Thursday, August 26, 2021

May Peace Be Our Gift

 


Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. ~Matthew 6:19-20

I love receiving greeting cards of all kinds, no matter what the occasion.  And certainly, I so appreciate all the sympathy cards that come our way after Mom's passing.  They are still on display, and will be for several more weeks.  After that?  Well, as I do with Christmas cards once Epiphany begins, I recycle them.

Honestly, I simply don't like clutter.  And if I saved each and every card I ever got, where in the world would I store them?  Would I ever dig them out to read them all over again?  The short answer is "no."  So, out they go.

With the exception of cards from my husband, Danny, none are retained.  That is until I receive this Christmas greeting last December from my mother.


This arrives before vaccinations against Covid are available, and we haven't been able to spend time in person for months, with the few exceptions of keeping our physical distance from Mom when we go to her house to deliver a load of frozen meals that Danny has lovingly prepared for her.  I'm sure many of you suffered the same frustration in not being able to see your loved ones during the pandemic.

This is what Mom writes inside:


May we all celebrate soon . . .

That phrase strikes a chord deep within me.  I hold the card tightly, reading this brief but poignant sentence over and over.

Then a startling, unwelcome realization hits.  This might be the last Christmas card we ever see from Mom.  I don't want to think it, or believe it, but instinctively, I know this to be true.  It has become more and more evident that she is slipping, physically and cognitively.  I have to face the probability that my intuition is correct.

Sadly, it is.

But from the moment I read this card, I know it's a keeper.  It now serves as a bookmark in my current daily devotional.  Always accessible, always available to read and reread as the years roll on.

May peace be our gift . . .

Mom, you have received that gift in full.

Now, celebrate!

Amen!

41 comments:

  1. What a treasured card from your Mom, indeed. How wonderful that you had a nudging from the Lord to keep it, and what a special message it left for you to hold onto! I struggle also with how long to keep cards as well. They are always such a blessing to receive. So wonderful that you recycle them!

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    1. A very treasured card, indeed, Marilyn! And I'm so glad that God urged me to hang onto it. It will continue to bless me long into the future.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. May Peace be our gift ...

    Dear Lord, we pray.

    God bless you and yours, Martha. Thanx for this post.

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    1. Amen, Victor! The peace that passes all understanding.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. How this resonates, Martha!
    Each holiday season I think I'm going to gather my cards together and make bookmarks or gift tags ... then by January 1 I'm soooo over it all and pitch them in the recycle bin.

    I have, however, kept a years old birthday card from my sweet mother. Seeing her pretty script, 'Love and God bless' warms my heart immeasurably. Weren't we so very blessed?

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    1. We were/are blessed, indeed, Myra! It's such a comfort to see my mother's handwriting and hear her voice in my mind. I'm glad you have a similar, sweet memory in the card you saved from your mom.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Dearest Martha Jane,
    Yes, those 'final' written words received from our loved ones are special. Over all those years I've saved ALL of Mom's beautifully handwritten letters, cards and everything. When I had my double closed pelvic bone fracture, I had Pieter bring those bags all up from our pantry cupboards where I kept them by year. Sorted them all out by date and started scanning them. Now they're all digital and year by year I've started (by far not completed!) to turn them into a Pdf for my brothers to read and treasure. It gives such a rare insight in Mom's inner thoughts, that only few will ever get. So after scanning them, Pieter read them all and we discarded of them. I've not yet read them all... but will as a book in the end.
    Those are our earthly treasures and maybe this is an extra bonus for immigrants that got deprived of many visits in person.
    Big hugs to you,
    Mariette

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    1. I love how you have cherished and cared for all your mother's letters and cards, Mariette. Scanning and saving them to a PDF is such a wise move, ensuring their preservation for your family for many years to come. It certainly keeps our memories of our dear loved ones alive.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. What a precious memory and treasure to hold onto, Martha! May peace be our gift! I love that your mom wrote 45 x's. :) Is there a special meaning to the 45? Love and blessings of the gift of peace to you!

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    1. Trudy, you're the first person to ask about this, and I'm glad you did. Whenever Mom's grandfather would send her a letter, he would actually put 45 Xs in the closing with the admonition, "Don't count!" Well of course, my mother HAD to count them. Over the years, it got abbreviated and Mom always signed cards and letters to family that way. My children, niece and nephew do the same, whereas I never picked up that quirk. I think I might actually take it back up in her honor.
      Love and blessings!

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    2. Beautiful background story, Martha. :) I just knew it had to have some significance! Thank you for sharing that.

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    3. You are so welcome, Trudy! I'm so glad you inquired. :)

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  6. i love that you have that card, Martha.

    yes, someday we'll all be celebrating. come quickly, Lord Jesus ...

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    1. I'm so happy I have it, too, Linda! Won't that last celebration be the absolute best? And it never ends.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Nothing is as heartwarming as a gift from someone who has passed. Keep it always close to your heart. What a wonderful blessing. Blessings to you, Martha.

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    1. Oh, Nells, you can bet I will keep this one close to my heart and right at my fingertips. I hope to pass the significance of this card on to granddaughter, Virginia, one day, as she knew and loved my mother so dearly.
      Love and blessings!

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  8. What a treasure and yes some cards are keepers!!!

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    1. They definitely are, Jean! I do want to save this and pass it on to Virginia one day. She loved her great-grandmother.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Oh how I know the treasures of those cards. I am so happy that you have that one to cherish, Martha. Thank you for sharing. xo

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    1. Yes, Terri, cards can be treasures, indeed. In 1997, I lost my husband, John, unexpectedly. Though I didn't feature that in my post here, I believe I still have those sympathy cards stashed somewhere. I do need to find them and decide on their fate. Memories are truly enough.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. I love the story about the 45 x's...that really makes that card even more poignant. I'm SO glad you kept it. I'm afraid you'd freak out if you could see all the "hat boxes" full of cards that I have saved. I have tried to clean them out and just save the most special ones, but I have found that to be very hard to do. My parents always picked out such special cards that spoke their hearts, as well as wrote little sweet thoughts in them in their own writing...someday the written words will be all that is left here on earth. The digital stuff will become obsolete. I know, our treasure is in heaven, and that is where we will celebrate together again one day. But those little love notes bring me closer to heaven when I take the time to read and reflect again once in a while. Thank you for sharing this. I loved it so much.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the history behind the 45X's, Pamela. Such a unique fingerprint from the past! And believe me, I do understand why you save cards that meant so much to you. My mother saved hundreds of letters she wrote both to her Mom and the ones she received. I'm actually looking forward to going through these at some point down the road. And I have saved a few very special notes/cards from family members long gone to heaven. Now, if I can just remember where I stored them!
      Love and blessings!

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  11. Dear Martha,
    Peace the most precious of gifts… as Romans says, we have peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ.
    What a treasure that card is and as you say mum is now experiencing this Peace with God to its fullness. Joy hope indeed. Well done on forethought in saving that card, sadly I was not so careful… but do have some from my mum.
    Thanks for Sharing, God bless and keep you safe, and all those you love, prayer hugs Shaz in Oz.x

    {Wonderful Words of Life - Shaz in Oz}
    {Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz}

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    1. Yes, Shaz, the peace of God that passes all understanding is our gift in the Lord Jesus. Nothing better! I sure miss Mom, but I am so glad to know she is experience God's peace completely.
      Love and blessings!

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  12. Our secretary's father went to be with Jesus Sunday and I had the funeral yesterday (Saturday). I said, "Sadness not sorrow. Joy comes in the morning." There is something special about the peace of God. I don't honestly know how those who have no hope cope. Then this morning Ryan's (our youth pastor) father went to be with Jesus after battling cancer. Peace is his.

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    1. Oh, Bill, what a tough and sad time for your church staff. I will keep Ryan and your secretary in my prayers. And yes, we grieve for those we have lost, but God's peace gives us hope and joy amidst the suffering.
      Love and blessings!

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  13. Such a great gift of peace and a treasured memory from your mom before she passed.

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    1. Yes, Karen, it certainly is something I will treasure having long into the future.
      Love and blessings!

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  14. One of your most beautiful posts, Martha. There is coming a day when you will once again celebrate with your mom.
    Blessings!

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    1. Thank you, Lulu, for your kind words here. Yes, that day will come . . .
      Love and blessings!

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  15. A touching and poignant story, Martha. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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  16. I use special cards as bookmarks too--at least for awhile. What a good idea to take a picture of those with especially meaningful messages. Then they're at least preserved in a photo file--no box or drawer needed!

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    1. You are so right about that, Nancy! Yes, a photo will last a lot longer on file than the object itself.
      Love and blessings!

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  17. That card from your mom is lovely indeed. I have sorted and kept cards from loved ones gone before us. When the twi towers were built my cousin brought his mom out for a visit. He live din New Jersey and worked in NYC. She sent us a postcard of those towers and it is stamp dated from the USPS . It is a real treasure for me and I am grateful I have always been a postcard collector and kept in. :-)

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