My parents were children of the Depression. They endured hardship and deprivation during a very difficult period of American history. This, of course, impacted the way they organized and managed their own home. Growing up, my two sisters and I learned that things were to be used up, recycled, handed down (and up), reworked, and refurbished.
My adulthood, however, has consisted of a completely different set of American economics. Department stores carried lovely garments that were within the budget of a middle-class ministry family. Opportunity and availability led to indulgence. Sales and bargains caused my closet to become overstuffed. In some strange way, the ability to possess these pretty things enhanced my self-esteem.
So when I began traveling for Shepherdess, it seemed natural to haul all these treasures along with me. After all, pastors’ wives should be prepared for everything shoes to match each dress, outfits for any weather—I packed more than anyone could possibly need. And because airlines allowed for two checked suitcases—70 pounds each (that’s 140 pounds!)—I ended up hauling far more than my own body weight. It was insanity. The result was two aching feet, a strained back, and a burned-out brain trying to keep track of it all.
Over time, enough was too much. I’ve learned that I need a lot less stuff, both at home and in my suitcase. And even though the airlines have instituted a 50-pound luggage limit, I am not going to stop there. Recently I made a personal trip with only my purse and carry-on suitcase. It was liberating! It reminded me of Jesus’ promise that His burden for me is easy and His load for me is light.
So, friends, lighten your load, whatever excess you are carrying. If you are looking for a New Year’s resolution, think about more than shedding a few pounds; try letting go of some other stuff, too. Wow! It feels good!
God bless you every one,