Perspective changes with circumstances.
Several years ago, we invested in “freshening” our home. New floors, new paint, new counters. Twenty years of wear and tear, six children, several dogs and most surfaces having been peed, pooped or puked on made it feel necessary.
It was a big deal for me. As frugal as we were, the price was higher than I wanted it to be. Once it was done, I was obsessive about taking care of it so it would last.
Four years later, our floors are scratched, our walls have marks on them and gouges can be found sprinkled around like tiny ice cream scoops had been used on surfaces.
I purchased the stuff online that fills in gouges so “you won’t even know they’re there.”
I still know they’re there.
I’d scurry around after gatherings and mop up spills, wipe down walls, a small can of the leftover paint on hand to brush on marks made by others.
It was exhausting.
The kids are grown, so they’re not here to carve initials in surfaces they shouldn’t. Our dog died several years ago, so pet stains aren’t happening. (John has said no more pets that can’t live underwater for five minutes.)
Wear and tear still happens.
I can’t stop that.
I can appreciate the memories we’ve made in this “refreshed” space with all the different people in our lives. The family and friends who’ve blessed our home with their presence. Who will experience accidents. Will gouge a floor or scrape paint off a wall.
The memories of times together far surpass the appearance of my home.
Being with family this past week and the new friends I made this past year have reinforced that truth. I need to invest more energy in people.
It’s so easy to become immersed in stuff–things stare me in the face all the time. A car that doesn’t run well. Not having the “right” outfit to wear to an event. An old computer that insists on having a mind of its own and refuses to listen to me.
Stuff doesn’t fill in the gaps of my heart and my need for friends who love me, family who gets me, those who are my safe and comfortable people. I yearn for folks in my life who won’t criticize or condone but will listen.
That’s where I need to invest my time and energy. Those people are my life treasures.
Jesus spoke often about the posture of our hearts. What we value becomes the focal point of what we hold dear. How we invest what we have.
He warned that building treasure on earth is temporal. I’ve seen that happen when things gained lose appeal. When something of value is taken or lost. Fear is the underlying melody of acquisition. There’s always the worry I could lose it.
This past week I made memories for a lifetime with family. Laughter and jokes that we won’t forget. Stories told that share heart needs. Love shared graciously. Friends made this past year are investments in people who will populate my life longer than a new paint job.
That’s a guaranteed investment where I can’t lose.
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