I really get overwhelmed with "stuff".
I am constantly organizing, and finding things to try to sell or recycle. For some reason, my mind has always thought minimally, because I am on the go all of the time!
Growing up, my parents didn't have a ton of money. My brother and I were home schooled by my mom, and my dad worked his ass off to provide for us. We never ate out, and we didn't take a lot of vacations. But we were content with what we had. Always.
My mom shopped at Savers or we had hand-me-downs. If we wanted something else, we had to earn it! I got a full time job at 16, and have worked since. I paid for my cars(with cash), my clothes, my extra things, and food if I wanted to go out. If I wanted to travel, I paid for everything myself, and I never thought otherwise. If I wanted to go to college, I had to pay for it. If I wanted to move out, I had to pay for it.
I moved 8 times from age 19 till now, and was able to fit all of my belongings in my 2005 Elantra for the first 5 moves. I owned what I needed. Nothing more. I didn't even have a credit card, because I was raised with the mentality that you spent only what you had. A checking account would always remind me that I didn't have money for that sweater I was eyeballing...and I later realized, I really didn't need it anyways.
Now, being a wife and a mom, I slowly find myself at a place where I am constantly accumulating "stuff". From all of the presents from our wedding, to the mounds of clothes and toys before Lenni, to the mounds of clothes and toys WITH Lenni, to collecting items passed down to us from grandparents and parents, to just buying our own things. Over time, gathering all of these items, I almost feel claustrophobic.
So, I purge. I organize, I clean, I sell it. If I don't sell it, I give it away to friends with babies (because hand-me-downs have clothed my kid her entire existence so far).
After Christmas, I'm already overwhelmed. I already felt like we had everything we needed! However, my heart was filled with joy at seeing all of the gifts Lenni was blessed with, yet completely perplexed by a small sense of guilt and anxiousness.
Who are we to deserve these things? Why do we have to buy all of this stuff??
I live for experiences and memories. Being a photographer, I want to capture the moments that you can't buy at a store. I want to see Lenni's face at the zoo when she knows the difference between a "doggy" and an elephant. I want to go see the Grand Canyon with my husband, and just sit there wondering what the story of Noah actually looked like. I want to travel to different countries, and see this beautiful creation that God gave us right at our fingertips.
I don't want to be the friend that gives stuff instead of creating memories. I don't want to be the wife who's husband went to Jared, but share endless laughs. I don't want to be the mom that doesn't cook, but instead, eats at a table that we have to pay to sit at for an hour instead of our own. I want to hear stories from grandparents and cousins, uncles and aunts, instead of receiving a box of nick-nacks that end up in storage.
To me, this life is too short to worry about stuff, when we have incredible people surrounding us. I challenge you to create the priceless moments that won't expire, to explore the scenery of the world without scanning a price tag, and to share life with those who are more valuable then any gift you could ever give or receive.