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What My Heart Treasures, A Lesson In Minimalism

June 28, 2017

 

You should know this.

In a million years,

never would I have thought that minimalism could teach me a darn thing about my heart.

Strangely enough though, it did.

"Where your treasure is, your heart will be, also." Jesus

 

I remember a coffee visit with my mom, 11 years ago.

It was a rather ordinary coffee visit,

as far as coffee visits go,

and were it not for two little instances,

I would have forgotten it all together.

 

You see, during that visit,

my mom had mentioned that my dad had inadvertently broken something of hers.

Again, in and of itself,

there is nothing even remotely memorable about that,

and these 11 years later,

I have absolutely no idea what it was she said he had broken.

But, what I do remember was her reply to my response........

 

"Did you lose your mind?!?!"

(Apparently it must have been something "important" for me to react like that.)

 

"Well, no, Melinda. Your dad is much more important to me than any

{insert whatever item it was that he had inadvertently broken here}."

 

I don't actually remember what I said to her after she spoke those words,

but I do remember thinking,

(although I hate to admit it.....)

 

"Well, of course my dad is more important than any old

{insert whatever item it was that he had inadvertently broken here}!

But still, I probably would have lost my mind, though....."

 

Again, I would have forgotten all about that visit,

and that conversation,

and those words,

were it not for what happened two days later.

 

My then, 8 year old son,

inadvertently knocked a glass candle lamp off of a cabinet,

smashing it to pieces and,

 

I lost my my mind.

 

How I wish in that moment, that I would have remembered those words from my mom.

I mean, I did remember those words from my mom,

it's just that,

I remembered them too late.

 

I remembered them after I screamed at my son.

I remembered them after I raged at him for not being careful.

I remembered them only after I saw his tear-filled eyes,

and took a breath long enough to hear him apologize.

I remembered her words only after I had broken my son's heart,

because he had innocently broken a thing.

 

One minute.

That was all it took to for me to verbally flatten my precious, 8 year old son.

 

After that minute, I came to my senses......

I remembered my mother's words.

I immediately stopped and apologized to my son.

I explained to him that he was so much more important to me than any lamp.

I told him I shouldn't have reacted the way I did,

and I asked for his forgiveness, which he willingly gave.

 

But, the damage had already been done.

Words of apology will never make up for words of anger.

 

While I hope my son has forgotten that day,

I have not.

Nor will I ever.

 

I wish that I could say I learned my lesson from that experience.

Sadly though, I know there have been many other similar instances,

where I have placed,

even if only for a moment, 

the value of things,

over the value of my family.

"Where you treasure is, there your heart will be, also."

"If we want it, we get it.

If we feel like having a burger, we head to McDonald's and grab ourselves a burger.

Feel like we want a new shirt?

We head to the mall and buy ourselves a new shirt.

Because, we deserve this!

We work hard for our money so we should be able to spend it as we wish."

(You know....on ourselves.)

My pastor

 

 

On January 3 of 2016, 

my pastor spoke a message where he touched on the excess of our North American culture.

That message was powerful and wonderful,

but it was also terrible, because it prompted me to look into my own life.

 

(And let me just be frank here.....honest, self evaluation, is often very humbling......at least, it is for me.)

 

I felt a strange compelling to go without.....

to give up something.......

to take part in a sort of fast, if you will.

 

I felt challenged to limit my clothing purchases,

and my decorative, household purchases,

to six items each.

For the entire year.

 

I realize that for many of you reading this,

this is not a big deal.

But, for me, it was.

You should know,

this was not something I wanted to do.

I wrestled with the idea for a couple of weeks,

but in the end,

the compulsion was so strong, 

I accepted the challenge.

 

I had no idea what to expect from this challenge.

What would be the purpose of buying only 6 clothing,

and 6 decorative household items, for an entire year?

What would be the point?

I had no answers.

I just felt that I needed to do it,

and that, somehow, someway,

my life would be forever changed.

 

 

I was not disappointed.

That challenge,

(my girlfriend's daughter referred to it as Project 6.......I like it!),

ended up being so much more than just limiting my purchases to 6 items each.

It became a soul-searching,

heart-changing process.

Somehow, through that challenge,

the Lord began a good work in me,

that is being made evident in the way I live my my life.

While my year of Project 6 has been successfully completed,

the transformation in my heart has only just begun.

 

Among other revelations I've experienced because of Project 6,

I am also being drawn to simplicity, or minimalism if you prefer,

and things, no longer hold the value they once did for me.

 

I have been removing things from home.

Things that I had long been holding onto.

Or, perhaps, a better way to put it would be to say,

things that had long been holding onto me.

 

I could never have imagined the freedom I've been experiencing from this!

Which in a way, points to the conclusion that I had previously been enslaved by things.....

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be, also."

Yesterday, my daughter discovered that her hamster had escaped.

 

You should know this about me....

I like hamsters just fine in their cages.

I do not, however, like rogue hamsters.

They freak me out.

Seeing an escapee hamster run across the floor while you're setting the table for supper can be,

let's just say, ALARMING......

 

Anyhow, this fugitive hamster absolutely had to be found.

We searched and searched.

We actually wondered if perhaps one of our cats had gotten in and, well, you know.......

 

But, as I was searching in a closet,

I noticed a bunch of loose white beads on the floor.

 

Beads from my wedding dress.

 

Hundreds of beads from my wedding dress.

 

You guys?

That hamster had taken up residence in my wedding dress.

 

I'm not even kidding.

 

We pulled the dress out, 

laid it on the floor,

and opened the protective covering.

My daughter searched around,

and quickly discovered a very sleepy,

very disoriented derelict hamster that had absolutely no business being where he was.

 

She cupped her hands around her pet,

and looked at me, eyes wide and wondering.

"Are you very mad?"

 

No.

No, I was not very mad.

Actually, I was not even a little bit mad.

Even though my wedding dress,

that I've kept for 21 years,

had been defiled by a hamster,

I was not mad.

 

And, I have to be honest here.

I was shocked.

I was honestly and truly shocked, that I was not mad.

 

As was my daughter.

I'm quite certain she was ready for me to lose my mind.

Her hamster, after all, had just wrecked her mom's wedding dress.

 

But, as I looked at my daughter,

fully prepared to receive my anger,

I remembered my mother's words.

And in that moment I realized,

 

the heart of my 15 year old daughter is more important to me, than any wedding dress.

 

After 11 years, it seems I finally understand those words my mother said.

 

"For where your treasure is, your heart will be, also."

 

 

 

 

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