Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The fixer-upper saga continues: The things we leave behind

I was hoping to find what the Bible refers to as “hidden treasures of darkness.” The property we bought included a run-down mobile home and a metal shed. Both very dark and both packed, I say packed (some boxes since 1999) with the left-behinds of what was once a family. Or maybe it was several families—siblings who used the place to store the mementos of a former life.

There were old skis and sailboats and tool chests and diaries. Mounds of musty clothes and old quilts too far gone for me to even consider redeeming. We felt bad about chucking family photographs and vacation to-do lists.

The man who lived there had been whisked away by a concerned relative. Whatever his present state of mind—he’d clearly been shutting out the world for a long time. Someone who retreated into a world so dark the underbrush engulfed it, left behind evidence of a former life, one that included L.L Bean boots, camping gear, and photos of grand mountains and the majestic outdoors.

As we picked and poked through our “inheritance” I began to suspect my greatest treasure was to be thankful I was a child of light—the Light, and that maybe my hidden treasure was going to be about the next phase of life we’ll begin as we clear the property and build anew. It certainly wasn’t in the above- pictured treasure trunk. (Life jackets there)

Meanwhile, scavengers are a necessary part of the recycle rhythm of life. So while we sorted our saved pile—a gossip chair,
some cane barrel chairs,
lovely water color—
the tree crew, who were felling the tall pines that were leaning toward the neighbor’s house, hauled away our give-away pile—washer, dryer, tools and even one enterprising soul dismantled the rusty shed and took that too. Within 48 hours of closing we had hauled away ten truckful’s of stuff, ten pines and an old shed. Someone wanted Bob’s carport but I had to turn him down. (Bob’s been waiting for a garage a long time now and he probably wouldn't be pleased to see its frame heading down the road.)

So what kinds of things will you leave behind? Someday I imagine my kids will sort through my stuff and wonder why on earth I kept some things—like my favorite frying pan that my son (now a very grown man) put a dent in (when he was a young boy) trying to use it as a hammer. So I like it. Or the letters my daughter wrote from camp decades ago: “Dear Mom and Dad, I really like camp. Sorry I haven’t written but I’ve been very busy. Love-N”

I’ll probably still have the gossip chair, maybe repainted though. And definitely my original, falling apart, underlined and well-worn Bible.

Most of all, I hope whoever pokes through my left-behinds will find evidence of a life well spent living and serving in the joy of the Lord. If they read my journals (perish the thought) they'll know more about me than they'll want to, but will certainly see what a change can happen in a life redeemed by God!

And next, if the guy who wants the mobile doesn’t show, and if I don’t knock myself silly cutting branches (like I did yesterday) I’ll tell you how to dismantle a mobile—with the help of a hefty, sledge hammer-swinging son-in-law and husband who believes he can do anything.

Today, may you find hidden treasures where you least expect them.

In the joy of the Lord


  1. As much as I love your writing I hope "How to Dismantle a Tetanus Hungry Mobile Home" will not be your next title. :) You should sell tickets for this journey! I'm just delighted to be on the bus.

    1. hah ha! actually I wondered when my last tetanus was! I'm glad you're on the bus too and I can go to reminders of ways to do the gentler things like love a warrior! http://www.cathybaker.org/2016/02/5-ways-to-love-warrior-and-my-february.html

  2. This all sounds very intriguing! I love these kinds of adventures. I also appreciate the thoughts regarding the treasures we leave behind. I've had this on my mind lately as well, while trying to clean some dresser drawers, etc. Praying I will be remembered for more than the scraps of memories I leave behind in my drawers...and working on building my treasures up in heaven...where they will never be destroyed. Thank you for this post today! So good.

    1. Thanks Pam. I'm pretty sure your legacy will include more than dresser doilies! Blessings

  3. Marcia,I am enjoying this adventure with you while sitting in my comfy chair and not having to encounter bugs and and endure itchy skin from menacing bushes. I hope my family will see my deep love for my Lord and for them when I've flown to heaven.

  4. Great post! Hopefully, when we leave this earth, we leave it behind a little better for the life we led.

  5. An enjoyable read. More than that, I love how you embed profound, thought-provoking truth into the crazy stories of life. Thanks, Marcia.


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