Friday, February 4, 2011


This week has been a bit of a surprise. A good one. But, a surprise nevertheless.

We've been casually working on photos and a list of things we need to sell in preparation for moving back to the states. In order not to give this more attention than we should, we've worked for about a month giving it about an hour a day. Finally, Wednesday, I had the blog ready for the public. Only a couple of people knew about it earlier than that. Within about an hour of making it public, we had lots of requests for items! We were both really thankful - but honestly, surprised. We thought it would take a while! But, almost everything is gone or purchased (and will be gone just before we leave). We're thanking the Lord for this detail that could have been a pain and hindered the work we have to do before we leave.

I want to share two personal things about "Selling it all - again"! (Don't write me with a spiritual lesson - this is simply a personal perspective. Not right or wrong).

1) Is it like a freeing-up emotionally?
People have asked "Isn't it somehow freeing to sell everything?". I wondered about this as we sold everything to move here. Tim thought it was. I tried to agree. Maybe it freed us up from the responsibility of keeping things cared for. But, we didn't let things dominate us in the states or here. We were grateful for what we had and we tried to make it available for whatever use God wanted of it. For me, selling everything in Greensboro meant walking away from a home where we were able to reach out to our community and our church family. We had more guests in that home for meals than I can count. I stood at the stove with a dozen young women teaching them how to make gravy. We had my staff over once each year and enjoyed fellowship on the deck in the swing, glider and chairs. I had a corner in the yard where I had laid concrete blocks myself where I would sit and meditate and spend time with my precious Lord. Was I willing to leave those things? Absolutely! Do I regret it? Absolutely not!

But, was is freeing for me? No it wasn't. The memories of that life are precious beyond measure. The last 3 years have been precious and praise God I haven't gotten attached to too many things here. (The Bernina will go back to the states with me - and Tim, of course! The order doesn't indicate importance.)

Honestly, things are just things. If getting rid of them "frees" us up, there was a problem! Could have been abundance, over-indulgence, debt .... any number of things. I don't think it freed me up because I wasn't connected to them. I miss some of them mainly because of the memories I made using them. So the things, were good things, good gifts from God for a season in our lives. Not attachments so no freeing feelings!

2. Is is easier to get rid of things the second time?
NO! It isn't easier. We have less to get rid of this time and honestly, our things aren't as valuable as much of what we gave away the first time. I have to work not to begrudge the expense of taking things back to the states that we would have to buy again. It's not easier because in the simplest of terms what we're doing is "starting over". And starting over at 57 isn't easy. Especially in a bad economy! Ok Marsha ..... you're getting off subject!

What has been so interesting to me is that the things I have the most difficulty giving up are not the things you might expect. I still haven't gone through all my fabric - yes, fabric! I can't afford to take it back to the states. I have a plan to give it to a ministry here that will use it. But, as I attempt to go through it, it evokes so many memories. One piece from a trip Tammy and I made to MaryJo's. Another that Darla and I bought in Black Mountain (I think that's where it was). And, the greens from Peggy - oh, how Peggy and I love green! I have the things that Tara sent (thankful that she listened to me and held onto some of them). And even have the left-over blocks someone started in the states and sent here. They have been added to 2 projects done here, and I still have some to share. Then there are the things from Grandmother Lowder (thank you Selma and Mary Ann). And, what to do with the drapery fabrics that Angela and I have used for so many things here. The scraps with jeeps on it Dalese used for Jonathan's quilt. (And all that binding we made before she changed her mind). Some fabric will go back with me - like the scraps from Sarah & Michael's double wedding ring quilt. Every piece of fabric has a memory. They are hard to give up, hard to leave behind.

Is selling it all freeing? For me, it hasn't been because I don't think I am tied to them. I'm tied to the memories they evoke, the people they bring to mind. I don't connect with the things as much as I connect with the thoughts they stir up. I'm grateful for the things no one can take away.

I don't mind selling it all because I don't have to give up the memories. It may not be easy, it's just necessary. We'll start again somewhere. And once again we'll have things to care for. And, we'll make new memories.

Some of you are no doubt wondering about the quilts. No, I'm not selling them. They are things, but they are made of memories that I treasure. Every time I touch the sandwiched fabric of any quilt, it reminds me of the way God has taken the scraps of my life and woven them together - hopefully for His glory. I'm in the final step of the last quilt to be done in Ukraine. It's for Tim. I'm calling it our "Last Trip Around the World". I'll post photos when it's done.

Freeing? No, because I wasn't tied to things.
Easier? No, change like this is just a challenge.
Again? Yep, again! We're on the move!


  1. One correction - Dalese's left over binding is from Christopher's quilt - not Jonathan's. Sorry Dalese!

  2. Girl, I love that you love my quilt material...I'm going to send you a picture of Ian lying on his quilt...might make it harder for you to get rid of my material...but you are so right...THINGS ARE THINGS...
    Through the many moves we have made (three times in a year once) I realized that I was a "Junk Magnet!" Didn't seem to matter how much I got rid of...I picked up more in its place!
    One time I was in lessons with my Russian teacher and she asked me to tell her what I would grab if my place was on fire. I told her, "Pictures...I would grab my pictures!" She thought I had not understood the question and asked again...after a while I had to slip back into English to make her understand that ITEMS were not what made me HAPPY!!! But yes, they sometimes do remind us of some wonderful memories...
    Thank the Lord that we still have those memories even when THINGS are gone!
    love you girl, praying for you!!!

  3. Awww, I remember our trip to Black Mountain. And yes we have bought fabric together there, Mary Jo's, Randy's, K'ville, etc. I have pieces that have memories/people in them, I know to some it sounds silly, but it is a lot like a picture.
    Fabric can always be bought and given away, but friends are in our hearts forever. True friends are ingrained and woven in us forever.
    I love you, where ever He leads you all in the world next.