It’s Not About the Bins

I have to give my sister credit for the title of this blog. She’s witty, an English major, and a writer. There is a lot that unfolded this week to bring this title about. May you see the Lord and the laughter in this situation.

I was at work this past Tuesday when I got the picture below with the caption, “Hopefully, 34 bins to a new home!!” with the laughing crying emojis.

I immediately called my Mom! She answered and I quickly started saying, “Those are my bins! Those are my bins! Those are my bins!” My mom got quiet and after a moment said, “I’ll replace them.” It was then that I read the message that I hadn’t processed yet, “All gone!!!”

I talked with my mom a few minutes longer and then hung up. My mind was spinning and all I could do was lay my head down on my desk. I was completely overwhelmed. I actually had to call my mom back so she could pray over me so that I could again focus on work and the deadlines I had that day.

Most of you are probably thinking, “What’s the big deal?” I actually had to take some time later that night to process everything before I fully figured out that it wasn’t actually about the bins.

Before I get to that part, I want to look back and explain how we got to this point. That might help you understand my state of mind

  1. The Lord has had me move a lot in the past 10 years. Because of all the moving, I have gained a lot of tubs that I use to pack. I don’t use boxes as they attract bugs during storage as well as break down more easily. I usually would buy a handful with each move to replace boxes or cheap bins that were breaking. This last move was the first time that I had been able to use bins entirely and I was thankful!
  2. Two years ago at the end of my last move, I realized that I didn’t have a good spot to store my bins (now numbering around 34). I live about an hour away from my parents. They have an attic and don’t ever use it because access is hard for them. I asked if they would be ok with me storing my bins there and they gave their blessing. I toted all the bins up to the attic myself. I even offered a few of my bins to one of my sisters, Carissa. She passed on them and I donated them to a local second hand shop.
  3. This past week one of my brothers and his wife were in town. They offered to help my parents with a few projects around the house. I usually am up once a week helping with things (my dad has Parkinson’s Disease). So I was happy that Mom and Dad would be able to get a few more things done.
  4. My mom mentioned that they were working in the garage that Tuesday. Nothing was mentioned about the attic and I thought that they never stored anything up there, so I didn’t even think about my bins.
  5. My mom thought there was a box of books in the attic (she’d had another brother put a few things up there). She sent Josh up. He told her there were a bunch of empty bins, a bin of my sister’s stuff, and a box of Christmas items. My mom couldn’t for the life of her remember why the empty bins were in the attic. She thought those were the ones I’d offered to my sister, Carissa, that she had passed on. Mom decided to be proactive and get them out of the garage.
  6. My Mom normally talks with me about things she’s clearing out, but it never crossed her mind to ask me about the bins. She knew that I had been swamped at work this week and had a lot of deadlines.
  7. They decided to put the bins on the side of the road with a free sign in order to get them moved out quickly.
  8. My sister, Claire, who was home at the time, knew they were my bins, but never saw them and was unable to intercede for me.
  9. The bins were gone in 7 minutes flat.
  10. My mom was so excited about the work they had done! She wanted to share her joy and sent me the above picture and text messages. She never thought that it might have a negative impact on my day.

So what did I realize later that night? Mainly, that it wasn’t really about the bins. Yes, that was stressful, but not the main struggle. The Lord revealed three things that I was struggling with and one truth about Himself.

  1. Work – I’ve got a ton on my plate right now. Adding another thing to sit and figure out stressed me out! My bins were different sizes and used for different things. The thought of trying to figure out what has taken me the last six years to build, just about short circuited my brain.
  2. Stability – I crave dependability, which is kind of funny, since I’ve moved so much. I’m pretty sure I have at least one more move ahead of me. I felt comforted knowing that I was prepared for any move with my bins. I know it’s a false sense of stability, but it made me feel better. My lack of bins immediately made me feel unprepared which equals lack of security for me.
  3. Reliance – My mom normally has a pretty good memory. When she is overloaded and overwhelmed, things are harder for her to remember. The bins had been up there for two years, but it was a piece of information that didn’t pertain to her. My dad has been hospitalized because of his Parkinson’s a couple of times this year and they are learning a new “normal.” So she has a lot on her plate. So it was a perfect setting for her to forget my bins. Being single, my parents are my β€œgo to” people. When I don’t feel like I can rely on them, that’s hard for me. I’ve been working a lot this year to rely on them less or in different ways because of their changing circumstances and needs. This was yet another reminder of that change. That’s hard.

One of my dear friends often says, “we chose what we feel.” I didn’t want to feel upset, but also didn’t know how to process all of this. I knew my mom felt bad and I didn’t want to make her feel worse. I wanted to let it go, but also knew that I needed to feel and process it all. So I took some time Tuesday night. I even called one of my brothers and lamented with him. πŸ™‚ I knew this was a pure accident and no one’s fault. Just a very weird and crazy set of circumstances that lead to this moment.

Thankfully, the Lord is bigger then my “bin-tastrophy.” I still remember the Lord asking me if I believed He was still good. My answer is yes!

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16:34

Thankfully, it was just bins and not something that could not be replaced. Thankfully, my mom was able to get some projects done this week that brought her joy. Thankfully, the Lord allowed me process time and reminded me that He is good. Thankfully, we’ll laugh about this story, maybe not today, but hopefully tomorrow. πŸ™‚