There are things in our home and storeroom that are very dear to my heart. I call them treasures knowing most of them won’t matter far beyond my life.
They are my temporary treasures.
Already some have had to be tossed because they were ruined by age, rust, and even some mildew although I’ve been careful with them.
It’s just the way things are this side of heaven.
In one box is my favorite doll, Chatty Cathy. Tucked in beside her is my mom’s doll. They are wrapped in my baby blankets, 2 buntings made for my by great-grandmother, and my fancy baby dresses.
All together I have 12 plastic drawers and 3 cardboard boxes. What delights me about these old things are the memories of the people attached to them. Fifty-seven years of things not worth anything to others, but of tender earthly value to me.
Every now and then (once a year or so) I bring them one by one out to my craft table. I take a deep breath and take out each piece. The one requirement is a full box of tissues because they are going to give my heart a great big work over.
This box contains memories from school. It’s amazing what fits in a small cardboard box. Toys. Books. 8-tracks. A View Master. And more. So much more. Placed there by my mama. Carefully as she remembered. When she still could.
And a book we read as adults (Mama & Me) that we talked about for years to come, and that I tucked under the cardboard flaps.
It’s the cards and letters that grab me by the heart and don’t let go. Words written on the pages just for me. It is here those who wrote shared their faith, dreams, wisdom, and sorrows. It’s where they encouraged me and left inky fingerprints of their love for me.
Like this one. A card from my mom who now has dementia. Words she can no longer say, but that mattered so much when she wrote them and matter even more today. Because I need them. Her encouragement and blessing are tenderly written here. It’s not likely this one will last to the next generation – I will probably wear it out. It’s that kind of valuable.
As I put my keepsakes back, I am overcome by a wonderful sense of gratitude. (And yes, more tears.) The kind that overflows from these temporary treasures into me, and then through me into the lives of others. Legacy lessons have that kind of power.
Standing there, I am undone and redone; amazed by the the ways they love/loved me. And by how deeply some of them love/loved Jesus.
In the remembering, the desire to share Jesus is reignited in my heart one quiet testimony at a time. My temporary treasures lead me there every time. To the remembering place where I smile, weep, and am again lead closer to God.
These things will one day rot and be thrown away. But while they exist, He will use them to touch my heart and teach me old and new things.
Until Next Time,