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photo: © kikkerdirk -

photo: © kikkerdirk –

I almost hate to call this part of the  2014 Trim the Fat Challenge.  It seems like I’m cheating.  The Challenge is designed to help develop new habit patterns, change life styles, live leaner…

Come to think of it, that is what will happen.  It is just going to be a bit more painful.  But some change is painful.  You try to make it as painless as possible, but there is no getting around the fact that it IS PAINFUL.

Maybe I should just acknowledge that from the start and embrace it. I do that when I have surgery or go through a painful medical treatment that I hope will save my life.  I guess I should look on some kinds of change as being more like that!

Change IS painful.  Get used to it.  Embrace it!

I often try to kid myself that certain types of change won’t really be painful because I’m tired of pain.  I’m tired of all the “good-byes” that are both literal and figurative that have seemed to come with aging.  I don’t want to deal with any more of them.  So I pretend they won’t hurt.  Besides, they shouldn’t hurt.  I’m only getting rid of material things.  They are just tied to memories.  It shouldn’t hurt, or so I try to logically tell myself, so I’ll pretend it doesn’t.

Months later when I’m feeling sad…or worse, numb…and can’t figure out what is happening, I finally get what is happening.  I miss that sunny living room I used to have in my old house.  I miss passing by and seeing the sun pouring in the window.  I miss looking out the back dining room french doors and seeing the bulbs coming up this time of year…or in the winter, seeing the plants that would bloom even if some snow was sitting nearby.

Was all of it perfect?  Never.  It was always prettier in my head than in real life!  But it WAS pretty.  I could look in the bedrooms and remember the daughters who once lived there. . .and how they have now grown into beautiful women, wives and mothers who love the Lord. . .despite my failures as a mom, the grace of GOD stepped in and made up for my failures.  He provided other people who came alongside us as mentors and role models and friends.

There were many who prayed for them that I’m not even sure I know about in the numerous covenant communities where we served.

Now that this downsize is coming in an acute setting, I need to give myself time to adjust after the move. . .just like surgery.

So now we are moving again.  Yes, next month.  In April we will downsize another rung.  Someone told me recently, that until we downsize to under 1000 square feet, we haven’t really downsized.  I disagree.  Downsizing is downsizing.  Whether it is by 500 square feet, 1000 or only 200.  We’ll be downsizing by 700 square feet and a garage!  EEK!  No garage!  That is a huge loss in terms of storage.  But really, we have nothing to save for now.  Everyone is grown.  Most are in their own homes.  We can pass on what needs to be passed on and get rid of the rest.  Somehow, it sounds easier than it is going to be.  I’m sure.  I remember how difficult last year was.

This weekend, one daughter reminded us that even if everyone thinks we are saving illogical things, it doesn’t make any difference.  They are ours to save.  They may not be wise to save, but they are ours and if we want to save them in that way, we can.

That was a freeing comment.  Especially when my husband expressed sadness at the thought of throwing out all the cassettes of his sermons.  Who cares if he doesn’t listen to them.  They are a symbol of his life’s work.  We can keep them for awhile longer if we want to.

So tomorrow, we will begin, with our local son-in-law, the process of sorting.  He will come over and help us come up with a plan so the process will be done in time.  We already know what the plan is for tomorrow.  We’ll start in our bedroom. . .in our huge closet.

Getting back to normal after a fun weekend.

Meanwhile, today we are cleaning up from the fun weekend we had with our family from St. Louis.  They left this morning.  For the most part, the weather was wonderful this weekend.  We had fun meals together.  The children got along well.  Adults had fun visits.  We missed one set of cousins and one sister and her family.  But it seems that getting everyone together is nearly impossible!  Two our of 3 families is the best we seem able to do.

If you think of us over the next month, pray for both of us.  This isn’t easy.  Throwing out, getting rid, lightening the load, trimming the fat.  It is much better after the process is done than when you are in the middle of it!

If you are in the middle of this process, ask for help from a friend. . . for accountability, for oversight, for help in making a realistic plan for the process. . .whichever aspects are your weak areas.  Find people to pray for you even if there is no other thing they can do to help than that!  It will give you courage, strength, and even the ability to grieve well when needed. .  .so you don’t go numb.  I still want to be able to feel when I’m done.

Keep up the process of trimming the fat. .  .wherever the trimming is needed.