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Am I Collecting People Or Things

25 Jul

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Am I Collecting People or Things?  As I ponder that question over the years I think you would agree we all spend so much time collecting all sorts of “stuff”.  For me it’s been anything from the latest laptops, phones and iPads, gadgets, clothes, jewelry, shoes, purses and so much more.  WHY?

Now don’t get me wrong.  We can be frugal around here, and I shop sales.  I am shopping now for a new washer and dryer.  My old Maytags are still going and I bought them when our son was a baby over 37 years ago.  I’m looking at Speed Queens because they say they are built to last 25 years and if that is true they will out last me.  I can be thrifty, but I also don’t mind spending money on things that last.

I admit I have gotten much better the older I get.  The older I get, the more I realize how important people are – not my things.    I can go shopping and come home with nothing.  I do it often because the house is full of too much “stuff” I don’t need, and truly I need to purge and purge.  I have spent the summer trying to clean out closets, and still trying to find the time to work on them.  So far I’ve donated a trash bag of shoes and a trash bag of clothes, and I took some nice work outfits to the resale shop.  There is a box upstairs collecting all kinds of things for donating.  There is still so much to purge – like 3 closets of clothes, 2 closets of coats, and eight chests of drawers of mostly my stuff.  I suppose us women fill up the house, and our men fill up the garages, their sheds and barns.

When we lost my Mom a few years back, I learned what happens to all the stuff:

  • You take a lot of it home so you have more stuff.
  • You have several garage/estate sales, and in the process you bring in some more items that remind you of Mom and Dad.
  • You give away and give away and give away to friends and neighbors and organizations.
  • You store it for more sales that never happen,  and then you give more away.
  • You throw away and throw away and shred and shred.
  • You wear yourself out going through all the “stuff”.

I also learned when we lost Mom and Dad, and many other loved ones it is not the things, but the memories of all the times we spent together making memories, and all the little things that I brought home that bring back memories – the pictures and the little teacups and a few dishes, an old radio, and old wall phone, those precious Christmas ornaments Mom gave us each year – little things that remind me of them.  Memories, pictures, moments, smiles are what matter.

I also learned that our kids are not going to care about most of this stuff that I cling to so I have been tossing and throwing so they don’t have to.  While I’m cleaning I have those thoughts of what mess am I leaving them.

Collecting People – Not Things.   What are we doing that will last a lifetime because those cars, houses and gadgets won’t?  Or how about that closet of clothes and shoes and purses.  Cars get old, gadgets crash, and homes have to be remodeled over and over (unless you are buying new ones all the time), nice dishes are never used, and those clothes and shoes go out of style.  At what cost have we or are we,  harming our families because those things can become more important than them?

Collecting people – not things.  Your husband has his eyes on a ball game, a fishing show or even that awful RFD channel.  Does it drive you crazy or do you take the time to enjoy it with him?  Sometimes I try and usually give up unless I am sitting here blogging (like now), tracing my family tree on Ancestry or working on my Bible studies and doing my own thing,   BUT at least I am sitting here next to him and not in another room watching something else.  People more than things.  When he turns on a movie or program I like, I love laying my head in his lap and enjoying the movie or sometimes I fall asleep.  Naps are a great way to get a little snooze in, but an even better way to get a lot of cuddling in.

Does your spouse have to compete with your cell phone, your computer, or your television when you go out to eat?  Honestly, I try not to answer the cell when we are at a meal or doing something together unless we are expecting an important phone call.  

Collecting people – not things.   I substitute teach and see so many students and parents placing emphasis on things – tennis shoes, shirts, pants, purses, backpacks, cell phones.  I’ve even listened to kids make fun of another’s  tennis shoes when I am subbing in gym class. It’s sad judging someone by their shoes or clothes.   Is that how they are being taught at home, rather than judging one by his/her personality or heart?  I still remember a girl walking up to me in school when I had a new, cute dress on, and she commented it was out of season.  It was September and it was beautiful green colors (not summery at all)  so not sure why, but I’ve never forgotten it or the rudeness of it.  For the rest of the day I was miserable in my new dress.

Oh how must our Lord cry out “people are more important than things.” You might hear me talking back  in a nice way to someone at school putting another child down because of their clothes.  Oh how I wish I could talk to them about Jesus like my teachers were allowed to do.  How different would this world be if we could love like Jesus and share His love!  I just want to cry sometimes because a child is hurting and I want to say, “Jesus loves you and died for you.”   I can’t but our students can.  Oh to share the love of Jesus and not the love of things breaks my heart most days when I’m at school.

You might also hear me giving a lesson on phones.  Last year I asked to borrow a charger.  Not one single student in any of my classes that day had a charger for my “older” phone.  They made fun of my phone because they always have the latest new iPhone.  Mine was an old iPhone 4 as they called it.  I do now have the newest phone out, but I don’t go out and buy to have the newest.  When I buy it’s because I can’t download an app anymore or for me the last one was because my Bible study app had stopped working, and we were about to have new grand babies and I was wanting a new phone for me and my hubby to take better pictures.  By the time school starts another phone will be on its way in and mine will be old again, but it will be here as long as it works and I can read my First 5 devotions each day.

Collecting people – not things.   People put down those cell phones when you are out with family.     I mean really people, why can’t we put them down for thirty minutes.  Aren’t people more important than things?  Isn’t that smile from a grandchild or a comment from your family more important than that text pinging on your phone?  Can we just feast on real life with our friends and family.  I am thankful our family does ignore their phones.  My husband even commented on Christmas Day about all of my family and how they were involved with the games we were playing and not sitting there texting but enjoying family.

Collecting people – not things.  One last thing, but probably the most important.  Don’t look at a cell phone and drive.  How can we even think of it with someone else like children in the car, or other cars around you.  Are you guilty?  Please don’t do it.  If you have to look pull over.  I do talk on the phone in the car, but my car has a phone so both hands are on the wheel and eyes on the road.  If the cell phone pings or I need to dial a number it can wait until I stop or pull over.  Don’t go through the tragedy of losing a loved one because of a second on a phone, or causing so much pain to another family by taking their loved ones.  Every single time we are on the highway we see people with a phone reading or texting.  You can always tell when you are about to pull up beside someone doing it. It’s scary at 65-75 mph seeing someone weaving.  You always know you will see a cell phone if you have the courage to go around.

How can we collect people and moments – not things?

  • Have lunch/coffee with friends, neighbors or family.  Turn your phones off.
  • Get in the floor and play with your kids or grandkids – blocks, puzzles, cars, etc..  Turn off the television unless you are watching a movie together.
  • Go for a walk or run with someone.  Hold hands with your hubby.
  • Go for a drive and visit while you do.
  • Visit a neighbor.  Take them some cookies or cake.  I especially like to do this for a recent widower and his daughter.  Find a widow or widower in your neighborhood or church.
  • Sit down and read a book to your kids or grandkids.
  • Call someone and really talk instead of texting.
  • Snuggle up and watch a movie with your loved one.
  • Have a date night and ban the phone.
  • Cook a romantic dinner and sit down and really talk.
  • Call your husband/wife at work and ask how their day is going.  Focus on them and stop fussing about your day.
  • Meet your loved ones at the door and welcome your spouse with a kiss as they walk in the door.  Kiss them as they leave in the morning.
  • Pray together as a family.  Sit down and ask for requests and pray.
  • Visit a nursing home and take some small jars of flowers and visit some folks who don’t have family.  Ask the nursing home.  They will share with you who you can visit.
  • Take a meal to someone who is shut-in.
  • Offer to keep some children so a couple can have a date-night.  Many young adults in your neighborhood or church don’t have family around to help.

Let’s stop basing our happiness on things and base them on others.

“Love people, not things; use things, not people.”  Spencer W. Kimball

Blessings and Moments – Day 8 – A Grandson

9 Oct

Two days a week I am blessed to get to go to help my daughter-in-law with my new grandson.  This is that precious little boy.  colt 7 weeksHe will be two months old this weekend.  You see her mom and I are going over because she works from home and because Colt requires a little more attention because he was born with a serious skin disease with no skin on his feet and sores on his hands and in his mouth.  He requires a special bottle to feed and his feet have to be wrapped every day and that takes two people.That  disease is EB but Colt is doing so much better than most EB babies.  God has answered so many prayers the last eight weeks.

I love these days with this precious baby and his mom and just spending time, taking walks in this nice Fall weather and just being together.

Being with a grandchild brings back so many memories and so many reminders of how precious life is and how fast it goes.  If only we could just realize that when we were younger and busy – too busy sometimes to just relax and rock a bit more, hug a bit more, and savor each precious moment – not knowing it is all over in a flash.

We are reminded with a grandchild  what it was like with a newborn, but these times are so different.  We are more relaxed and slowed down and we remember how fast the time went, we remember the moments we missed, We remember – we remember the moments – we remember the sweetness – we REMEMBER!  So precious!

Day 4 – Blessings and Moments

4 Oct

Today had lots of moments.  One moment I was crying and trying to hide it from my aunt.  You see we were at Mom’s and Dad’s house packing up memories.  It was the second time this week but today just got to me.  I sucked it up and held on until I started the long drive home after dropping my aunt off.

Yes I have shed tears when I have been over there alone.  Many, many times alone there over the last four years since Mom went in a nursing home and moved out.  I still had to go and mow, make sure water was dripping if it was freezing and general cleaning.  Mom died in Feburary and it has been harder to be there alone, but for some reason today was extra tough.  Maybe it is because we have had two sales but there is still so much clutter and stuff left.  Mom was a collector of stuff – perhaps a hoarder.  I think because I know we are finally seeing some progress and there are some empty places in the house it just finally hit that it is almost over.

I know most people have to go through this sometime.  It is hard. Every room is a memory.  Everything you pick up is a memory. Overwhelming exhaustion, sweat, sore muscles and sad feelings,  and I am home, showered and wonder if I can get up to go to bed.

I think about Mom staying up until we got home, bells on the door so she could hear us come in.  I see Dad mowing the yard and tending to his beautiful flower beds.  I sit down in Mom’s chairs and hold the tears but some still come.  I did a good job hiding them today and got on the phone so they would stop.  We packed up Christmas Santas and Christmas decorations – memory upon memory – shopping with Mom after Christmas to buy some of those Santas half price.

How much can a couple collect over 64 years? A lot.

Going through so many unfinished projects.  Mom had a whole trunk of unfinished quilts – just pieces cut out in huge bags – lots and lots of quilts cut out, but she gave up when she lost Dad who was always there to help her when she would get out that quilting rack.  In a closet we found so many quilt tops waiting to be quilted.

The big roasting pan where Mom cooked the most delicious turkeys, the best dressing.  I took her dressing this last December to the nursing home and she told me it tasted like stove top.  That is one of the last times she was able to communicate with us.  That will be a Christmas I don’t forget and we did not stay a long time because it was snowing and our home was 35 minutes away.

Mom’s walkers, medical bed, wheel chair, lift chair.  Sad memories of not so good times.

Dad’s hats still hanging there.  We have been working in his three sheds but they are not empty yet.  Watering the yard he took such good care of.  He was mowing it that day he had his last heart attack.

Boxing up bears and rabbits and Santas and trinket boxes, and dolls and then all the little teapots and teacups and powder boxes filling the counter in one bathroom. Collection after collection.

I am dreading the final day, the day I drive off for the very last time.  I am also looking forward to that day – not paying utility bills, taxes, and mowing and upkeep or that drive up there.

Precious memories!  Yes it was one hard day today and there will be a few more before I am finished!

Day 1:  https://mixwilliams.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/31-days-of-blessings-and-moments/

Day 2:  https://mixwilliams.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/day-2-of-31-blessings-and-moments/

Day 3:  https://mixwilliams.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/day-3-of-31-blessings-and-moments/

Day 4:  https://mixwilliams.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/day-4-blessings-and-moments/

Day 5:  https://mixwilliams.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/day-5-blessings-and-moments/

Day 6:  https://mixwilliams.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/blessings-and-moments-day-6/

Day 2 of 31 – Blessings and Moments

2 Oct

blog-heart precious memoriesThis is only Day 2 and what to write about.  Not that I can not come up with so many blessings and beautiful moments in my life.   They are there every day and yes so is pain, so are trials for each of us – but God is ALWAYS, ALWAYS giving us things to be thankful about if we stop and look past the hurts.

I believe that today as I look back on my childhood I am thankful for parents that taught me honor for my country, a love for the flag, respect, love for each other, Jesus, how to cook, how to drive, saving for a rainy day and on and on.  Now that I am older I realize they did not mean saving for a rainy day, but rather for a broken appliance, broken air conditioner, car repairs, etc..  My parents taught us a whole lot, and many of us choose to look on those few bad things rather than all the joyful things, the character traits they taught and the love they showed in their various ways.

Today I am meeting my sisters and my aunt at Mom’s to hopefully be closer to one of the last days at Mom and Dad’s.  It is getting close to time to sell it, time to move on, but not time to forget those moments and blessings.  Each time we go it is bittersweet as we ooh and ahhh over all the things Mom liked to collect and as we remember what those little trinkets meant to Mom.  Many, many memories and this day is to be filled with them.

Yesterday I thought about my Mom and Dad a lot as i got up first thing and read a beautiful devotional from a Bible study friend, Wendy Blight.  It was about legacies.  I hope you will stop by and read it and be blessed.  It brought back a lot of memories first about my grandparents but as they day wore on and I spent time with my grandson and daughter-in-law the moments continued to come to mind as I remembered that devotion on what legacy we leave.  What legacy am I leaving my children, my grandchild and even my friends and other family members?  I hope it is one like Wendy talked about.  Here is the link if you would like to hop over there and be blessed today.  Be sure to scroll down to October 1 if it is not at the top.  It is called “What Will Be Your Legacy”.   http://wendyblight.com/

One of the things Wendy talked about was her grandmother’s Bibles.  One of my grandmothers left me hers.  She wrote in each one of them that they were to go to me, she even put only that one thing in her will, but to this day thirty-four years later I do not know where they are, but God does.   He knows the hurts felt from not receiving that precious gift.  I hold on to the love and legacy she left in my heart and the fact that  she chose for me to receive those Bibles.  I remember that moment, I remember that love, I remember that day watching her write in each Bible that she wanted it to go to be on her death.  Granny I will never forget your faith!  I will never forget your love!  I will never forget going to church with you!  I will never forget that gift!

So do you have a legacy today?  Do you have a precious memory to share?  I would love to hear it!  Thanks for stopping by!

# BLESSED – WEEK 5

9 May

DSC00162                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is week 5 of Stressed-Less Living by Traci Miles with Melissa Taylor Online Bible Studies.  Although, there were some topics I wanted to write about this week, life just got in the way with year-end school and subbing for teachers taking their last leave days and also many subs have given up for the year.  So, I stayed with my list of blessings this week and picked up with the last five I have written down as of today.  That list is surely to grow as I have time to sit down and continue to count the blessings we take for granted.

BIRDS – I absolutely love walking out on our porch with a morning cup of coffee and my Bible.  Don’t you love watching the sun rise while sipping  coffee and praising God for the majesty of that sun rise or a sun set??? They can be breathtaking.

This morning I watched the sun rise and first thing the birds were chirping and cooing and welcoming spring – robins, doves, sparrows, red birds and others coming to our feeders and our bird baths and I have already seen some hummingbirds.

Many times I can remember when I was younger, those birds would irritate me when I was trying to sleep in and they would be chirping at day break – not anymore – I can’t wait to get up and spend time with my Lord and all his beautiful creations.  I have the windows thrown open this morning and am listening to them chirping even now.  Love it!  What if there were no chirps????

TECHNOLOGY – Technology can be both a blessing and a curse.  I choose to use that kindle, iPad, telephone, laptop, desktop, Pinterest and Facebook  to God’s glory.  How about you?  What do you post on Facebook?  I decided a couple of years ago if it did not honor or glorify God, it was not going to be posted.  A few times yes I felt like hitting a share button on my page that did not honor my Father, but I now pause before liking and pause before sharing or commenting.  So next time before you click – THINK is that really honoring my creator?

PRAYER – How often do you pray?  I pray more than once daily.  I find myself in a constant state of prayer, but the most meaningful is when I am on my knees, during those gut-wrenching prayers, and during that time it is almost always for my family and friends.  Prayer is one of the most important things a person can take time to do.

FREEDOM – I am so very thankful for the freedoms we have.  I am blessed each time I substitute teach when we say the pledge to the American flag and the Texas flag.  Thankful we can still do that at school.  After spending forty-three years with the Department of Defense, how could I not love our flag?  I love our military because they were who I supported.  The Pledge of Allegiance is a privilege and a blessing sometimes taken for granted.  I thank God I was born in this great country.  May God continue to bless America

 .Flag-Carslile

MEMORIES – We do not remember days; we remember moments.  ~Cesare Pavese, The Burning  Brand. 

One of my favorite things to say is “make the moments matter”.  I don’t remember where I heard that phrase but I also say “savor the time”.  God brought those words to me several years back when I realized my Mom would not be with us long, but I apply it across my life now.  I make the moments matter with my mother-in-law and our married children and my husband.  Life is too short to not make memories.

So how about you?  Have you started a list of blessings?  I think you will find it amazing to see all the little things that God has blessed you with, and we take them for granted.  I invite you to share below several of your blessings and remind you what a blessing it is to start counting them when you become stressed or frustrated.

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