Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Don't Despise Small Beginnings

I remember when I was 20 years old and living in Las Vegas on my own. I walked through a Neiman Marcus store at Christmas time and saw these gorgeous crystal icicles that you could hang on your Christmas tree. I thought they were beautiful but I couldn’t afford them. I found some plastic ones at a dollar store and hung those instead. I was smug with myself at my cheap little replacement.

Years later, I finally had glass icicles for my Christmas tree. But I kept the plastic ones. Even today, I still have a few plastic ones that haven’t gotten lost. I hang them right along with the glass ones to remind me of where I started from; my humble beginnings.

I also have paper ornaments that my kids made one year when we were in an apartment. We were building a house and all of our stuff was in storage. So they made ornaments out of paper. I still hang some of those too – a precious reminder of our thankfulness one Christmas, despite not having all our things. We made do and had fun despite what we lacked having.

I still have things I hang onto that don’t have monetary value to someone else. But they are sentimental to me because they are reminders. Reminders of a simpler time. A time when I may not have had financial excess, but I had happiness. And that’s a very important reminder!

Never be ashamed of your beginnings. Most people start out small and aim to get rid of those cheap things as quickly as possible. But it’s those “cheap” things that often can be such great reminders of how rich you truly were and show you how God took care of your every need to bring you to where you are now.

Whether it’s a small home, a “bargain” piece of furniture, or anything else that you had to “make do” with – focus on the bigger picture. There are people in your life who love you and enjoy being with you.

For many, many years, I used an old hope chest as a coffee table. I had many get togethers and people who had to sit on the floor and eat off that hope chest because I didn’t have enough chairs. Those are warm memories. Those were fun times.

You don’t have to have everything achieved in order to love and be loved. You don’t have to have a certain image to be valuable and to “value” pieces of your life.

Things are just things. It’s what they represent that holds the true value.  And that’s why I keep hanging my plastic icicles along with the glass ones. One represents a time and a place that I’m thankful for. It’s where I came from. It’s part of who I am. Another part shows how faithful my God is and how much He loves to lavish blessings on me. Both are valuable in my heart.  And the plastic one holds just as much value as the glass.

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