Last week I survived a windstorm while riding a roller coaster.
Maybe that’s hyperbole, but I am still dizzy.
My dear dad was suddenly moved to live with my brother (a wonderful blessing) and his home is being sold quickly, so I flew to Dallas to be with my sisters and go through the many rooms and closets and drawers and shelves and cupboards of our parents’ 8,000 sq. ft. home. We didn’t have to clean it all out; we were there to help everyone get what they wanted. I was looking for special ‘stuff’ for my daughters from their Grammy and Poppa.
And I was hoping we would find some surprise treasures.
My mom had beaucoups of ‘stuff.’ She was a first-class collector: Belleek porcelain, Dresden figurines, antique furniture from Europe, Waterford crystal, oil paintings, Faberge eggs, baseball memorabilia, jewelry, Coronation and royalty china, dozens of tea pots, salt and pepper shakers, miniature spoons, Shirley Temple plates and dolls, and more. Many of her beautiful things came to her as gifts from her hundreds of friends.
Mom had table linens and Christmas plates and fancy flatware and water glasses to serve a sit-down dinner for 80 people, which she did repeatedly each December.
Her home was beautiful, she loved it, and she shared it. God used my mother and her home as a channel of His love and blessing to many, many, MANY people, but ten years ago she went to heaven and left it all here.
Now it all has to go.
My sisters and I had one week to search around, make decisions, and process memories. We loaded tables in the garage with stuff for the family to see and we filled dozens of trash bags. We took turns being frustrated, overwhelmed, delighted, confused, grieved, sleepless and grateful. We shared meals and even had a little Christmas party, with poppers and a facemask angel craft time.
I have long-liked my sisters but after last week, I truly cherish them. My older sister is reserved and wise; my little sister, bubbly and caring. I thank God for my brothers, too, but today, oh, how I treasure my sisters!
Another treasure I found last week was mercy. I saw plenty of sins in my heart. Greed, anger, taking offense, worry, judging, temptation to berate myself for past sin, to fear, to hold grudges and blame others. Sin is real and it is heavy and I daily needed God’s and others’ mercy. Mercy is a great treasure to me!
And one last treasure. Like mercy, it is not a new one, and it is the greatest treasure of all.
One morning I was very discouraged, and my Bible reading for that day ‘happened’ to be in Luke 12, where Jesus teaches about family estates, money and possessions and treasures in heaven, exactly what I needed to hear. It referenced Psalm 39:4-7, reminding me how brief my time on earth is. “We are merely moving shadows . . .”
It was a holy moment. I knew Jesus was speaking to me, encouraging me.
He is my greatest treasure.
Last week was hard, that windstorm, that roller coaster. I am grateful for the experience and for my parents and all the memories and blessings, and I appreciate the special things I brought home that represent them.
But what I value most was the rich reminder of the true treasures I already had: