Thursday, April 7, 2011

Stuff - and what lives under the old carpet...

Just to be clear, I'm not in any way suggesting that I'm aging - much... or that my joints hurt more because I just celebrated my 55th birthday... or that I'm even remotely concerned when it comes to moving large pieces of furniture around the house... or that my knees are still hurting from that soccer game I played March 26...

OKay, now we've got that out of the way, does anyone have a couple of Extra-Strength Advil they can spare? Or maybe some Aleve? Because something happened when I was moving that sofa yesterday and my back is killing me!

All this pain is probably the result of the new carpeting that's being installed this morning (if, that is, they ever show up!). The price looked suspiciously good, then once we asked a few questions we realized there are extra charges for just about anything you can imagine. Extra to take up the old carpet, extra for removal of the old carpet, and extra again for moving the furniture - each charge computed per square-foot of flooring. On top of that, another hefty dollar amount is assessed for each piece of furniture they think is heavy (coach, piano, bed etc.)

So Rebekah and I decided to move all the furniture ourselves, and then pull out the old carpet and roll it up for removal. The one in our bedroom was 14 years old! The carpeting on the family room was last changed around 2001. We may think we live clean, uncluttered lives, but don't tell that to the old carpet! Good grief that was some nasty stuff! Kind of a bio-archeological dig.

We've been serious about de-cluttering for the past several years. We have - best estimate - only 50% of the "stuff" we used to. And we were never in any way people who hoarded to begin with. However, and this was something we realized when we rebuilt the kitchen in 2009, even 50% of a limited amount of stuff is still an unbelievable amount.

The contents of the family room (you can see the empty space in the photo above) are variously stashed in the kitchen, the living room, the back hallway, and the back porch. I can guarantee that some of it is going directly to the trash, some of it to Good Will, and some of it to the black hole of the garage. There will be even less clutter when it's time to reassemble the rooms tomorrow.

In the meanwhile. I'm reminded of Christ's timeless words from the Sermon on the Mount:
  • "I tell you not to worry about your life. Don't worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn't life more than food or clothing? Look at the birds in the sky! They don't plant or harvest. They don't even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren't you worth more than birds? Can worry make you live longer? Why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow. They don't work hard to make their clothes. But I tell you that Solomon with all his wealth wasn't as well clothed as one of them. God gives such beauty to everything that grows in the fields, even though it is here today and thrown into a fire tomorrow. He will surely do even more for you! Why do you have such little faith? Don't worry and ask yourselves, "Will we have anything to eat? Will we have anything to drink? Will we have any clothes to wear?" Only people who don't know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father in heaven knows that you need all of these. But more than anything else, put God's work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well. Don't worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today."

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