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I have a difficult time sharing my possessions. It’s not that I am selfish and possessive of them. It is more because I have a very deep understanding of values that is hard to express.

When I was young, I didn’t concern myself about the destruction of anything I played with. Not only were toys made much more sturdily than they are today (metal versus plastics), but because I didn’t associate any value to them. They were mine to use, and it never occurred to me that crossing the line into my sister’s things violated any sort of boundaries – like respecting another person’s property.

So I played, taking full advantage of the shear joy in using what was given to me to use…and not use.


In the years that came in my young adulthood, that same lack of concern spilled into my world of desires. I made enough money, so I just bought things without thinking about the value. Even the value of my hard earned paychecks.

Then I married and things began to shift. But only a little bit.

Working with my husband, I figured up a budget based on our debts and expenses. I suited us fine, until one day his income was no more.

Loss is a great teacher…

Losing something is a great teacher. It displays loudly what it is that we are struggling with in our personal lives.

The loss is a gaping wound in the side of our comfortable lives. It displays our inability to understand the difference between what we need…and what we want.

It is a chance to reevaluate exactly what our value system is. And what needs to change to make us live in peace once more.


This is a big one for me.

Having lost everything at one point after my husband’s death , I became hyper aware of understanding that everything I owned was to last for a long time. I no longer had the freedom to just replace it when it broke.

So when a friend stayed with us for a time, it shocked her that I was upset when she just pulled out blank sheets of paper and handfuls of ink markers I had set aside for schooling. Just so the kids could doodle on them.

I knew the cost. And I knew how much I had for the year. Additionally, I was extremely limited in my income so replacement wasn’t easily done.

She didn’t.

And neither did the kids.

Better income…

When I was working with a large corporation, my income was so great that I had extra. Too much extra. It almost became a problem because I was not used to having so much income.

I began to set it aside and limited the remainder to what I actually needed – with some as just blow money as well. I could give it away, buy extras for the grandkids, help my daughter out when her limited income didn’t cover the family expenses, etc.

It was great!

But the habit of spending and replaceability of items was hard to break when I quit that job.


The cycle has begun again.

With the cost of everything skyrocketing far beyond expectations in the past two years, my income that was once comfortable has become a tight squeeze again. The feeling of fear begins to creep in, like PTSD.

What if I don’t have enough? What if I can never work again?

And what if the income I have currently disappears?

Nothing is certain in life except death and taxes, they say. I add, also, the loss of value of our fiat money.

And of those three things, I am certain that the loss of the value of our currency and quality of products forces us into a continuous spiral of having to spend to replace quickly damaged, cheaply built items from an increasingly diminishing budget.

What does the future hold?

It holds great hope.

Even in the midst of the loss of value of what we own – or even the loss of what we own – there is always hope. It isn’t often seen in times of fear or stress. But it is there as a shining light in the midst of the ever creeping darkness.

For when we re-evaluate what we posses or buy, we have the opportunity to relearn what is truly valuable. It isn’t so much about the things as it is about what we hold of value.

Memories are irreplaceable, and those things associated with them hold the value of those cherished memories. Items that require replacing when used are valued for how long they can be maintained before requiring them to be replaced. Wasting food because it is available now doesn’t mean it will be weeks from now. Holding onto it and not using more than is necessary for each serving will make it last longer.

Each of these examples show how to extend the life of anything over which we have stewardship. And, in the process, extends the availability of our income just that much more for other necessities.

The future holds a great deal more than we bargain for. If we are proving ourselves to be good stewards over the land that gives us food, the food we gain, the possessions we own, we will not have as great a need for more income.

Unless we continue to live in complete ignorance of our responsibilities over what we have in our charge.

The things we desire in this short life are great for a dopamine release. But that effect is fleeting. And it is necessary to continually raise the bar for an increased hit. Whether that hit be drugs, shopping sprees, extreme excitement from dangerous feats, sex, or any other form of dopamine inducing experiences. When the body becomes accustomed to the hits, it wears out.


Then what?

We need to change what we are doing.

Our perception of value comes from our experiences with those things we value. And what we own isn’t as valuable as our end reward. It is something we all have to come to terms with in this life.

So, even as I struggle with loss over the years, I, too, need to realize that this very opportunity of lack gives me a better opportunity to practice trust. Trust in the One Who gives me this lack so I can better see Him instead of the shiny objects with which the world clutters our vision. And causes us such temptations to live beyond our means.

This sits on my dresser. I need to practice it more often.

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