Saturday, March 5, 2011

Letting Go

My green, pot-bellied teapot with knitted cozy has journeyed from the “Give Away” box to the “Take to PNG” bin and back, with only a brief visit to the “Keep for Later” pile.  Ahhh!  What do I do with it?  I know…put it back on the frig and decide later.

We’ve done this soooo many times now, it ought to be getting easier.  Our house has been on the market for over a year, and we were prepared for its impending sale.  We wanted to make the transition easy, and got by with what we had whenever possible  We didn’t spend money on things that wouldn’t follow us to PNG.  We even told family not to give us stuff they hoped we’d hang onto for years.  It just can’t happen in this lifestyle and sometimes it hurts.

Like now….  Claire’s set of English tea cups from Great Grandma just isn’t going to survive the boat ride across the Pacific.  Isaiah’s bag of homemade Lincoln logs from Grandpa would fare very nicely, but they would probably never come home again—not with the new restrictions on importing wood into the US.  Yes, these are the thoughts that weigh heavily on my brain right now!

There are a number of factors to weigh in each decision:
  • “Who gave it to me and how will they feel if I give it away?”
  • “If I keep it will it just become a burden?”
  • “Is it practical for use in PNG, or just another item that emphasizes our differences with the local people?”
  • “If I save it for ‘later’ will later ever come, and in the meantime, how long will it burden someone else?”
  • “Will my children be emotionally damaged if they aren’t allowed to keep it?”
    After agonizing over many a decision, I often default to giving it away.  My rational is that it will hopefully go to someone who can truly maximize its potential.  <grin>  Besides, God gave us everything we have, and has always provided for our every need.  Why not share the blessing!  But if I sound a wee bit off my rocker, send up a prayer for this slightly frazzled missionary wife and mother who is learning to let go again.  And maybe you’ll want to think twice about giving that set of heirloom, hand-painted anvils to your friend who just joined “Way-Out-in-the-Middle-of-Nowhere Mission”.  <big grin>

    PS—If you were holding out for the tea cups or Lincoln logs, they’re permanently assigned to the small but critical “Save for Later” pile.


    Sunny Barnum said...

    Letting go is one of the hardest lesson that we'll always be learning. It's still sad sometimes to remember when I had to pack my whole life into two suitcases ten years ago and move far far away across the ocean.

    I'll be praying for you as you finish sorting all the boxes.

    Thank you for being honest and always encouraging. You are a wonderful blessing me :)

    Jon and Missy Damon said...

    Thanks Sunny for the comment. It makes me very happy to know that my experiences could encourage someone else. :o)

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