One man’s junk…

Am I the only mom that sentimentally keeps absolutely everything for as long as possible?  Sometimes I feel like it.  Now the neat-freak in me won’t ever become the subject of an episode of Hoarders Buried Alive but I’ve got secret stashes of treasured tokens that most people wouldn’t flinch to pitch.  I’ll share with you a few and don’t worry…they don’t consist of shriveled, dried up umbilical chords…I promise!

When it comes to my children’s artwork…I can’t help myself.  It is so stinkin’ cute!  I’ll never forget the first time Maxwell came strutting his stuff out of the 2-year-old Lambs rooms at church holding the cutest little cardboard sheep with cotton balls glued all over it…my heart just melted.  Oh yes…I still have it along with his adorable palm branch and who can resist the little chick made out of his hand print…that is getting framed!  The bulletin board in our kitchen is always covered with artwork.  I have 2 totes, soon to be 3, in our basement that are rapidly filling with creations and keepsakes.  I’ve gotten better and don’t save everything anymore.  After Emalynn’s first year of preschool I realized I couldn’t save every piece of paper that came home…only the really cute things or I’d have a 7 gallon tote for each year of school…for each child!  I love going through them and I love surrounding myself with their creations.

At any given time there is another staple in our kitchen.  We have a permanent Tupperware midget filled with “flowers” picked by our little sweet pea.  Now we know they are usually weeds…not always…but most of the time but to Emalynn they are part of God’s beautiful creation.  Today it’s clover…yesterday it was pansies and last week a dandelion.  There really is no other word to describe our Em than sweet and those flowers are the perfect reminder of her.

Right after we got married I had a great idea to save all of the corks from our…okay, mostly my…wine bottles to do something cool with them.  It’s been this side of 10 years ago that I started saving them and lets just say…I have a lot.  I won’t tell you how many but I finally did something cool thanks to my friend Leah.  She asked for some extra corks to make cork letters with and I still have some to spare after making this for our new family room.  Me, crafty?  I know…not so much.  But this is my original design and though my sister did help me glue them, for the most part this is my creation.  There are many marked ones that signify special times…our anniversaries, engagements of friends, passing my Real Estate Broker exam…many times of celebration are on that wall.  Celebrations of God blessing us so richly.  It was definitely worth bowls and vases full of corks for so long.

These are just a few examples of things that I’ve held onto.  We won’t get into my wardrobe because that is just craziness but I started to think about it today and from the outside looking in…it might look silly to others to hold onto such seemingly worthless things.  But to me…they are the furthest thing from it.  Those creations from the hands of our precious little ones…priceless!  The weeds picked by our sweets…perfection.  And all of those corks…reminiscent of many special occasions or just evenings spent with family and friends.  These things that others would throw away I hold onto because I am so thankful for those God has placed in my life.  He knew I needed them and sent them in His perfect timing.  While I am in this rut of a funk and circumstances are not at how I would choose them to be it’s those little things that make me smile and say “Thank you, Lord!”…and Lord help the person who dares call them junk.

Then Samuel took a stone, set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and said,
The Lord has helped us all the way
and he named it
Stone of Help.

I Samuel 7:12 (GNT)

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