Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Cupboards are Bare

At 3:00 pm today, my firstborn Barrett hit the "SEND" button on his computer and submitted his final paper of his college career. Woohoo! He officially has his MBA in Business from the University of Nebraska as of today. It is amazing what he accomplished in the past six years in college while training three sports every day and a part-time job as a manager in a running store. He's a professional triathlete.

He is home for Thanksgiving early. The other day he asked me if he could help me go through our house and simplify things and help me get ready for Christmas (his sweet girlfriend is coming for Thanksgiving!!!)---actually, help me get a better handle on things. Whoa! I jumped on his gracious offer. I would be thrilled if you helped me, Barrett!

He decided to start with the kitchen. Go for it. I gave him permission to get rid of or throw anything away within reason. (So what would that mean in a 25-year-old mind? I may not have much left!!!) I am in shock that he wants to do this. This is the first time in his life that he is not in school, not working, and he is on a two-week training break. And he wants to spend it helping his Madre. That touches this mom's weary housekeeping soul. I've let things go for way too long without simplifying my life!

I left the door open for you to take a peek inside. Should have shown you the "before" picture. I never knew what was in the back on each shelf...

This sweet guy spent seven hours in the kitchen going through every single canned good, and every cooking utensil---checking dates and decency. When I got home, I was flabbergasted. Unbelievable. He even threw in some twinkling white lights decorating the countertop. Oh my---what happened to him at college? His sister was the one who kept everything completely organized when they were in high school. I would just close his door. And the first time I visited him in college---he stuffed EVERYTHING he owned in the college closet to clean up his room for my visit, a nice try - LOL. (My daughter opened the dorm closet while he wasn't looking and it ALL tumbled out, ceiling to floor!) We all washed 15 loads for him that trip (and every pair of blue jeans dyed light pink due to athletic issued "red" clothing---a disaster). And his sweet sister labeled everything in his dorm room and put it all away. He was very nice to us even though we dyed all his jeans :)

"Can I just look in the trash bags, Barrett?" To top it all off---he's teachable and patient with me. But he threw tons of stuff away including pots and baking dishes I have had my whole marriage. And the extension cord was on top of the loaded trash bag---it looked messed up in knots. But, I had been looking for one all day to plug in the Christmas tree I put up last night. I confiscated the cord. And I let the trash go out the door and the bag for Goodwill is gone.

Then, he drove over to Target and bought me a couple of new casserole dishes with a sealed cover (I didn't know they came with covers!) and a new frying pan that works and a new muffin pan. This is too good to be true! He has one more week here before he goes back to college to finish up and move his stuff home.

And he says---you have me all week, Madre!!! I will go through every room with you. It is a lot easier for me to get rid of stuff if I have someone staring at me saying that I don't need that out-of-date thing or the stuff I haven't used in a year or even that package of water balloons in the kitchen "party drawer"---BUT WAIT...maybe you guys will throw water balloons at each other at Thanksgiving---oh wait, what am I even thinking?

Pray for me this week that I can let go of things that have accumulated over the decades. This is so hard for me. I have been an attachaholic and God never intended for me to be attached to anything or anyone but Him. No more! You know the C. S. Lewis quote: "We are who we believe we are." Attaching to things and people is my old way of doing life and the new way is living with open hands to my sovereign God. Openhanded to getting rid of things that own me. Openhanded to my good God for friendships, especially the few that aren't interested in me and I so want their love and friendship. No tight fists. It may be a lonely road but I am finding such satisfaction in Him--- for who can satisfy my soul like Jesus? No One else. And I have been thinking a lot today about Deut. 4:37 --- apart from the Presence and Power of God, we can't get "out" of the messes we have created for ourselves. I don't even have the willpower to do this. But life isn't about how strong I am. II Cor. 12: 9,10. Why is it so hard for me to get rid of things, especially memorabilia and sentimental stuff? I think I'm afraid I'll make a mistake and lose something or I could find someone who needs it or make money off of it or I will need it someday, and so it accumulates. I wasn't made for this world and we can't take it with us anyway. Why am I saving this stuff? It is going out the door this week.

We made it through the kitchen today and my oven isn't used for storage anymore! It's empty and that's new! Tomorrow we tackle the boys' bedrooms and I am a little trepid that he'll want to get rid of his toys from childhood, his baseball card collection... wonder what treasures we will find there. There's his first wagon and his first TONKA truck and his first lock of hair and his first teeny rocking horse and his first peewee baseball uniform...uh oh...stay tuned.

This is such an answer to prayer for God to prompt my son to give me the first week off of his little life. It was an overwhelming task for me alone. I even have 3 empty kitchen drawers I can fill some day. I am ecstatic! The cupboards are bare and it is a very good thing!


Alana 11/13/2007  

Wow, what a way for Barrett to bless and honor his Mama! I'm impressed.

I think you will feel so much better once it is all done. I need to do this desperately, but probably won't have time until after the first of the year.

I was just reading a post by a friend of mine today that was talking about how God gave us a need to attach because He wants us to attach to Him! Not stuff.

You can do it.

But you may have to draw the line with the lock of hair and first Tonka truck ;-) A Mama can only take so much!

Hendrick Family 11/14/2007  

Let it go, Mrs. B!! Let it all go!!

jen 11/14/2007  

Oh I need your kitchen! Can you let that go?? LOL! You are more brave than I. I have a HUGE tendency to hang onto things because of sentimental value. They really have no purpose in my life, I just can't let them go. Case-in-point... an ugly, beat up, OLD, red recliner that used to be my great uncles favorite chair. It has no purpose in our house and most of the time it's more cumbersome than comfy. But everytime I trip on it I am reminded of when he did. Too precious. But yes, we need to let things go. You go first. :) LOl! Love you girl! Have a blessed week with your boy!

Fran 11/14/2007  

That sweet, sweet son!! Would you please tell him there is a darling mother of three in TN that needs an extra hand??!! :)

You are blessed Momma!! He sounds like a gem. You'll be fine too I bet. Enjoy these wonderful memories with him.

I love hearing from you and thank you for making me feel so loved each time you visit my blog. You are the true light for Jesus that shines so brightly for all to see.

Blessings to you and your family!

jennyhope 11/14/2007  

i tagged you on my blog

CrownLaidDown 11/14/2007  

You are precious, my friend! I think of how God is widening that big and full heart of yours for more...He is faithfully going to fill each space. And I want in the overspill of it...for I know it is gonna be good!

Have a blessed holiday! Feel free to just drop in by the Smith home any time at all...you've been adopted as family.

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God 11/15/2007  

as a mom of a son, that melts my heart..


I know the holiday will be extra special..

I will send a prayer your way for God's mercies to make it extra special.. embrace His love

thank you for sharing this story.. I love the good stories

love ya

Shonda 11/15/2007  

What a blessing from the Lord through your son. I know there are times in my life the Lord convicts me to clean out my house. For me it seems that what He calls me to do in the natural, He's doing with me in the spiritual. Sometimes He has me let go of things so He can fill me up with new things. Isaiah 42:9-10; Isaiah 43:18-19.

Love & blessings in Christ

jennyhope 11/15/2007  

I had read a quote in one of Phillip Yanceys books that we are so can hardly depend on God for our daily bread because we stockpile things here in America. I was so convicted by that. Anyway, can't wait for the update!!! I need some help doing the same thing. love jenny

Lindsee 11/16/2007  

Okay, so earlier this week I posted a LONG comment on your blog and them my internet decided to freak out! Seriously, I was so annoyed!! But, catching up on all your blogs...this week has been crazy. But, can I say how precious this post is? I'll have to show my mom...or my brother for that matter. Although, I do'nt know if she'd let us do anything!!

Anyway, I heard Beth was great. I am so sad I couldn't go, I had to be at TRUTH that night. It was an important night. I even heard about the cookies. Yummmm!!!

Are you doing Breaking Free in the spring?! I'll be there!!!

And yes, Sally and Jon made it to there safely. I kind of updated about that on my blog.

Okay, sorry for the longest commment ever. But, I feel like I haven't talked in forever!!

Have a great weekend!!


Anonymous 11/16/2007  

My Dear Bev -
Today is your birthday and you are a different person then you were a year ago. Willing to give God time and space in your life, He has and is changing you. I stand in awe of your willingness to allow God to do his work of grace.

Your love for our Lord, for me,our children and others is marking me. One of the joys of my day is hearing your heart as I read what you written as a testimony and an encouragement concerning the touch of God on your life.

I love you dearly,


CrownLaidDown 11/16/2007  

Christie's blog address is http://everfaith.wordpress.com/

Love and prayers to you my Friend, Bev!

Kristin 11/16/2007  

Hi Bev! Wow, I am so impressed with your son. I so need someone to come and do that for me as I tend to hold on tightly to things with sentimental value. If he's ever in California...:)
Praying God's blessings on you and your sweet family as we celebrate this Thanksgiving holiday. Thank you for being such a faithful, encouraging friend.

connorcolesmom 11/17/2007  

That is so impressive. I try to do that for my parents when I am at their house but my dad get so upset when I throw away the salad dressing that exp in 1997 or the medicine that expired in 95. They crack me up. I, on the other had tend to throw everything away. If I can't find a place for it or if it has been laying around for too long - out it goes!!
My boys know better than to leave toys on the floor b/c I will grab a trash bag in a flash and have them going to the Goodwill :)
Love ya,

Praying for Our Friend Joanne Psalm 131:3 Waiting on God. Hope Now. Hope Always.

House of Blessing Tribal Childrens Home

House of Blessing Tribal Childrens Home
"Whoever welcomes a little child in My Name, welcomes Me." Matthew 18:5 We have posted pictures of the orphans receiving their gifts from you. Scroll down to the post entitled "Today Was the Big Day." Many orphans didn't own anything of their own, but now do, because of you.

My Family

My Family
Britt, Blair, Bev, Bob, Brooke, Barrett


I've met some amazing women through blogging. I would love to hear from you. My personal e-mail is:
I have another blog where I blog daily as a small group of us read through the New Testament this year. It's called A String of Pearls. We carry each other on mats (when we just can't walk anymore) to Jesus and sweet things like that.


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