I'm ready to settle in. How about you?
This fall my Bible study and writer friends are meeting around my table. Having the accountability is nice for all of us. Then there's a few monthly commitments that will pick up again. All good.
Every month (when I'm focused), in my journal, I write out what I need to do and what I'd like to do and even who I'd like to connect with for that month. For the past couple of years, cleaning things out and simplifying has topped the list. In honor of my late husband, Barry, I touched almost every one of his papers, files, and books. I've found treasures--thoughts covering all kinds of topics--that I've filed so I and the girls can easily access them. I've also given away an odd assortment of things that were important to him . . . but to me? Not so much.
The things we keep or get rid of tell a story.
I recently cleaned out my desk and found something my dad had passed down to me a while ago: the hospital bill from my birth fifty-some years ago! I carefully removed it from the envelope . . . $119.75. To think my parents kept this bill over all these years. From what they've told me, my coming was not exactly in their plan just yet, but I always felt wanted and cherished. A wonderful gift, I know.
Another treasure I came across is the budget Barry and I kept from our first year of marriage in 1979. Barry graduated from college with $40 in his pocket. He drove home and worked for several area farmers until our wedding in July, saving enough to last until his first paycheck as a Social Studies teacher in a Christian school. Our weekly income after taxes and giving turned out to be $133.55. We began a meager savings account at that time and even gave ourselves an "allowance" of $2 a week! At ages 21 and 23, we enjoyed one of the happiest (and simplest) years of our lives.
Over the past months, I've found quite a few things I want to hang on to. Suffice it to say, the things we keep tell a story . . . a story of God's faithfulness over many years, of His watch-care over a chubby baby girl from Buffalo, and of His provision for a couple of young kids who wanted to serve God together more than anything else in the world.
What have you saved? And, more importantly, what stories do they tell?