The Story of STUFF!

Before Rachel and I left for vacation, a few days ago, we decided to attempt one of those multi-family yard sales.  We cleared out about $270 worth of stuff,  but the money was really only half of our goal.  Our bigger goal is to, one day, be able to actually be able to park one of our cars in our garage.  But, after 12 years of marriage, and 6 children along the way, Rachel and I seem to have accumulated, without even noticing it, a ton of …STUFF! There really is no other word for it other than — STUFF.

We have kid stuff, college stuff, dog stuff, bike stuff, baby stuff, winter stuff, summer stuff, fall stuff, stuff for when you fall, Christmas stuff, Halloween stuff,  Easter stuff, Thanksgiving stuff, lawn stuff, TV stuff, tubs to store our stuff, clothing stuff, shoe stuff, sports stuff, office stuff, tool stuff, phone stuff, computer stuff, school stuff, book stuff, furniture stuff, kitchen stuff, music stuff, toy stuff, sentimental stuff, donated stuff, random stuff, unidentifiable stuff, heirloom stuff, valuable stuff, cheap stuff, old stuff, new stuff, big stuff, little stuff, broken stuff and even unopened stuff. Well, I am hereby placing a moratorium on… STUFF.

Moratorium: Noun

1) A period of time in which there is a suspension of a specific activity until future events warrant a removal of the suspension or issues regarding the activity have been resolved.

I know what you are thinking.  You are thinking this is the time in the blog where Barry usually makes a Biblical point and tells us to quit buying so much stuff, right? Well, today I am not going to preach about our nations (and my) love for stuff. Or, even how we should really think about having less stuff. Why?  Because this fantastic video, called The Story of Stuff,  is going to do it for me! (ha!) Seriously, This video has been viewed more than a million times and will really make you think. Again, while I don’t agree with everything that is said in the video I do believe that it should challenge us on our God-given stewardship mandate.  It might even make you think about What Matthew 6:19 talks about.

19-21“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.

Well, what do you think? Do you have too much stuff? Have you tried to cut back? What has worked on your “Stuff Diet” and when do you find yourself being a “Sucker for Stuff”! Do you own a Magic Bullet? Ab Flex?  Do you have a storage unit? How do you think other nations view us? Do we have a responsibility with our stuff? Are we fooling ourselves to think our happiness will be found in our stuff? What do you teach your kids about stuff?

Well, if you’re not a subscriber to the OB blog you should be! It would be “The Right Stuff”! Oh, Come-on!

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  • Eric Garner

    Hey Barry this is a great blog post once again. I have had countless conversations lately about, “stuff” how much our nation has when it comes to having the ability to hoard it. The show American pickers is a great example. There have been moments in episodes where the owner hasn’t been amongst the stuff in 10 years but won’t let go of a an oil can for 30 bucks. Something incredible physiological going on in the brain. I’ve also seen a woman lose her kids and marriage for hoarding animals. Wow! One woman had 365 cats! Awesome post!

  • The Ordained Barista

    You know, pickers is a perfect example about stuff. I have some things that I do like to collect but the question to ask is when does it turn to “worship” of stuff. I will admit that “Pickers” and Pawn Stars are two of Rachel and my my favorite shows. To be honest, other than Philly sports, it’s the only TV I watch. Not sure what that says about me.

  • Matt @ The Church of No People

    My wife and I are very mindful of not accumulating too much stuff, which is easier said then done. We live in a pretty modest house without a lot of extra space. I’ve seen people move into new homes because they’ve “grown out” of the old place. What it’s more like though is their junk has outgrown the place. We don’t want to be surrounded with junk!

  • The Ordained Barista

    I’m with you! I never want my stuff to be the reason that we move on to a bigger house. With 6 children who are all going to be as big as me, I think it will be a people–not junk, issue.

  • dennis the mennis

    I have wayyyyyyyy too much stuff. :)

  • The Ordained Barista

    I am with you buddy. You have all that cool photography stuff though! I find that sometimes stuff doesn’t seem as bad if it has a cool factor to it? But, it’s all stuff int he end! Keep up the good work brother!

  • Kimberly Jefferson

    Ok! I am finally over whatever illness it was that I had, so I can concentrate and comment on this particular blog. Stuff! I relocated back to PA in January, leaving Kory to clean out our apartment. He commented to how much stuff I had acquired over a year and half. It wasn’t just the furniture, it was the 3 different wardrobes, which not only consisted of professional clothing and seasons but also each in three different sizes. I lost a lot of weight so much of the stuff wasn’t going to fit me. He said I had about 10 coats, which he didn’t understand, that one coat doesn’t fit every occasion. Then he proceeded to inform me I had boxes of craft stuff and boxes of paper, yes paper. I am a writer and I need paper. He put the stuff in storage for me, then came out here with the bare necessities like I did. After all we are sharing a 2 bedroom apartment with my 22 yr old daughter and 6 yr old granddaughter. This got me thinking about simplifying my life. Ok I have been down this road several times, starting over, and I always shed myself of material possessions. He also mentioned I had 5 boxes of books. This time however I did take an assessment of myself, and think why do I have such an obsession with paper and books. Books I always like to have my own copy, but I realized that if I read the book and think later I might refer back to it then and only then should I add it to my library. Paper now this is something I obsess about and I know it’s a psychological thing, because I have been diagnosed with a condition known as hypergraphia. Hypergraphia is an overwhelming urge to write. It is not itself a disorder, but can be associated with temporal lobe changes in epilepsy and mania in the context of bipolar disorder. Many famous people have it. Mine is associated with my seizures, I might be bipolar but I don’t know lol. I buy pens and paper by bulk, I can’t resist it, I organize and rationalize when I do it. Each notebook or journal is for something specific. Pens depend on my mood, at one time I was carrying 100 pens in my bag, several of one specific kind. Kory tried to help me condense it but I couldn’t, now I just try to carry one particular pen with me. When I came out here from Utah I had one notebook and 2 pens, I couldn’t carry the rest because of the airlines. Have I shed this, not really I have only minimized it. I have 10 notebooks, each with only 1 or 2 pages written on. I start the project and sometimes don’t finish it. Never do I use the notebooks for something else, they usually get passed onto other people with the written pages torn out. When I watched the video I was blown away because I didn’t realize how much spending even though may seem like not much, it is still a contribution. Not saying I will be able to fix this obsession but I can try. This my story and I am sticking to it. I could write more but I will end for now. Have a blessed day!