Friday, March 16, 2012

Pennies and what matters most

My two year old daughter was a mess. Her little face was covered in dirt. Her clothes stained with orange Popsicle. Half her hair matted down with heaven only knows what while the other half stood straight up. So all in all she had a fabulous day. Now she was in the bathtub and she was not handing over what was tightly wrapped in her hand. My daughter had lots of "monies" and she was not giving them up to her mother.

Bella was clutching a fist worth of pennies. About 5 in her little dirt smudged hand. I promised to give them back as soon as bath was over. She pulled her balled up fist to her chest and shook her head back and forth. "no Mommy. My monies!" So I let her take her fortune with her into the bathtub. Only one minor snafu was when she dropped some of her gold treasure in the bubble tub and we had to go on an emergency search and rescue. After all, this was five pennies.

I took her to her bedroom and was getting her ready for night-night. Here is where I had to draw the line. No way was I letting her sleep with the monies. After a lot of convincing and a promise to give her another "money" in the morning, she finally agreed to open her hand and let me place her 5 treasured pennies on her dresser. She watched them the whole way into the bed and looked at them over her milk cup. I swear she had one eye on me and one eye on the pennies at all times. Just wanting to make sure that mom didn't take off with her fortune. First thing in the morning, Bella asked for her monies again. Putting them in her purse, on the table, in her tea party cup, or anywhere else she traveled. The pennies were worth a lot more than 5 cents to her!

The next day I received a message from a devotional group I belong to. And it looked like this....

And I loved it. And I thought about it. And it made me think of pennies.

You see I am a busy lady. I bet if you are reading this, you are pretty busy too. Lives are so very very full. We have places to be and things to do. Obligations that must be met and deadlines looming. Bills need taken care of and time just runs short. But what really matters in my life? What truly is LIFE and DEATH. I began remembering a scripture I memorized years ago-
Psalm 39:4-6 says:
“Lord, make me to know my end,
and what is the measure of my days,

That I may know how frail I am.
Indeed, the number of my days is small like the size of a hand.
And my age is as nothing before You.
Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor.”

Haven't we all heard the saying that "life is short." Truly it is. I couldn't begin to tell you how many times strangers have approached me when I am out and about with my kids and they tell me to cherish every minute. One time when I was with my four crazy loud wonderful darlings, a much older woman smiled at me as I was trying to get all of them to settle as I put the groceries on the belt. Luke was trying to see how close he could her his finger to the moving belt that sucked in, Bella was screaming that she must have that snickers bar that was only slightly out of reach, and Will and Rachel argued over who got to put the grapes up to pay for them. I remember being tired. And frustrated. The older woman looked at me, with tears in her eyes, and said "this too shall pass. One thing is for certain, they don't stay little for long."

And they won't. I am given such a small window of time here and now. Whats matters to me? What in my life will truly outlive me? Will it be the love for my husband? The dedication and determination of raising Godly wonderful children? Will it be the hand I offer to a friend or a word of comfort to a stranger? At times when so many things seem pressing into me at all times, I must remember what really matters. What counts for me. So much of it are simply pennies. I clutch at them. Worried that if I open my hands, all of my "pennies" will fall out. Then when I look close....really close....I see how next to worthless so much of it is. Why worry over things that are here today and gone tomorrow? Should I invest my time, energy, love, and talent into things of eternal value?
And this Lord, is my prayer
Psalm 90:12
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom”.

1 comment:

  1. That is beautiful. What a great way of looking at things. Sometimes life can feel so overwhelming with the laundry, the groceries, the bills. How nice to remember that in the end, it is all trivial compared to living for our Lord. I adore this post. Wonderful words!