Honestly, I was hooked by the first sentence of the first chapter...."When Mother Teresa died, the media reported that she left behind only a bed, a chair, and a blue sweater". This was very humbling to me. As I look around my house, I see many things. I see wants and needs....but mostly wants. Could we get by with less? Absolutely!
The book goes on to say, "We also live in a country where it seems un-American not to have more things than we can keep track of, a society in which the largest homes, automobiles, or cheeseburgers are believed to be the best. Our instinct to accumulate has deep roots. Our parents and grandparents, in the shadow of the Depression, learned to keep an iron grip on anything that might still have some "good" in it. Little got thrown away. Then in the postwar 1940's and 1950's, Americans were encouraged to buy, buy, buy and to acquire every luxury they could afford".
This reminded me of a friend's grandmother who saved everything...even the little plastic strawberry containers and the big, thick, pink rubber bands that kept broccoli bunches together. Our dining room table tends to be the junk area of our house. As a matter of fact, here is a picture of my dining room table earlier this week.
I promise you that I clear off this table EVERYDAY....but...by the end of the day, it all comes back. There are times when I get most (or...all) of my discouragement as a wife and mother from this one, single place. The status of the dining room table pretty much tells you the status of our lives at any given moment. On this one table is Dan's coffee cup, Lego's, my ball cap, Olivia's baby that she sleeps with, plastic tub of crayons, my purse, place mats, pens and pencils, coloring book, Amelia's artwork and the anniversary flowers that Dan brought home for me.....among other things! How does one family of 5 eat at this table?? How does one 8 year old do his homework at this table???
I know it's not realistic to expect that we have only the things that Mother Teresa had, but, I want to be a better steward of the blessings that God has allowed us to have. I'm not sure exactly how to do this.....which is why I'm reading this book!
I will share more as I read further. Please feel free to share your thoughts on your "House of Stuff" and any decluttering ideas that have worked for your family.