When we started this learn-at-home journey, we decided that it would be absolutely fabulous to take out a library membership. Way back when in high school, I volunteered in a library for a while. I love the smell, the proximity of stories, the quiet hush. And we are really into books around here, inspired by tales and pictures and having a little variety is great! Seeing as there was a library right close to where Jon works, we thought that would be a nifty little arrangement. Combine a visit with dad at The Office, a trip to the books AND maybe, on a super-energy day, squeeze in a swim at the aquatic centre.
Great arrangement, right??
Since we are not a part of this community, we were required to pay Library Fees. Not a HUGE lump sum, but certainly enough, and $80 later ensured that we would have access to books for a whole year.
HOWEVER. What they did NOT tell us was that they were planning to RENOVATE the library, and in doing so would actually be closed for a portion of the year. As building issues tend to do, that time has extended from 3 months till AT LEAST 6 months.
Now, knowing that they would be closed for a season, I decided against my "less is more" mantra, and ended up with over 130 books. And I've inwardly -- and often outwardly!! -- scowled about it ever since!! Do you know how much time it takes to ensure that 130 books (that don't technically belong to you!) get back on the shelf at the end of the day (some days, they never do find their way back and it makes me even grumpier!) or stay accessible so that they are not lost (I'm not looking forward to making sure that we have them all to return!)? Did you know that without at least some effort of intentionality, it is also hard to make sure that all books get read (most get set aside in the search for the favorites)? In fact, just to make sure M was getting through all the readers, I made a LIST of them, and once she'd read each book (out loud, to a grown up :P) once, she was allowed to pick a treat at the local MCC.
As I've picked up books and sorted books and mended books --- I've been reminded about the times when I let "much-ness" take over my life. From too many commitments to too many sweets ;), there are so many times when I have so much that I'm not even sure what to do with it all. It seems like a terrible thing to complain about, but I'm trying to let the LORD teach me about the simplicity of life --- and what the means for me, my family, and how we can walk that out here and now.
BTW, I did contact the library a couple of times regarding their lack of honesty with us. Really, if we'd known that the library was going to be closed, even for just a few months, we'd have made a different decision. And so far, I have yet to receive any acknowledgment from them, let alone any sort of refund for fees that we could not use. Again, another important reminder to me to practice openness and honesty as often as possible in my own life, lest I do this to someone else!!