Moving onto a sailboat means minimalistic living. Every day I spend several hours sorting personal belongings.
Some things I’ll keep and store for when we return to land living. I haven’t a clue when that will be and don’t want to pay a fortune for storage, so these things are few. Some stuff I’m throwing away. I’m taking boxfuls to local thrift stores such as Bibles for Missions or MCC where the proceeds will go to a good cause. We’ll sell our furniture and put those funds toward work that needs to be done on the boat and supplies needed to live aboard.
Some stuff, like the fabric left over from Christmas crafts I made ten years ago, is easy to release. Other things, like meaningful books, my silk bridal bouquet, the dresses I wore to my kids’ weddings, and our super-comfortable nearly-new queen-size mattress, not so much.
Yesterday I sold my piano. Today I sold our soft tub—the portable hot tub in which my husband and I relax and enjoy our best conversations. In the next few weeks I’ll have to say goodbye to the doll bed that my grandfather built for me when I was a little girl. I’ll also part with my dining room table and hutch and my favorite leather loveseat recliner—it’s where I enjoy my quiet time and I do a lot of my writing. It’s comfortable, and I can write for hours without my back or neck getting sore. That goodbye will be a tough one.
So will saying bye to our Gold Wing motorcycle. We’ve enjoyed using it as our getaway on days when we needed to escape the pressures of ministry, but we realize that riding motorbikes is risky. There’s no way we could manage on a sailboat if we were to have an accident that left us on crutches. Better safe than sorry in this case.
Letting go of my stuff is freeing in some ways, but it’s also an emotional endeavor. When my heartstrings tug, I console myself with Matthew 6:19-21: “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will be also.”
One by one, my earthly possessions are being stripped away. I feel as though the Lord is testing my heart. How much have I depended on stuff to bring contentment? How much have I relied on material goods to make me happy? How much money have I spent on things I thought I couldn’t live without?
Saying yes to God about living on a sailboat means letting go of nearly everything I own. It also means learning to be content with little, and trusting God to provide for our needs in new ways.
So many of you have expressed excitement in this venture, and I’m grateful for your enthusiastic support and encouragement. I’m also grateful for your prayers as we continue this transition. The peace I have in the process is proof of your prayers. Wow—how’s that for alliteration?
Here’s a question for discussion: If you had to downsize significantly at this season of your life, what’s one material possession you’d find difficult to part with? As I mentioned earlier, mine is the leather loveseat.
#SignificantLifeTransitions #LearningContentment #LivingSimply