It seems fitting that as I finish up our school year this week, we are also preparing for our neighborhood yard sale. I've never done a yard sale, I've always just given stuff away, but this year I decided to give it a try. Not being a fan of holding onto things we no longer use, this whole process has been kind of freeing! I've gone through boxes still taped closed from our move almost seven months ago and realized that we can live without that extra "stuff." It was enjoyable to make piles of things we want to sell, things to throw away, and things to donate to charity. Our basement is now a mess of piles, but the overall clutter has diminished a bit.
I was doing really well until it came time to go through the baby stuff. It was so easy to toss away old pots and pans and toys, but to put aside tiny socks and onesies...I wasn't prepared for the crush of emotions as I realized that we really didn't need to hold on to those things anymore. I was a bit sad, but I was ok until I came upon a tiny pair of shoes...My little one's Robeez, sage green with pink and brown dots on the top...a perfect fit for her tiny toes as she mastered walking. I was undone. I sobbed as I cradled those shoes and remembered. In a way I can't quite comprehend, I needed to keep those little shoes. Maybe it's because it represented such a milestone as - she who we weren't sure would live - mastered walking. Maybe it's because those shoes are a reminder of God's faithfulness in my little one's life. I'm not sure why, but those shoes are now safely tucked away in my drawer along with other precious mementos of my children. Looking at the collection as an outsider, it would seem random, but I can recall just why I kept each of those little reminders.
Motherhood is a process of letting go, of allowing our children to grow in the training and admonition of the Lord. Sometimes that means watching from the sidelines and cheering on the victories or softening the blow of a defeat, and sometimes it is a simple act of remembering where we've been and how far we have yet to go.
I think, in a way, by letting go of some of the unnecessary things in my house, I've freed up space in my life for something new. God was tugging at my soul and reminding me that if I hold on too tightly to things of the past, I won't be able to walk into the beautiful plan He has for my life. I tucked those little shoes away for now. They are there when I want to remember, but, for today, I choose to look forward to the future with joyful expectation of what God will do.