All right ladies and gents, hang on, because we are going a little bit of everywhere with this post. Remember to keep hands, feet, and arms inside until the ride comes to a complete stop. :-)
The past few weeks I have been in Virginia with my mom and children getting my grandfather ready to move to Michigan with my parents. Eighty years worth of items to sort through, is a task. He simply sat in a chair and had no opinion on what we packed up for him. All he wanted to take was a picture of my grandmother holding my mother when she was a baby. The rest was just stuff.
I have learned a great deal these past weeks. Most lessons we learn aren't ones we want to learn, but we must be ever watchful to see when a lesson is presented. Lessons in life, usually hurt, and can often drive you to boarder line nutty-ness (that's a word in my book). All lessons are taught but not all are learned. Make sense? I have learned that we have to look for the lessons God wants us to learn in everything. The time here in Virginia has been hard emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It's in these times the lessons are ripe for the learning.
What did I learn? A lot about myself. However I want to share some of what I learned with you. I learned it's just stuff. All of it. From heirlooms to handbags to books to furniture. From houses and cars to clothes and jewelry. It's all stuff. Almost a year ago I sat and watched my grandmother pass from this life with nothing left but the pictures of her family that hung above her head. I've watched my other grandmother do the same almost 4 years ago. At the end of their lives all they wanted was family. To know they were loved. To hold someones hand and not be alone. Now, my grandfather, though still alive, just wants his family and to know he is loved. We are to wash away the past and let go of hard feelings, if they linger. We want God to forgive us as we forgive others, don't we? People aren't stuff. Love isn't stuff. Kindness, hope, faith, mercy, none of these qualify as "stuff". Though I've known this, I've learned it more deeply.
When we first packed to come here I brought 3 bags of books and school supplies so the children and I could do school. I'll be the first to admit I have a *slight* obsession with books. I felt that I needed all this stuff and more to have the lessons covered. While we do need some things, true learning doesn't need a lot of stuff. I learned how to teach my children with simple things and a bible. Some lessons will require more, I understand. But we live in a world of so much excess. I want my children to learn now, that it is just stuff. I want them to learn how to cherish their family. I want them to learn to see God in everything and to trust Him. My job and privilege as a Christian mom is to teach my children these things (among others) and to love them unconditionally as they learn, and to instill a love of learning in them. One day, I hope that they can see the lessons that God has waiting for them, even in the hard times.
Love today, give mercy freely, and remember most of the stuff we worry about....is just stuff.