My daughter pulled out her tub of “My Little Ponies” from its cubby the other day. She dug for awhile, and dug some more; picking out an item here and there. Soon she was digging with enthusiasm, then frustration, and finally she looked at me sheepishly for permission: “Can I just dump this?”
So the box threw up ponies and pony accessories all over the carpet…a crazy pile, a jumbled mass of pink and purple plastic, fake hair, and “furniture.”
It was interesting to watch her deal with the enormous mess. “Do you wanna see my favorite pony?” she asked.
She shifted the pile around a bit, and finally pulled out a pegasus, carefully, and showed her to me. Gently, she set it aside, and searched the pile for the matching crown. That, too, was pulled out carefully and set apart. Then she returned to the pile, much less enthusiastically. Picking up a pony, looking at it, throwing it down again. Shoving the pile around, pushing things back and forth, picking up another piece and chucking it down again. The favorite pony was treated with care….the rest, apparently, was just a pile of junk. Too much, too many, too messy…the whole of it was just overwhelming.
It’s easy for me to look at my kids’ toys and notice the “overwhelming.” We have so many ponies, legos, doll clothes, markers and colored pencils ….the list goes on and on of the things that I should probably weed through with my children; the things that they truly do play with, but are currently swimming in to the point of drowning. Then I take a step back and remind myself that I need to set an example in love: what things am I “swimming in” that need to be discarded or passed on? What things do I use, yet have too much of? “Paper” tops the list. Even though I do my best to stay on top of the ongoing, incoming stream of paper that enters this house, it consistently overpowers me at some point. Books should probably make the list, too; although I do my best to cull books regularly, and our shelves do have space, I know without a doubt there are more I could let go.
Time to take the plank out of my own eye, so I can help them with the speck in theirs…..