on giving away…

Posted on October 5, 2009


Last week, I revisited some thoughts I had about a year ago. I didn’t know who would read it, or if anyone would even care. It wasn’t really to place a challenge for anyone as much as to remind myself of something I desperately needed to hear – this world is not for us.

Well, someone did read it – meet Michelle. She’s a new friend & her post yesterday needs to be read. Here’s the truth: her post challenged me. It humbled me. And it made me more aware than I have been in a long while that these things we hold so tightly to are just temporary. I had been deeply affected by counting my shoes – I had even taken my 30 pair & given away all but six or seven pair. I had even moved on to my clothes & decreased my wardrobe to a  few outfits as opposed to the one for every day of the month I had built up before. But like always, I forgot.

I’m a packrat at heart. You’re talking to the girl who saved every single note from the time she was in 6th grade to the time she graduated from high school. All under her bed in worn down shoeboxes – these pieces of paper held memories & long lost love & drama only a high school girl could deem important. So why was it so hard to part with these useless strips of nothing when I moved into my dorm?

Namely, I have a hard time letting go.

Of anything, really. Especially my books.

I’m a bit of an addict. No, really. I can’t walk into a book store without a smile spreading across my face & my fingers getting sticky for a new treasure. My phone has a list 20 new titles I am waiting to buy, and often times, I forget about that list in the spur of the moment decision to bless myself with some more words.  Russ & I don’t even have enough room for our books. Our shelves are overflowing & we have taken to just stacking the books on top of each other on the floor. We’ve even given a lot of older titles away.

Last year, my Invisible Children club held a book drive and my kids collected well over 2500 books. About 150 of those were from our apartment. Or our garage. Or boxes stuffed in the corner. 150 books. All ours. And it wasn’t even half.

Michelle is giving half of hers away.

Yeah, that’s right. Over the next six weeks, Michelle is going to be taking a possession – clothes, books, food, etc. – and will give away half.

As I read her post, I started crying. And, for those of you who know me, please don’t read that as oh – Elora is just being her usual emotional self again.  This goes deeper than emotions. Because, as I read her post & started feeling the tears formed, I realized something.

I am not that strong.

And I really hate writing that last sentence.

But, if I were to be honest – and I want to be – I know without a shadow of a doubt I would not be strong enough to take my books – all of them – and give half away.

I pray God would break me of this. Those material possessions do not define me. Building a library, although a noteworthy endeavor (because really…who reads anymore), is not what my time on earth is about.  

It’s about Christ. Nothing more. Nothing less.

So go read Michelle’s post. Throw her some encouragement. And take a look at yourself. What is something you would have a hard time giving away?