Stories that Matter

The Crash

Ever been in a spot where you’re all prepared for one thing and then, before you can take your next breath, something happens to flip the entire day upside down?

Sure you have. I think we’ve all been there at some point. Maybe you’re there right now. That’s okay. Grab a coffee. Put your feet up. And just breathe.

So a couple weeks ago, my husband and I were all set for a relaxing evening. We were having some of his work colleagues round for a drink, then he and I planned to go out for dinner. Just as our guests were about to arrive, hubby retrieved a few wine glasses from one of our (many) china cabinets. A second later I heard the most horrendous crash.

And this . . .

A shelf had given way, resulting in several more coming down. And he’s standing there pushing up against the door because all the stuff that’s broken and all the stuff that’s still intact, it all wants to come crashing out onto the floor. And of course, the doorbell rings. It was like an SNL skit, but not so funny in the moment.

Well, what do you do? Pick up the pieces and move on. Literally. I let our guests in, we swept up what had already fallen out and he taped the doors shut and we said we’d deal with it in the morning. Because sometimes that’s all you can do.

Pick up the pieces and move on.

One thing you need to know – my husband collects antiques. It’s kind of his thing and he really enjoys going to auctions. Which is the reason we have not one but many china cabinets. So everything in that cabinet? It was old. Probably not replaceable, at least not for the price he would have paid.

What do you do when it all comes crashing down? 

It’s just stuff.  That’s what we said to each other later that evening over [several] drinks. “It’s just stuff.” Yeah, it’s not fun to let go of, because let’s be honest, we like our stuff. But really, when it all comes crashing down, and everything does at some point, you’ve got to let it go.

Your stuff may not be antique crystal and china. It could be your job, your home, a relationship, a publishing contract that may or may not happen . . . there are many things that hold us down, grip hard and refuse to let go. Many things we convince ourselves mean so much more than a lot of other, maybe more important things in our life. It’s not true. That stuff you think you love so much? I bet if you really think about, you can probably let it go.

Because when it all comes down, what’s left? 


What do you need the most in your life? What can you let go of and still live with? Is that one thing, your stuff, really that important?

I’ve had to ask myself these kinds of questions many, many times over the years under various circumstances. No doubt I’ll have to ask them again. And again. But our crash, though not fun at the time, reminded me once again that you just never know. Reminded me not to hold my stuff so close. And to remember that whatever I’ve been given can just as easily be taken away. And I need to be okay with that. I have to be okay with that.

So, Monday. Here we go. Are you willing to take a good look at your stuff this week? Ready to let some of it go?

I’m with ya. Let’s do this.



  1. Winnie Thomas on October 31, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Wonderful, insightful post, Cathy! We all need this reminder about what is important in life. Some of the things we think are important really aren’t if we look at the big picture. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Cathy West on October 31, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      Thanks for reading, Winnie! Sometimes life’s lessons need to be shared. 🙂

  2. Bonnie Roof on October 31, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Wonderful post, Cathy – thank you!! Outside of the basics, there is little we really need-even though “things” are wonderful, pretty, entertaining, inspiring, and even useful, etc.. Years of serious illness have made me more fully realize what is really important: my salvation (foremost), His Word, prayer, friends and family, health, freedom. Yet, He has blessed me with so much more – I’m so glad some of those pleasures include His beautiful world, books, and music!!

    • Cathy West on October 31, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      Bonnie, you continue to be an inspiration to me and many others. 🙂

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