Tag Archives: treasures

Experience

grandpas-hatchet

Helper, Captain Morgan at the helm.

Captain Morgan at the helm.

I laid awake most of the night, tormented over breaking Cole’s old Coleman hatchet. Yeah, the one I hammered into a wet, rather green log until the head broke – right at the notch (so handy for pulling nails from construction wood).

 

The upset tortured me while I should have been sleeping. All. Week. Long.

Cole was completely cool about it. I systematically timed telling him I’d broken the hatchet he’d given me on our first cold morning here. The moment arrived as I presented him with a fine, shiny-new, Estwick Sportsman hatchet with all the bells and whistles.

I rarely get to give Cole anything of value. I was initially giddy until I jokingly said the words, “the hatchet you gave me… …worn out…” and “…broke.” Instantly his entire demeanor changed dramatically – merriment abandoned my presentation. His words, “…my grand pa’s hatchet… he’d used it for years…” shot the loss and hurt straight through me too.

I get it: My siblings and I inherited very few, mostly valueless, common things from our parents. Those humble heirlooms are precious to each of us. Destroying something invaluable from Cole sickened me.

After weeping privately I texted him “I’ll make it right somehow,” (forgetting he was working in town). I’ll never forget his immediate reply: “Oh stop it-only made me sad for a min-it has done its job for a long time.” And then moments later he texted he’d gotten more wood to get me through while the grove is still snowed under.

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment…” *

While I may annoy Cole with more words than he prefers, I learn from him. Things like his grandfather – who cut wood into his nineties with that old model, Coleman hatchet are important to us both. Had I known, I would have retired the Coleman and bought the new ones immediately.

The experience stung us both, but to me it revealed the character beneath Cole’s cast iron veneer. He is a treasure indeed. I hope for more, far less painful lessons.

“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:21 (NLT)

*Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)

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Password

security lock

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In today’s story I’d received several security warnings advising me of attempted hacks, to change my passwords. Ack!  But as it happened the experience was positively enlightening.

Like most users, I have many accounts and I routinely change my passwords, need it or not – every year. Even doing that requires a lot of time. I know the drill and give it my best.

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So there I was, two months into this fiscal year, rudely confronted with the reality that I have no assets worth considering, moreover hacking. I recently estimated I make below minimum wage per hour in many states. That includes interest I earn shopping creatively. And I put away for this?.

I comforted myself by reviewing my career history. I once earned a very substantial income, especially considering I was a high-school dropout from an impecunious family and a single mother that married poorly (economically). I walked away from both relationships empty-handed, except for the four little hands holding onto mine. Sure, that’s figuratively speaking as the little hands were far bigger than mine by the second break up. My investments during my “good times” saw my kids through school and helped my mother for a season. And not much more.

Okay, so back to my point:

In my mid-teens I resolved to be financially independent and retire from my (yet undetermined) amazing career by my late thirties.
Then. Life. Happened.

Looking back now I won’t say I wouldn’t change anything. There’s just too much Young Past Me would do differently. But the bright Light I can’t miss or ignore is how fully, how well I actually live.

Sure there were some genuine tragedies to hurdle – some would have shattered or actually killed others. But Jesus led me, often carried me through it all.

As many WordPress bloggers remember every time they post a comment, our passwords are meaningful. His precious name is woven into my passwords, continuously encouraging and empowering me when I wane. (Remember here, I have nothing the world wants 😉 )

I don’t want to sound trite, religious or nuts, but that’s the fact. Back in the day, my siblings had to survive too. In-Laws? “fa-ged aboud it.” Likewise, some good friends slipped away into the past, but the great ones remain today. Along with Jesus they have my back, so I can be eternally grateful and happy – literally.

Of course I’d be delighted with a secure investment portfolio, but that’s mostly to have more than a bag of bones to leave to my family – to remind them how my love for them drives me, pushes me, that they are my treasure.

Greens Dec 1960 Sdale 001 Scan_20160510 Sdale 1981 001 2016jan30copy

My treasures never have been tangible or transferable. But they are recordable – and I am a writer.

 

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT)

 

*Images courtesy ABSFreePics.com

All other images are private domain and not to be copied, downloaded, distributed or otherwise duplicated without prior written permission.

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Filed under A Door Ajar

Amazing, Moving Grace

paper-in-box-4608x3456_85917More than ever before I am grateful for grace today. This is particularly so while our new household seems to be in chaos.

 

However, I’m delighted to report that, uncharacteristically, my mind is not in chaos. I attribute this unusual phenomenon to being in familiar, excellent company.

While many tasks which would help us settle in hourly slip through the cracks, grace and patience abound. With rare, good humor (albeit sometimes twisted) we make our ways together through the challenges of blending our households. Compassion and care are the first rule – as is best.

Our maze is beginning to shirink. The piles and boxes of household and personal items including years of our collected antiquities is becoming less intimidating.

Our options are limited while we manage our very restricting finances, yet we hope to also integrate more modern technical equipment, particularly internet access into our new life together. For now, sister Erin and I focus on our short term goals – finding our stuff and somewhere to keep it all handy. All this while we keep our long-term goals to promote a full, rich life in perspective.

While the volumes of our combined paraphernalia (all necessary to daily life, of course) astounds we two sixty-something women, we laugh frequently (mostly at ourselves). We weep almost as often (sometimes for joy), we hug for any reason and we assure one another constantly, “it’s gonna be great.”

Family pops in frequently to assist with the heavy lifting. This all helps distract me from the huge inconvenience of being disconnected from my cyber-community.

I employ my old Galaxy S3 (without carrier service) as a tablet via my active cell Hot Spot. While I can do many tasks from my trusty phones, we have yet to discover why we can’t connect on the laptops. Up for the challenge, my patience and confidence are tested daily while honing my technical skills.

Now fourteen days since I separated from my flesh and blood family, my heart is calm overall. Though I wonder about my girls in Texas, I am confident this newest change in our family dynamic continues to be good for us all. And late in the day when my faith sometimes wanes, experience encourages and grace comforts me. It’s all good.

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