Our garage is stuffed to the gills with our extras. Stuff for garage sales, stuff to give away, stuff to donate. Some stuff to throw away, perhaps. This is the staging area as we clear things out of the house.
And in the back of the recently-added stuff lives all the stuff that was already in the garage... tools, home care supplies. A nice toolchest filled with tools. Power tools. Paint and wallpaper supplies. A power jack, an electronic laser level thingie. The detritus of years of home ownership and home repair. Stuff.
And it happens that very recently a family returned from Bolivia. They are very dear friends whom we visited in Bolivia in January. He used to be in construction here, before moving south, and they needed to return here. I had a light-bulb moment... he could use those tools as he reestablishes his business efforts here. Ding! Problem solved!
He came yesterday with a pickup truck and a friend. I was excited to see the back of the garage clear out as the pickup filled up. I was thrilled to know that this very lovely family will have a easier re-start with their life here, not having to invest in so many basic and electric tools. This was win-win - exactly what we have hoped for. He was very grateful and delighted to reconstitute his life here.
Yet... it was also sad. A part of me grieved, seeing these things leave, things that we had accumulated to care for our nest, our home. Somewhat, I grieved for the money we spent on tools that we used once, money we spent when there seemed to be so much of it. But mostly I grieved seeing the Home-Dream as it was again, in more little cuts, deconstructed.
Then I remembered - yes, this is EXACTLY what we have dreamed. The ability to lighten the load, to remove the shackle on our ankles, the shackles that have kept us here in Kansas and limit our ability to serve as Bible teachers in other places. These things, this stuff, keep us from flying to our next dream, our next adventure.
I kept feeling like the stuff kept us padded, protected, somehow. Made us feel 'safe' as we had the ability to care for our own repairs, our own home improvement. As we clean out other home-stuff, it feels as if the padding is being removed - both a good and bad feeling. With the padding, we are less exposed and more protected perhaps, but also we are less mobile and flexible and free with all that padding! The protection turns into a heavy shell that prevents us from moving freely.
I feel lighter and more hopeful as I look at the back of the garage, the almost-empty shelves. Yes, a bit ambivalent, but mostly excited with the hope of a big step nearer our real dreams.