Well, we left our 'garage house' two and a half weeks ago. We came back inside, into regular life.
The first day that we were back in our normal house and Caleb went back to work, I kept looking out the window at the spigot where we washed our dishes and got water to drink while we were doing our 'garage project' and feeling nostalgic. I couldn't put my finger on what exactly I was feeling...but I'd glance out there every so often and smile a sentimental smile. It felt bittersweet. And I had expected to feel victorious. Relieved. 'Good riddance, garage' kind of feelings.
Perhaps the reason it felt more bittersweet to move inside was because of what greeted me when we returned to the house:
Crap. All over the place.
We just have SO FREAKING MUCH STUFF! We spent the week living with so much less. No toys. Two sets of clothes. One cement floor to sweep. A few pots and pans and a cup, bowl, and spoon each.
Not that much to take care of.
But this, on the other hand. This is ALOT to take care of.
So I kind of missed the simplicity of the garage when we came back inside.
I'm thankful for that feeling, though, because the realization that I have SO MUCH, alot of times TOO MUCH, has carried over into other areas of my life.
Our daughter had her 5th birthday four days after we moved back inside and we had planned a big bash. We do a big party with friends for every milestone birthday (1, 5, 10, 13, 16...), so when I say we moved back inside, I really should say we flew back inside...to start prepping for the party.
But I was so grateful to have done the garage week right before her party because it helped me realize that everything doesn't have to be perfect. In some mysterious way, I felt more free to realize that my party-planning, my decorating, my ability to be able to pull off a stunning birthday party or not, has NOTHING to do with my worth. I can just be...me. And that's enough. No matter what people think. I just present who I am, and disengage myself from whether people like it or not. Because my worth is SET apart from their conclusions. It's set in God's love for me and approval of me. And I should clarify that that is pretty much NEVER my default way of thinking. I always feel like I have to prove that I'm good enough. And it's a stressful, overwhelming feeling. But on this occasion, I felt grace to be restful in the middle of the preparations. On a slightly humorous note, the phrase that kept rumbling around in my mind as I prepped was that 'people and their opinions can kiss my butt.'
Obviously a very spiritual thought.
But anyway, probably the biggest thing that is happening inside of me as a result of this 'garage project' week is this thought of 'enough.' I think that feeling a lack throughout the week helped me to realize how often I look to things to fill me up, to make me feel satisfied. Over and over and over again, I look to:
- new clothes, a new style
- yummy food
- a break from the daily grind
to satisfy me.
I've realized that I do that for a long time. Maybe for a year, I've been asking the question in my heart, 'What do I do when I know I look to things to satisfy my soul...and I know theoretically that they can't...but I still want them so much???'
But some kind of new clarity, new freedom came to me in that week of intentionally lacking normal things, and feeling the physical discomfort of the lack. My eyes felt open in a new way to see that food doesn't really satisfy. It's not enough. New clothes don't satisfy. They're not enough. Entertainment doesn't satisfy. It's not enough.
Caleb told me this phrase that has helped me understand what I'm trying to articulate:
You're nice, snack. But you're not enough. I'll enjoy you, but you're not enough.
It's been a confusing journey for me because I've thought that if I choose to not look to things to satisfy me, then I can't enjoy them.
But the thing is, I can enjoy food, and clothes, and entertainment, and rest. But I can look at them with a sort of knowing look, and, in my heart say to them:
You're nice. But you're not enough. I'll enjoy you, but you're not enough.