Wednesday, August 26, 2015

holding on and letting go

I was folding clothes on the couch when he asked me -
     So what is your giveaway?

That's it.  Right there.
I pointed to the piece of reclaimed wood propped up on our fire place.


I was hosting a giveaway on my Facebook page and decided to give away one of my favorite pieces of original art right out of my house to someone who shared my post.  I thought he considered it a lame choice so I was ready to defend it.

Yes.  Is there something wrong with that?

I was surprised to hear him say,
You can't give that away.  It looks perfect right there.


Five minutes later a notification popped up on my phone -
Joey Maxon has shared your post.

I died.

Here's why...
Joey Maxon does not share posts.  Joey Maxon has an active Facebook account but never uses it.  Joey Maxon probably just took the entirety of those five minutes to teach himself how to share a post and then crossed his fingers hoping he would be the winner so that he could keep that piece of wood.

When he came back up from the basement I was still laughing.
I can make you another one you know.

But I like that one.

So did I.
It's hard to give away something that you really like.  How about something that you love?

Maybe I'm twisted or not right in the head but I have started a practice of giving away things that are important to me.
Over the summer I gave away 10 bins full of children's clothes.  I'm embarrassed to say that it was hard for me.  I loved those cute little clothes.  My kids wore them - to birthday parties and first days of school and vacations.  Even the dried up milk stains on the onesies made me sentimental.

My kids are in the process of memorizing the 10 commandments.  They know the first one really well because it's the one we started with.  It's the one we have
sung and
written and
said more than any of the other ones.
That one is imprinted pretty deeply in their minds.
I think God planned it that way.
I think when God gave Moses the law he was intentional about the one he offered first.

You shall have no other gods before me.

It seems silly, doesn't it?
That a piece of wood would be considered a god.  Or a Lily Pulitzer dress.
But stuff becomes important.
People become important.
Dreams - fulfilled and unfulfilled - become important.

Sometimes they become too important.

I actually considered making a new board for the winner of my giveaway.  I thought we could keep the one we love and I could make one nearly identical to give to her.  I decided against it.

It's good to get in the practice of giving away things that are important to us.  I think it keeps our priorities in the right place and helps us not be quite so devastated when something we love is taken away.
It will be you know.
At some point we will have to learn to live without something we really like, even something {or someone} we love.  We will lose them.  It will be hard, crushing even.

I'm finding that the giving away eases the blow of the taking away.

The more I get in the habit of holding everything with open hands and then wrapping my arms tight and possessive around God alone, the more freedom I feel.  The better prepared I am for the difficulties in this life because I hold instead onto the one thing that can not be taken...
the one thing that will hold us together when everything else falls apart.