What You Value

I have just moved across the country and I have spent the last two weeks unpacking too many boxes to count!

It’s been quite the challenge as I try to fit 3,200 square feet of stuff into my new reality – about 1,600 square feet of space.  Also – in my former, spacious home – I had a basement.   

There are no basements in Oklahoma.

What does one do with a lifetime of stuff?!

And not only is it my stuff … but I also have numerous boxes labeled with the five names of my children. I think that they need to come and get their stuff since the youngest is about to turn 25. 

Right?!!

And can I just say one more thing?  My husband has been out of town for the past two weeks so it has been several mountains of boxes and me.

As I have unpacked … repacked … thrown away … re-arranged … prayed … set aside … and cried … I have realized something valuable.

Are you ready for a life-changing piece of information?

That which you own the most of is what you value.

Oh!  That’s good!  Let me say it again …

That which you own the most of is what you value.

1.png

I have had the opportunity to do some emotional house-cleaning as I have unpacked four decades of living as a married woman … and it has become startlingly clear to me what I truly value in life.

You see … among my possessions there aren’t many fishing poles … tool kits … or sewing machines.

As I have done a painful self-examination of the savings account of my heart … I have come to realize what is important to me in terms of earth’s treasures.

First of all … I value books.

I have boxes and boxes and boxes of books.  

Books from childhood … books about marriage … Bible commentaries … college textbooks … music books … books written by friends … historical fiction … inspiration … self-help books … biographies.

I love to read and am a self-diagnosed “read-aholic”. I have to bribe myself to do mundane household chores by telling myself, “If you do the dishes you can read for 20 minutes.”

The truth is this … I know that words hold power.

Words … and therefore books … change lives with their power.

My life has been deeply impacted by the wise words of others. I am a different woman because of the writings of Elisabeth Elliot, Carol Kent, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott, Max Lucado, Ruth Bell Graham, John Piper, Beth Moore, Charles Spurgeon, Hannah Whitall Smith … the list goes on and on and on. 

2.png

I have never met most of the authors whose books I have read but because of their written words … I know their hearts. I value their wisdom and I treasure their insight. 

“He who walks with wise men will be wise.” – Proverbs 13:20

Secondly … I value Christmas.

I don’t even want to tell you how many boxes of Christmas are currently in my garage.

I am not embarrassed by it … but even I know that it is a lot.

Can you have too much Christmas?!  Surely not!

Now, let me just tell you, because people know that I love Christmas, it is often their gift of choice to give me. So – although I love Christmas I haven’t ruined the family budget on Christmas. 

At least I don’t think that I have.

I have been given Christmas mugs … Christmas books … Christmas pictures … Christmas clocks … Christmas angels … Christmas signs … Christmas CD’s … Christmas salt and pepper shakers … Christmas soap dishes … Christmas devotionals … Christmas blankets … Christmas canister sets.

And do you know what I say to that?!  Keep Christmas coming!

Christmas is so revolutionary that we actually should be celebrating it every single day of the calendar year. 

We are a Christmas people! 

We have been given the gift of joy for every common day of our lives.  We get to splash in joy … and share joy … and dance for joy … and sing with joy … and cherish joy … simply because of Christmas.

The joy that has invaded our ordinary lives because of Christmas is eternal and miraculous! 

I’ll take Christmas on February 14 … and on the Fourth of July … and on the 4th Thursday of November!

“Do not be afraid for I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to all people; 

For unto you has been born this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:10 & 11

I value family heirlooms.

I had to decide whether or not to throw away my mother’s great uncle’s baby pictures. I didn’t do it … they are safely packed away in a storage bin.

And then … I found a dish that belonged to my grandmother. Although it is chipped beyond repair … it kindled such sweet memories that it was put into a box marked “Treasures – Save”.

I have boxes filled with the drawings and pictures and schoolwork of people who are now in their 20’s and 30’s. These people were once little and their hugs and kisses were my whole world. How can I throw that away?!

I have my father’s Bibles … and my grandfather’s commentaries … and my mother’s dining room table … and my aunt’s violet dish … and my mother-in-law’s artwork … and my father-in-law’s picture frames … and my great aunt’s crystal goblets … and newspaper clippings from long ago and far away.

These family heirlooms are more than mere possessions… they tell of a family heritage so rich and so beautiful that the lives of the owners echo into my home.

They remind me of who I am and where I have come from. 

I have never received an inheritance of money from anyone but the gift of living for the Kingdom of God is a birthright that is worth more than any financial gain.

I am grateful for every remembrance of a family who decided to follow Jesus!

Thanks for listening to my heart this week.  As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me.  And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is!