Looking through my treasure chest

blogthreekidsIt’s been a quiet week at Mama’s Empty Nest.  We’re still ensconced in the winter season and snow continues to blanket the earth.  Somehow, snowfall makes everything seem more hushed, more silent, more subdued.  Even the wild creatures that visit the plot of land that we call home must be huddled down, burrowed in, and waiting for warmer weather as evidenced by the lack of animal tracks in our yard.

In the stillness and tranquility of my home this morning, when the only sounds that reach my ear are the refrigerator singing its humming song and the furnace kicking in to shoot some heated air up through our vents, I contemplate.  Winter proves a good season for doing so.

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is treasure.  Treasure.  We all have our idea of how to define treasure.  And the old saying comes to mind – one’s man’s trash is another man’s treasure. 

It seems we humans continually either search for treasure or attempt to acquire treasure for most of our lives.    For some, material possessions are the treasures they seek.  That might be a special piece of glittering jewelry given by a loved one or handed down from one family member to another.  Some folks count their abundant bank balance as a treasure while others always wish for more to stockpile. Silver, gold, and precious gems come to mind as treasures held in high esteem.

I wander through the quietness of my home and glance at items in each room and am reminded of a quote I recently read by an architect named Le Corbusier (1887-1965):  “The home should be the treasure chest of living.”

My home does resemble a treasure chest, at least to me.  My eyes fall upon treasures here and there.  This.  This is a treasure.  A piece of jewelry created in a far-off land and bestowed upon me when my soldier husband came back after a year-long assignment halfway across the world over 30 years ago.

There on the china cabinet shelf in the dining room.  Those are treasures.  Beloved items passed down to me from my parents and my husband’s parents.  Items that belonged to our grandparents.  Surely these are treasures.

And there.  The piano gracing the living room, the instrument I longed for and we saved to purchase all those many years ago.  A source of beautiful music and hours of enjoyment.  A musical treasure for certain.

Yes, there are many treasures in my treasure chest of a home.  Physical things.  Tangible treasures.  Perhaps not much in monetary worth, yet valued and cherished by me.  But as a believer in Jesus Christ, I’m reminded what He told us about earthly treasures. 

“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

So yes, my worn copy of the Bible, with passages underlined and starred, with notes scribbled in the margins.  God’s Word surely is a treasure to me.  Yet, as much as I cherish my personal copy of His Word, that treasure could be replaced with a new one.  And much of God’s Word I have hidden in my heart.

So what precious riches which I’ve carefully wrapped in love and stored away into my treasure box could I live without?  Truthfully, all of them.  Yes, I would be saddened to lose them but they are merely things.

There is one treasure, however,  I value more highly than any other.  And it’s not stored in a jewelry box, a glass shelf, or on my desk.  It’s not a tangible item adorning my treasure chest home.  Instead, my treasure is stored away in the recesses of my mind. 

Memories.  Those are the treasures I cling to most.  They appear in my mind as I survey each room of my home searching for hidden treasure.  Each item I spy prompts a memory.  My eyes linger on one photo on the family room fireplace mantel.  It is my favorite photo of my children and it brings back memories as if they just happened yesterday.

The photo taken when they were young and we lived in the Pacific Northwest sits inside a frame that reads:  “Children are special.  They grow and change.  Children question everything.  Children laugh, frown, grin, pout, and smile.  Children give meaning to silly things, small things, big things.  They give meaning to us. They teach us to be open again, to appreciate everything, and take nothing for granted.  Children teach us what’s important because sometimes we forget.  They show us what it means to be young at heart.  Children are our future.  Children are life.”

Surely, my children are my treasures as well as my husband, my family, and my friends.   But life and all of its memories is one of the most precious treasures we can ever possess.

“Memory is the treasure house of the mind wherein the monuments thereof are kept and preserved.” ~ Thomas Fuller, Clergyman 1608-1661

©2014 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

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14 responses

  1. What a lovely post! Like you, I have lots of ‘treasures’ sitting on shelves, hanging on walls, and taking up ‘space’ here and there – these are things that others might consider ‘clutter’ but each and every one is imbued with deep memories. My two most precious ‘treasures’ (my boys) no longer live with me, but their presence is here in the cards they’ve made, the pictures they’ve drawn, the photographs they’re smiling out at me from. If I had nothing else but these ‘treasures’, it would be enough.

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  2. Thank you so much for this post. Your writing touched me in the heart. Sad to say, we are heading to the one year anniversary of the death of our oldest daughter coming in March. Your words touched me so true and wonderful to read that others also cherish their children. We can live without everything we own. We never own our children or family. We cherish them and love them with all our heart. Thank you for this post, it will help me get through these next weeks. Hugs to you and your family.

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    • 4evered, my heart goes out to you as you mark the one-year anniversary of a beloved daughter. I pray God sustains and comforts you with the peace only He can give. Thank you for reading my post and the kindness you’ve shown with your comment. I’m sending hugs right back to you and your family.

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  3. What a lovely photo! 🙂 I completely agree that is a perfect treasure. So fun to see your children in such a great pose! And I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more lovely quote about children than the one you shared. I’ll have to copy it down — it’s a keeper.

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    • That photo was one of those moments when they didn’t really pose and I think that’s what made it the best. They just all three climbed into that hollow tree and I snapped the picture when I said, “Look here!” I love that one so much. And yes, isn’t that quote the best, Melissa? It speaks to our mother hearts, doesn’t it?

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  4. Your words are so true. Memories are the one thing no one can steal or destroy – they belong to us for a lifetime. I don’t always post a reply, but I always truly enjoy your blog. So often it bring this crazy life back into perspective for me. Thanks for writing from your heart – I feel the love every time. Love the picture of your kids – they indeed are so special !!!!

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    • Pat, it means so much to me to know you’re always reading my blog and I do love it when you comment, but I understand how you don’t always have time – not that you’re busy or anything with that adorable granddaughter of yours! 😉 The fact that you feel how I write from my heart is one of the sweetest compliments I can get. Thank you, my friend!

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