Monday, September 08, 2008


So lately, our house has really bugged me. I generally hold to the idea that the way my house looks is an extension of myself...and lately, my house has needed its eyebrows plucked, its roots fixed, a good trim and a mani-pedi. No...let's be's needed to shower and get out of its bathrobe.

It's no secret that I have a lot of stuff. I am constantly shlepping stuff into this house to either sell or craft with, and I'm not a neat person when I'm doing creative stuff. Apparently, there is a general consensus that I have ADD, which just means that I like to have several things going at once in order to even feel like I am doing anything. I get bored if I'm not doing something. I hate sitting still. Yesterday, the kids were in a good playing groove outside, and Robb was watching the ball-game. I could have read a book, but instead I turned on a movie in my room and changed the furniture around.

But it gets really stressful...all the stuff. (which is why I like my room the best because it feels really simple and edited to only things that I really love.) And in a classic ADD moment, I just went back there and moved a couple pictures around...yup, right in the middle of writing this post. But seriously, stressful. Like if I needed to have company over at this moment, I would simply die because there is no way I could clean up because there is just too much stuff.

And I know, the simple thing is to get rid of some of it. Duh. I did this with my clothes, and you wouldn't believe how nice it is....I get up and get dressed and I only have things in my drawers that I actually like and I actually wear, so the drawers aren't so stuffed full that the drawers jam. It's lovely. I actually get dressed most days instead of ....well, you know...the bathrobe.

Problem is, a lot of what I have is "investments." Stuff I bought to sell. And the way the economy is, it's just selling a little slower. And I switched the bulk of my stuff to etsy instead of Ebay. So instead of being in a pile for a week, it's now in a box or shelf or pile for 3 months or so. It's selling, just slowly (and for more money). So I guess it's essentially a warehouse problem.

Sorry this post is so boring, I'm just trying to work this out.

So we are starting a new series at Vintage on money. We do a series on sex and a series on money every year. This is the second year we have done it, and I guess that means that Robb and I have been getting our financial crap together for a year now. We've paid off some big debts and have lived without consistently relying on a credit card for a year. We have a five-year financial plan that we are chipping away at slowly but surely. Like the clothing thing, this has eliminated a HUGE amount of stress from our lives. And so, I was all ears yesterday. I've been feeling this huge stress of our house for weeks now, and I had come ready to find some answers.

It was based on the story of the shrewd manager in Luke 16. This is a story that fascinates and confuses me because it's essentially about a dude that shorts his boss in order to win friends and influence people. Aaron explained that it is primarily a story that teaches we are managers of stuff, not owners. We are to be faithful with whatever we've got. This resonates deeply with me...probably because very little of what I buy is stuff I intend to keep. I intend to sell it for a profit and trade up. Often, my profit is piddly, and that is also okay with me because I don't want to be so terribly successful that I change our tax bracket and get rich. I just want to earn enough to make it possible for us to spend a day at the zoo once in a while, to buy school clothes, or go out for Sunday lunch with friends. And of course, there is the whole sitting-still conundrum. What else am I gonna do? Clean my house so that I have a constant state of vacuum lines in the carpet? This is truly what I love to do, crazy as it may be.

Donna pointed out yesterday that I should keep a separate blog devoted to my found treasures, which could be turned into a book eventually. This is intriguing because I have found some great things over the years...including a rare lithograph, a 700 dollar diamond (spent a dime on it), a gold wedding band (free, inside a purse), two metal pitchers which I sold to museums, a trophy I sold to a Country Living photo-shoot (I pored over the magazine and never saw it...must not have made the cut), and several eye-popping designer dresses. It couldn't be a how-to book because, quite frankly, I don't know how I do it; I think GOD himself whispers in my ear if I have the sense to listen to Him. It does make for entertainment, for sure.

But if it is true that I'm just managing God's stuff, (and I'm cool with that) and it's true that part of my job as wife and mom is to keep the house in a way that is sane, I need some kind of change in the way I am doing things. I'm not managing as efficiently as I could be. Something is off-kilter.

Dr. Carter used to say that there is always enough time to do God's will. I believe this. I tend to even extent it that there is always enough MONEY to do God's will. And enough energy and enough room in my house. There must be. Otherwise he would give me something different. In fact, I think the point of the story yesterday is that God doesn't promise to give you more money and stuff if you manage your small stuff well. I think maybe, God might bless you with LESS sometimes. That he might entrust us with being poor because we can handle it. I told Robb last night that I was praying that God would either get us a new couch or make me content with the one we've got. "Does he do that????" Robb asked quizzically. I believe he does. I really do.

I have no answers. Sorry if you thought this post was going to end nicely tied up with a pink ribbon. I'm just looking at my overly-cluttered house today trying to figure out how to be at peace with God, myself, my family and my stuff.


A said...

so, next week the parable is the one about the guy who has so much stuff he tears down his barns and builds bigger ones. best buckle your seat-belt cause who knows where that one will land us . . .

Rebeckah said...

Well, a pink ribboned story would have been nice : )...but who wants nice when you can get real instead. Very lovely post! I love the color in your bedroom. What is that called? Very cool how you found all of those things like the diamond. WOW! Hope you are having a nice week sans the ribbons.

Rebeckah said...

PS Did I tell you how much I LOVE this blog? Gary just came over here and said, how long are you going to be reading about this butterfly : ) and I said, "I have to read it until I am done. I just can't get enough." Too bad I have to work in the morning or I would stay up all night. This is exciting stuff : )!

Sweet Sage said...

Sooooo well said!
I OFTEN have the same dilemma, and the greater struggle can sometimes be finding real peace amid the chaos. My work makes my heart happy, though, as I'm sure yours does, too. And my kitties seem to really enjoy the 'obstacle course'! So it's not all bad. :)

Jess said...

I getcha. By the way - I'm so glad your show went so well. Maybe I didn't read carefully enough, but did you SELL the black cabinet?

ness said...

hey jess...nope I didn't sell it. It was popular, but nobody could seem to decide where to put it in their house! I'll probably list it on etsy, but I have a chance to do another show in a month, so I might take it prevent a squabble among my blog friends!

Blogging tips