>Fridays are my day off. And while I always hope to spend them in picturesque leisurely pursuits, more often than not, I spend Fridays cleaning. Cleaning the kitchen, doing the laundry, putting away all of the stuff that got taken out during the week that I hadn't found time to put back yet. And most Fridays, in the midst of my cleaning, I look at my overstuffed t-shirt drawer, or at my loaded bookshelves, or at the full shelves in my closets, and think to myself, "I have too much stuff." I get bothered when I think about having too much stuff. It makes me uncomfortable, and I think that feeling uncomfortable is a good thing. Feeling uncomfortable is what drives me toward donating clothes and books, and keeps me aware of the disparity between the blessings in my life and the needs in others' lives. Having too much stuff bothers me and pushes me to find ways to decrease so that others can increase.

So commercials like these REALLY bother me:

(YouTube link here.)

This tries to tell me that it's okay to have too much, because I can always just pay to keep it somewhere else. I'm not sure that we need to hear the message that it's okay to keep accumulating stuff, without consequence. I'm not sure that we need to hear the message that over-consumption is just a normal part of life, or that the ability to buy more than our basic necessities is a right rather than a blessing.

This article takes an interesting look at the phenomenon of public storage, and the various ways that people utilize it. It's an interesting commentary on our culture's relationship to stuff: The Self-Storage Self.

Tomorrow night, I'll be a part of a group from St. Timothy participating in Sleep Out Saturday, an event to raise awareness about homelessness and to raise funds for Bridge Communities, an organization that works to help homeless families move from homelessness to self-sufficiency. I'm doing it because there are too many people in my own backyard who struggle to meet even their basic needs. Definitely puts the question of "stuff" in perspective, doesn't it...

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