Is My Identity Lost Without My “Stuff”? {Fighting Materialism}

Figurines from across Europe.


You guys, major life transitions like this make you take stock.  Make you realize the icky, weak, vain places inside of you and your previous misconceptions about how awesome you are.


I’ve come face to face with the truth that I care about material things more than I thought I did.  I’ve long thought myself immune to materialism. The rationalizer within me still says, “Well yeah, but still not as much as MOST people.”  But the truth is, not taking our souvenirs/decorations with this move is wounding my pride a little.


I didn’t realize how much my identity as a world-travelin’ bohemian was tied up into my trinkets.


German Smokers (incense burners)

When people walk into our house they’re instantly able to pick up our nomadic vibe by the stuff we own.  The Nigerian artwork on the wall, the European knick knacks.  If you take those things away, how will people still know I’ve been lots of cool places?  How will people know I’m not just some boring white girl?!


Wooden tulips from Amsterdam.


Can you say, growing pains?  Sigh.


For now, we’re packing these things up securely and putting them in storage.  Don’t know what the future holds for them, or for us, or how soon we’ll be reunited.  But I’m trying to trust that it’s all for the best.


And that I still have enough spunk left in me to assure people I’m not just a boring white girl. Take that, materialism.




  1. *Hugs* You’re my white girl and I know how awesome you are :)

    Although we don’t have a lot of the kind of trinkets you do, we have a lot (and I mean a crap ton) of things like seashells and snake skins and owl wings (Oh my!) that we have accumulated from the various things we’ve done. Packing them up when we moved was a mother (and we only went a little further south, not across the country) but I love them. Out of everything we packed, I was the most careful in packing these. Dishes? Just throw em in a box, they don’t need padding. But seashells? Wrap each one individually please. 100 times. Then surround it with tape. And place gently in box. NO jiggling! Ha.

  2. My parents are missionaries, and the attitude that we’ve always had is that the important things are the things that you don’t mind having to repack and unpack every four years (when you have to pack up and move everything you own every few years, prioritizing things looks differently!). It sounds like these are “keepers!”

    • Jessica says:

      They definitely are! Just can’t justify the cost of shipping them right now. So I reckon they’ll hang out in storage for awhile. :) We’re only taking what we can stuff into our car. :/

  3. A quick suggestion? Take those photos that you took for this blog post and make them into 8×10’s when you get to your new home. Frame them for the wall…you will still have those awesome memories around your home to tell stories over and fondly look back to what you guys have been through. A pictures worth a thousand words…or a few wooden tulips ;)

  4. Spunky you are!!! But knowing that “stuff” does not make who we are takes courage and you seem to have that. And I am sure you are getting strength from God as well.
    Praying you will continue to listen to Him and that this journey to Canada is filled with joy, peace and grace.
    Many blessings,

  5. I totally agree with you on this one, being the owner of similar possessions. It’s not easy to refrain from putting too much importance on my carefully selected “stuff”. I think part of the reason why, for me, is that it’s so completely removed from our consumeristic, plastic, Wal-mart culture, and everything in me wants to disengage from that. Reminds me of what God says about idolatry: it’s all wrong. No matter what or who it’s wrapped up in.

  6. I can totally relate! Really hard to get rid of stuff that hold memories and some kind of power over us. But seriously those are some COOL tulips!!!! Growing up in Holland {the city not the country} I love tulips! Glad to hear you are putting them in storage. Love all of your moving posts… such encouragement! =}

  7. Sarah P says:

    I love how honest you are!


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