My spring drive kicked in as sure as any creature’s migration instinct. I felt a fierce compulsion to turn over ground. To dig up winterkill, prune raspberries, plant seedlings, divide perennials and prepare for new life.
Foiled by cold weather, I put that energy to use in our bedroom. In mere hours, what began as a simple tidy-up churned into a tsunami that pushed items long buried in closets and drawers and under the bed onto the visible beaches of the rest of the house. When the dining table reached capacity, the wave seeped into the space I call my office.
Formerly a square box bedroom, we long ago painted that room sunny yellow and added a garden door to the back deck. Since our main floor had just two bedrooms to begin with, the room serves many purposes. Guest room. Warm-up room. Pet-cleaning room. Project room. But its greatest usefulness—and liability—is as a collection point for anything we don’t have room or efficient storage for, or time or energy to re-locate.
Just when the tidal residue that began in the master bedroom washed onto that yellow shore, I made the mistake of visiting a Facebook garage sale site. A massive primitive bookshelf caught my eye. It had better storage than my current shelves. Ignoring our still-out-of-order bedroom, I decided on the spot it could force my office into new life as a more attractive and efficient space. But first, I’d have to do some indoor gardening. Digging out. Pruning. Consolidating the contents of three other shelves.
My patient husband brought the whale of a shelf home. But it needed painting. And I had to decide what to do with the chest and bookshelves it would displace, not to mention the things I knew needed downsizing?
Out of necessity, a second bout of sorting, shuffling and giving away began.
Our season has made up its mind to live up to its name. I could work in our tiny raised gardens now, but I can’t find my way outside. I need a compass just to negotiate between rooms made unrecognizable by the clutter of piles and boxes and shifting furniture.
“Honey,” I told the Preacher, always eager to jump ship until things are shipshape. “I’ll get this back in order. Just give me time.” But the domestic continental divide was too much, and I saw the back of him a few hours ago—gone to the lake to work at the campsite.
Overnight company arrives in two days. They’ll sleep in my office. That motivation should help me tame the effects of the tsunami.
My spring fling of things, though necessary, has reminded me strongly that God could care less about our stuff. What he cares about is our focus; the attitudes surrounding our stuff. For a Christ-follower, acquisition of and attention to possessions always comes behind serving and loving others.
As I consult my compass, I pray. I long for simplicity. And a mudroom.