted into the ground. But everyone had just gone home for the day. God spared anyone from dying that evening.
And I believe He’s done that in Colorado
It’s the people who matter, not the clothes, or the things. The people carry the memories. The people can live to see another day and glorify God, even in the middle of suffering.
I pray we can all do this better this week, and this year. Cling less tightly to our things. Hold more tightly to our God, and our families.
God bless you all.

11 thoughts on “Yard Sales and Fires–Letting Go of Things

  1. This is a sweet post. We're miles north of the fire, but I kept feeling sad for all those people who had to leave their houses and possibly lose their houses. Everyone I've heard from who's left the Springs though, or is still there nearby, is doing fine AND in mostly good spirits because they're safe and they have friends and family and that's far more important than things. Thanks for this post!

  2. Thanks for the reminder. It's so easy to get caught up in "stuff". But it is the family and friends that really make up our lives. My heart goes out to those in Colorado Springs. Drastic loss must be hard to bear all at once, but so many seem to be finding comfort in the best place: God, family and friends.

  3. Such a good reminder, Heather. It seems no matter how often I take stock and clean out those things I hold on to, more things just seem to creep back in and take over. I need this reminder on repeat!

  4. This hit me so hard I had to wait til now to leave a comment. My heart goes out to those poor people. That whole city will never be the same. Children are going to have post-trauma issues for ages. Grown-ups will too.Exhaustion will be a problematic for everyone.I think about what Steven CUrtis CHapman sang , after his daughter died."God is God and I am not."

  5. So true! The rest is just stuff. One of my CPs said that there are also raging fires in Idaho and that her aunt lost her home. I'd heard about Colorado, but not Idaho. Keep praying for rain!

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