Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | November 28, 2008

Layer upon layer

I don’t really have enough time to make this a well- worded, cohesive piece of work.  Like I ever really do that anyway!  I’m just bursting at the seams with all the thoughts and revelations rolling around in my head and I just had to get them down before I forget.

As you know, I’ve really been battling my materialism.  How much mindless, useless junk I fill my life with.  I’ve been filling up more bags by the week.  I so want to be controlled by the love of Christ, not by what I can get next, then blow up at my children because they can’t keep it all picked up.  It’s a terrific, challenging, liberating struggle with my flesh!

Now, I’m really dealing with how this affects my children.  I’ve been delighted with how easy it has been to get rid of so many toys, but there are other areas that are much more difficult.

Books.  Oh, boy.  I would rather not deal with this issue, but the Lord is forcing my hand.  I have always longed to build a humongous library for my children.  While this sounds like a worthy goal, I’m finding myself in doubt now.  I’ve always had a passion for buying them books.  If I hear of a great one, I must have it.  I’d been reasoning to myself that this is how they will be educated.  Pour in as much knowledge as I can.  The more well-read they are, the better off they will be.  Well, guess what.  They will NEVER be able to read everything out there!  And here is the main point I’ve been trying to get to:


Why do I think I must keep it full all the time?  Is meditating, memorizing, and living the word of God really going to be that attractive if they are always in another world?  Sure, books can teach them a whole lot, but are they missing out on the real world in the meantime?  No, I’m not just talking about fiction.  I know they do need well-chosen books to learn from, but do they really need 15 books on butterflies and 33 books about the solar system?  Sheesh, talk about information and sensory overload.

And do they even appreciate what they have?  When I was a little girl, I had a limited library.  I would have drooled over the  one my children have.  But you know what?  I still remember those books.  I have memories of reading certain books with my mother.  My children have no idea what they have and they frequently walk on their books when they walk through the room.  I have cheapened what should be precious possesions by supplying them with more than they can possibly appreciate.  I have robbed my children of the joy of books by giving them too many books! How come this has taken me so long to see?  Thank you, Lord for showing me this.

Just books?  Uh, no.  There are so many other areas.  Movies, games, art supplies, you name it.  I’ve got so much work and retraining to do.  They must learn to be content with less. I must learn to be content with less FOR them.  They need to learn to play with each other even more.  And to contribute to the running of the household MORE than they play!  Have I been training them to constantly indulge their flesh instead of dying to it and finding joy in serving others?  I am more conformed to this world than I ever thought possible.

Thank God for his mercy!

Does this make sense?



  1. Way to go Kim! I remember feeling just as you are feeling. I longed for my children to have things, but the Lord kept opening my eyes to the same things you are discovering. We gradually slimmed down the children’s toys to one small box in the girl’s room and one in the boys room, and we got rid of most of their books. The children didn’t miss any of the things at all, and I was shocked, but relieved. Then when we moved to Argentina, everything was left behind with the exception of the children’s school books, and it has been a grand adventure ever since. The children have become quite ingenious little people. They make things from materials they find laying around, they want to help around the house more, they love to go exploring and learn things firsthand. Every book that comes into the house is now cherished, and I no longer feel trapped in the idea that they have to be entertained with some novelty item. The whole experience has been liberating to us all, and we feel very blessed by it.
    I pray you keep running the race for His kingdom.

    God bless,

  2. Yeah for you! I struggle with this, too. The Lord showed me recently how hoarding books was not productive for my family, no matter how much I justified it! I just took several boxes to the local library, sold some online, and listed many more on BookMooch. I now have room on my shelves for all of the rest and they are organized in a way that I can actually find them!

    I kept readers and chapter books, much-loved children’s books, and adult fiction and non-fiction that I knew I would benefit from reading. I also kept our encyclopedias, dictionary, and some workbooks that my daughter will be getting into soon. Other than that, I just told myself that any educational books we might need we can get from the library when we do that particular study. How freeing!

    I used to go to library book sales and come home with several boxes of books, any book I could find that I thought we might use some day. Now, I’m a lot more discerning and I hope I don’t fall into the trap again! I know my hubby was tired of always stepping over books and hearing me ask for more shelves!

    I will pray for discernment as the Lord leads you to weed out this collection of yours…believe me, I know how hard it is to part with your library!


  3. I totally hear you. As an elementary teacher and then children’s librarian, it’s been easy to collect books. Most of them I got for free during my public school teaching days (through teacher points in Scholastic). Then, of course, I became a book reviewer and am now having nice hardback children’s books shipped to me for FREE by the boxfull twice a year. I’m still trying to decide where to donate them after I review them because they are absolutely lovely books that long to be used.

    I firmly believe in utilizing public libraries when possible. Check their gift policy online and see if they’d accept several boxes full. And when I want a new book, I try to first suggest it to both the public and academic libraries nearby so that they’ll have what I want and I don’t have to pay for it (well, actually I suppose I do pay for it with my taxes). They’ve been very accomodating. You’d be surprised at how few recommendations they get. Then you can have access to 15 books on butterflies and 33 on the solar system, but they live outside your home. YAY! Now, if I can just get my younger children to keep from destroying the books we borrow, we’re set. It happens more often than I care to admit. 😦

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