Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What would YOU bring?



We've been on a mission to downsize the number of belongings we own.  We are very aware that in this world, our possesions own us.  They distract us.  They require much of us -- our time, our money, and our devotion.  We talk often about how there are many people in the world who have only the bare necessities, and they do just fine and feel blessed!  And there are also those who have very little -- maybe not even a roof over their heads. 

Do we really need all this stuff?

We try to find creative ways to help this ongoing discussion feel relevant for our children.  Today, we discussed what we would take with us if we suddenly had to move away, and had only a few minutes to pack.  We could only take a few items each, and it was better if they were items that were very important to us, and not easily replaced.  While eating lunch and discussing our options, we each declared our top picks: 

Keandre, age 3
elephant & doggie (stuffed animals)
paci (his pacifier -- yes he is still addicted!)
gum

Destany, age 5 3/4
pillow & favorite blankies
'pics of me with Mommy & Nichole' (her birthmother)

Lucas, age 7 1/2
pillow, blankie, and ducky (a fav stuffed animal)
bunny rabbit (the family pet)

Kiara
computer (full of irreplaceable pictures!)
scrapbooks I've made for the kids
my wallet
(Lucas suggested I might want my cell phone.  Destany thought I might want some chocolate for the trip. :)

Andy
old pictures of family & friends (the non-digital ones)
computer hard drive (Good thought, honey.  Thanks!)

Before naming our items, we decided that we would each be able to purchase a few items when we arrived at our new home.  Here is what each person prioritized:

Keandre
a puppy dog  (A new pet?  Hmmm....I'm not sure about that one!) 

Destany
cd player/radio
board games & puzzles
a puppy dog (she agrees with Keandre)

Lucas
cd player/radio with a clock on it
a bunkbed from IKEA
a new fish and fishtank

Kiara
ipod
camera
Bible

Andy
Bible
a new bike (he's happy to leave his old one behind!)
a dishwasher (you think maybe he's afraid of living w/o one?!)

This conversation has been a great motivation to keep getting rid of stuff!  Today alone, we have compiled 10 paper grocery bags full of items to donate, plus a few bags to drop off at the consignment store.  And we have just begun!

Then, during rest time, Destany decided she has too many clothes and shoes.  She made a huge pile in the middle of her floor, and said she is giving them to our friend, Abby Tracy, who lives with and ministers to street children in Uganda.  Oh my.....what a blessing to see your child apply Biblical truths and hold loosely to her belongings!  (Anyone who knows her well knows she LOVES her clothes and shoes.  She is a little fashionista!)

7 comments:

Heather said...

What great food for thought... And it is so encouraging to see how your kids are reacting too. Hmmm, I could use a whole lot of downsizing in my own life, not to mention paring down with the kids!

Heather K. said...
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Rhonda (Mom) said...

Reading your blog brought the memories of the '07 fire flooding back. I know what to take.

Heather K said...

Amen, sister! LOVE IT! Since our renovation, and really the last few years in general, we've taken on the attitude of "Hey, guess what?!? It's just STUFF." People are what matter, and things are replaceable. Plus - the less stuff you've got, the less work there is keeping the house clean! I've even put the same attitude towards food at home. Nothing extra or unused around here.
ps - love the Ikea bunkbed comment from Lucas. We just got our boys a set from there and Clayton is obsessed with everything "Ikea"!

Andy & Kiara said...

Oops! I accidentally deleted a comment (above), but I replaced it. :)

Yes, Heather, it has been a great experience with the kids! They have all been involved and quite motivated to help.

Erica said...

I love this idea! We've been downsizing for the last year and a half but we can STILL do far more! I think we're going to have this conversation next week. :)

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