You see, I finally culled my books. I've been meaning to do it for...oh, I don't know, maybe a couple dozen years. But rather than get rid of any, I just kept adding and adding, and requiring more and more bookcases in our home. Our bedroom, which was sized quite generously back when this house was built, scared the living daylights out of me when Beve first laid out the measuring tape in our bedroom in our last house. I couldn't even imagine how we'd walk around in such a small space, once we got our necessarily large (my husband is king-sized, remember) bed in here. But we've been living here for almost a decade now, and managed to squeeze two extra bookcases in here because of my
obsession collection of books. And Beve's lived with those books, partly because he collects many things himself (like receipts!), but mostly because he's a patient man who loves me.
And it's a gargantuan thing to let go of books if one is a bibliophile. I cannot speak for others but this is what I know about myself: when I read a book I love, I want to keep it, to have it available to read again, yes; but also simply to have it in my life as MINE. To know it's there, because books mean something. Those words within are living to me. They are imbued with real life or fictional life or hope or teaching and I am made more because of them. And it's painful to let any of them go. Because I am who I am because of them. You want to know me? You could do worse than look at my bookshelves.
But there's gluttony there too. I know that. I've known it for a long time. Books that are merely fat and have added no muscle to my soul. Even (though not many) books I haven't read.
OK, that was a long-winded introduction. Or maybe a long excuse, depending on who you are. There are a couple of people in my life who (if they read this blog) would be appalled/horrified to think of me getting rid of ANY books. You should see their house. You'd know what I mean. I feel a little ashamed of myself, just thinking of that. Nevertheless, I am not them. So cull I did.
And once begun, it moved swiftly. Beve and my brother pulled books from the shelves as I told them. They didn't try to influence me, just did my bidding. I appreciated that. And now it's done. I've sent away my babies. I've donated them out into the world, where, hopefully, they'll find homes with people who will love them well. And what I kept? Well, it's enough.
Our bedroom is suddenly larger, too, without any bookcases in it. That was my goal. And I feel lighter as well. Beve will paint our room, then build one more long shelf high on our bedroom wall, to hold my journals (which are currently on the dining room table). I can cull my books, but those journals are here for the long haul.
It has made me think today about what I need to cull from my life to make it more simple and sleek spiritually. I don't know if that makes sense, but sometimes I think I spend too much time on all kinds of spiritual knowledge. Theology. Things I know ABOUT God. The more important thing is simply knowing Him. Loving Him. Or more basically, being loved by Him. Basking in His love. Marinating in it. He loves me. That's it. Just that simple. So simple even the most illiterate among us can get it, so straight-forward a child can lead us. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so. When it comes down to it, if that's all I know--all any of us know--it's enough.