I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Friday, December 10, 2010

Unexpected Treasures

This year my sister-in-law and I decided to do something different for our gifts to each other. We're going secondhand. Yard sales, antique stores, thrift stores, ebay--it's all fair game. But all the gifts we buy for the other's birthday and Christmas must be used.

It's been fun...for me, at least. Apparently we have better yard sales in South Florida than she does in Alabama. :-) I picked a theme (the four seasons) and have tried to find things that fit. I'm at about half my budget and have filled up one of those rolling storage cart things. It's a good thing she's driving down, not flying! A gorgeous candleabra, a pretty fall pitcher, a Christmas runner, darling Easter ornaments and a little burlap bag with a rabbit on it to hold them, a summery purse perfect for the beach or a picnic, and so much more. (Holly, you better not be reading this!) 

Other people's junk--my treasures that I'm so excited to share. 

Sometimes the talents--the gifts--that we have look worthless to us. I don't write like Charles Martin. I'm not gorgeous like Tosca Lee. I could never speak like Liz Curtis Higgs. I can't sing like Rachel Hauck. There are so many things I can't do, or can't do as well as someone else. So maybe I should just give up altogether. Throw this junk away.

But no. If you clean it up, set it out where people can see, do what you can with it...someone may come along and find it priceless. That word of encouragement--exactly what they needed. That article--spoke to them and they changed something in their marriage to make it better. The look on your face as you worshiped--the motivation they needed to seek to know God more. That situation in your novel--showed them how to get through a similar situation in their own lives.

What's that saying--God don't make no junk? (Beth, don't cringe too hard.) It's true. He knew what plans He had for you when he knit you together. Those gifts He gave--big or small--are not to be wasted. Turn them over to Him and see how He gives back, filling your cup until it overflows. 

~ Jenness Walker
http://www.tandjbooks.com/

December Contest: We're having weekly contests during December and we're giving away fun prizes! Leave a comment this week and you could win: a journal and a mug containing 3 Starbucks Christmas flavored VIA packets and 3 flavored tea bags. The mug has a photo of an old-fashioned typewriter on it and says: Write your own story. To see a photo of this week's prize, go here.

11 comments:

  1. Such a perfect message to hear this morning, Jennesss. Thanks so much! We're so quick to bemoan what we can't do or how we're not like someone else that we forget about the qualities we do have.

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  2. What an uplifting post. Thanks for reminding me God DOESN'T make junk! I am perferctly and wonderfully made.

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  3. Very neat and powerful application, in fact, down right inspiring. It makes me glad we gave lots of "treasures" to Goodwill yesterday as younger recently married son officially moved out the remainder of his stuff.
    Yes, may our lives and writings be treasures for each other.

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  4. Either way you say it--it's true, God don't or doesn't make no junk.
    Thanks for the reminder.
    I smiled the entire time I read your post, Jenness. I'd love to see your sister when she sees all those gifts!But I'd also love to see you pulling that rolling grocery cart!

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  5. Hahaha, Beth! Storage cart--as in, those rubbermaid type organizers. NOT a grocery cart. Although I kind of did look like a bag lady the other day with all the clothes I threw on to try to stay warm. :-)

    Maybe I should add a warning that the whole yard sale thing can become addictive. Resulting in loss of sleep, furniture you don't have room for (hello? Those chairs were $5 for all 3! And soooo cute), and projects you'll never get around to doing. lol

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  6. "Yes, may our lives and writings be treasures for each other."

    Oh, Dee, I like that! I'll have to add a P.S onto my post. :-)

    Thanks, ladies. You all are a gift to me! (And, thankfully, not the kind that I need to dust off or spraypaint. lol)

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  7. Jenness, I so enjoyed your post. If I get going, I tend to be a yard sale junkie too (like the computer table I bought to use in our bedroom, that now sports all those things I need to take downstairs.....on one of my trips down). :)

    I love the reminders you give. Not comparing the gifts God has given me with those He gave someone else. Choosing to see those gifts as gifts that God thought perfect for me and that He wants me to use, cherish to the best of my ability.

    It's nice to focus on the intangible gifts in our lives, and the Giver of them. Thank you!

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  8. Having just cleaned out my closets, I can attest to all the stuff that is garage sale worthy, but still in good shape. You are doing all of us pack rats a service by "recycling" those gifts.
    I'm glad God doesn't recycle. He gives us brand new gifts every morning!

    Thanks for reminding me of that Jenness!

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  9. Thanks for reminding me of the danger of comparisons. It's easy for me to wish for the gifts God has given others, but I'm learning that when I do, I'm actually telling God He made a mistake when He made me! Sooo, since I know God doesn't make mistakes - or is it God don't make mistakes? - it's nice to know I've been perfectly gifted to fulfill His purpose for me!

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  10. Way fun post, Jenness! And I love you and your sis's Christmas gift idea. What fun. I also love the overall message of your post. I've not been so keen on my own writing...it's felt forced and awkward and at moments, the comparisons going on in my head have merry-go-rounded me into a mess of a writer. Your encouragement is EXACTLY what I needed to hear. Thank you for reminding me that me and my writing - even when it feels like junk - aren't junk at all. :)

    p.s. Bliss is on my Christmas list. I'm so excited to read it. Only reason I haven't bought it myself is 'cause I gave it to someone as a gift idea...so I have to wait to see if I get it as a present first. If not, then I'm ordering it on December 26. :)

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  11. Inspiring post, Jenness!

    I want a photo of all those gifts you give your sister. Wonder what she's been collecting for you? What fun!

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