During my 30 Day Blogging Challenge I shared with you the temptation for missionaries to become materialistic on the mission field. I am following up that post, where I shared all that I am learning through that struggle, with a closer, more humorous look at my hoarding habits.

I’ve always considered myself a minimalist, though maybe more in theory than in practice. My husband, who finds joy in throwing things away , turned me into the puzzled person standing in her closet saying, “Where’s the shirt I bought to match this skirt? Oh yeah…I took it to Goodwill.”

But the mission field has changed me. While I don’t think I could qualify to be featured on the disturbing reality show, I think it is safe to say I am a hoarder. But I fall into a whole other category…

My name is Amber Taube, and I am a missionary hoarder.

I buy clothes and shoes 2 years ahead of time, and panic when my kids grow faster than expected. In case you were wondering, yes, we are expecting a flood.

I currently have 8 bags of chocolate chips in my pantry. The Nestle Toll House morsels only get used on occasions deemed special enough for these tiny pieces of gold. I used the bag my mom brought in July on the 1st of December, if that tells you anything. I don’t plan on using the bag of marshmallows until I hear the trumpet sound…or I get another bag, whichever comes first.

We have a goodie cabinet on lock and key. And when some careless soul leaves it vulnerable, and my vulture toddler finds her way into the stash, I nearly shed a tear to see the evidence of THREE opened packages of graham crackers on the floor. Doesn’t she know I was saving those!? …For…something…I’m not sure what.

And when my 1-year-old mess machine dumped the entire bag of decaf coffee on the floor, I grounded him until his third birthday and returned all of his Christmas presents. I didn’t really do that, but I may have if they had more than a 2 day return policy here… Have I shocked you yet?

I probably have enough baby food to feed that monster baby for a few weeks should we completely run out of food. But I’d rather feed him a piece of old bread off of the floor (or ALL that decaf) than crack one open in haste.

I have at least 6 Bath & Body foaming hand soaps resting in my bathroom cabinet. And us adults are the only ones allowed to use it. The rosewater anti-bacterial stuff is better for the kids, right? That’s what I keep telling myself anyway when I think about how much fun my kids would have with the foam. Probably too much. My daughter is obsessed with “making her hair pretty” these days with whatever she can get her hands on, including ALL of the detangling spray I’ve been saving since her baby shower anxiously anticipating the arrival of her gorgeous locks.

Have you contacted the Hoarders casting agent, yet? Maybe they can fund our first church plant!

Of course, I am exaggerating…a bit. And if we had cooking gas right now I would have made a few batches of cookies and sometimes I nearly bathe in the foaming hand soap.

I am really so thankful for the sacrifices made of those who support us, fund my hoarding habits, and enable me by sending me great stuff worth hanging onto until the moment I can truly savor the sentiment. Now, does anyone know a good therapist in Kathmandu?

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