Trek to the Manger (DQ3)

Trek to the Manger Ch 3Today’s chapter has two themes, really.

The imbalance of our stuff, and our tendency to keep the curtains closed. 

I’ve learned about the first theme first-hand over the past month, having downsized from 2,000 square feet to 600. There is an insane amount of stuff from my previous house, my previous life, that just isn’t going to fit in my space anymore! Not if I want to breathe air, anyways.

This chapter – this day – is about acknowledging the need for some fluidity when it comes to our possessions. Not everything we own has equal weight – equal value. And just as good flows into our lives, good must flow out. Otherwise we’re no better than the Dead Sea, choking on our own salt.

At church last Sunday, we were asked to bring our most valuable (inanimate) possession to the altar and leave it there! Until the end of the service, that is. But it was sobering, even for those twenty minutes or so, to realize that our stuff is just stuff.

So, I’ve got to ask… What “stuff” of yours would make it into the deserted island scenario? Are there three things that would bring you comfort or hope if you were all alone? This reminds me of a very recent experience with wildfires in Arizona. You can read about it here, if you have time.

As far as curtains go, I get that they have a purpose. In Arizona, they help to keep our homes cool in the heat of the day. That, and they make it possible for us to watch movies before dark without the interference of the sun’s glare on the screen. They’re great for privacy, too. Very functional, curtains.

But they also keep out the light.

Comfort, leisure activities and private spaces are great, but I have a feeling that God is more interested in turning up the heat! Getting us up off of our couches! Opening our homes and hearts to our neighbors!

Letting the Light pour in!

I challenge you to write in the margins of your Trek to the Manger book over the next few weeks, taking note of those people and activities and things that lighten your load and shine light in your life. Whenever you want to share one of these moments or people with us – right here – use the Reply option (best to click on the title, above, then scroll down and look for the Reply section).

By the way – you can also Reply to the comments of others, building community online as we take this devotional journey together!

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9 thoughts on “Trek to the Manger (DQ3)

  1. In Wisconsin, houses have basements….what a great place to collect and hold on to “stuff” you don’t need! The problem with “stuff”, for me, is that there is usually a memory attached. So it feels like getting rid of the thing means getting rid of the memory. So watching my things go at the big “moving sale” was hard. And how about the things valuable to you that you couldn’t even give away? Crushing!
    It appears our downsizing has been successful. We have less stuff and don’t miss any of the old stuff. New rule: something new comes in, something old goes out. And I don’t miss my basement anymore. 😎

  2. Recently I have wondered if someone robbed my garage would there really be anything I couldn’t live without. This after months of sorting and donating have taken place. I now realize that “stuff” is often “nonsense”. On this trip to CA in all the Christmas and tourist events I reminded myself – no shopping!! But the shiny Christmas displays and CA boutique windows are truly tempting! So I’m ready to decide 3 desert island essentials but it will take some thought. Today my adult children are one source of light on my darkest days. Lord knows I have always considered them His precious gift to me.

    • I am right there with you in the blessing department when it comes to adult children! What a gift to have raised these beautiful people, despite our imperfect parenting. I’m curious to know what your three island-keepers will be!

  3. We’re downsizing, too. Half my closet is going somewhere besides me. Its letting go of part of who I’ve been, as i just retired. I know I’m still me, but the ‘facade’ is gone…not a bad thing. Gilding is not always a bad thing, either. But I’m truly enjoying the freedom of having simplified… now that I’m on the other side!!

  4. So one big thing for me would be my piano. I know it’s big and heavy and probably wouldn’t wash ashore on a deserted island, but when I have the time and freedom to just sit and play…gosh, there isn’t much better than spending time at my piano. I would also want my nook…loaded with a ton of books! (is that cheating?) but honestly, I would love to be surrounded by books…so a nook would be a virtual library! And lastly..my bed. Okay, this might be a cop out because I’m bringing to pieces of furniture…but… my bed makes me so happy! I share it with my husband (that makes me happy), I curl up to read in it (which makes me happy), it’s where I study scripture…it’s where my pets curl up to snuggle…and it’s comfortable!!!

    Those are my things: Piano, Nook (fully loaded with books), and my bed. Those are really all I need…

    Secret confession: I have often admired the life of the Amish. God, hard work,and family are the focus of their lives… It’s a simple life, but it sounds so refreshingly simple and has priorities in order. I often wonder what life would be like to just simplify and refocus on what is truly important: God, family, and hard work. 🙂

  5. We are only downsizing 80 square feet. However, it is amazing how much “stuff” you accumulate that is unnecessary. I am looking forward to this process.

    I would take my Kindle full of all types of books. I would also take sheet music to sing to as I do not play an instrument. Last I would take a comforter to wrap in. Nothing said the island was warm!

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