What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Someone Said Today Was National Pack Rat Day?

I noticed on a couple of my blogging friends posts that today was National Pack Rat Day, or something like that...and I thought...there's a day to "celebrate" that? Or is it one of those "awareness" days...to be on the lookout for those "hoarding tendencies" that tend to creep up on us when we think we are just "collectors"...

I'll admit to having a latent gene inherited from my ancestors in there somewhere that causes me to want to collect and keep certain things...well, maybe not so latent...it rises to the surface quite often...but I manage to keep it under control by not having any money to spend on such frivolities...however, when things are free...or inherited...or gifts...or really a great bargain...well...watch out! Before you know it, things can begin to pile up...

  • in the corners, in the closets, in the drawers, under the beds, in the garages, attics, sheds...wherever there is an empty spot that just needs to be filled...
  • and then you realize that you just can't put one more thing in that room or closet or on that shelf...
  • but you see this "thing", and you love it and just have to have it...
  • it reminds you of Mama, or Grandma, or Daddy, or Aunt so and so, or a friend, or a place, or a memory of your childhood that you want to hold on to...

and then the collections become an obsession...and we find that we are powerless to
  • let go
  • walk away
  • say NO
  • throw it away
  • give it away

and we begin to dream about just moving out and leaving it all behind for someone else to deal with.  But then we think...Oh, but I don't want to leave my pictures, my books, my dishes, my tea cups, my tea pots, my dolls, my tools, my antique furniture....my "Collections"

Yes, I admit it...I totally understand this problem...I HAVE this problem.  They say admitting it is the first part of winning the battle, right?  So, okay, ... but I don't think I hoard things in the true sense of the word Hoarding (click here for that definition).  

I don't keep things because I think I'll need them someday...no, I keep things because I like them...they are special in some way...they have sentimental value to me for whatever reason...they have historical value, and I enjoy them. Or they are gifts that I've been given, and it wouldn't be nice to not keep them.   And for the most part, my "collections" are neat and orderly (sort of) and not totally overflowing the whole house...well...not yet...

Hubby and I have been talking about wanting to "downsize" to a more practical, manageable home in the future, when our sons are truly finally moved out on their own and we don't want to have so much house and property to maintain on our own as we get older.  When we start thinking about this and really talking about it, I do admit that I have some issues about what to keep and what to let go. So much of our furnishings, etc., are actually inherited from our families...and they do have sentimental value to us.  BUT...the day is coming when I know I will have to let go of some things and move on.

As a matter of fact...that day could come in a moment...in a twinkling of an eye (See I Corinthians 15:52) ...and the Lord will come and catch us up into the air and take us home to heaven. (See I Thessalonians 4:17)...either via the Lord's return, or via the end of this life as we know it and the beginning of the new life in heaven that I so look forward to.   And then what will happen to all of these things??? (See Luke 12:16-21)  


Matthew 6:19-21 tells me what I need to do:

19.  "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy 
and where thieves break in and steal;

20.  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

21.  For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also."

So, does this mean that it is wrong to collect things that I enjoy, or that have been passed down from our ancestors?  

The key verse here is "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

 I need to honestly look at myself and ask this question..."Where is my treasure? and Where is my HEART?"

Verse 24 of this chapter says:

"No one can serve two masters;
for either he will hate the one and love the other, 
or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon."

Do I put these "treasures" ahead of my relationship with God?  Do I love God enough to be able to give up these "treasures" in order to serve Him?  Do I allow these treasures to come between myself and my relationship with others?  

God has not yet asked me to "give up" anything that is in my house, but I believe I am understanding that if He were to call us onward to a different place...a new kind of ministry, or even to something that would be better for our household/life situation...I may have to relinquish my hold on these things...

If the Lord were to call me home to heaven today...I know I can't take anything with me...EXCEPT for the TREASURES that I have built up in heaven!  And what, pray tell, are those???

Lord, I hope that I have built up some treasures in heaven...I hope I haven't been so busily collecting these things here on earth that are just going to eventually collect dust, (daily), rust, break, be thrown into someone's trash heap and be forgotten...that I've neglected to store up the more valuable treasures in Your safe treasure store....things like:

  • Souls that have been drawn to and led to Christ because of my testimony or life of faith
  • Treasures of kindnesses that have been done for others 
  • Gifts that You've given me to use for Your honor and glory here on earth that have blessed the hearts of Your children here
  • Prayers that I've prayed for others
  • Songs that I've sung to You in praise and adoration
  • Love that I've hopefully given to others 
These material things that I've been given or have somehow obtained...they do have their place...and some have even been used in service to the Lord in some way...but they are still just things...
and I do not ever want to be guilty of putting any thing ahead of my relationship with Christ or any person.  That would actually be a form of idolatry...and we know that we are not to worship any thing in place of God....we are not to let any article, dream, or idea take the place of our relationship with Christ and His kingdom.

So, on this "National Pack Rat" day, I confess that I may be a bit of a pack rat...and I also confess that I struggle with letting go of these "things"...but when it comes right down to what is really important in this life and the life to come...I want my heart to be secured in heaven...and I want my REAL treasures to be stored there, where nothing can destroy them.  

Thank You, Lord, for this little wake up call to show me where my heart truly is.  Help me, Lord, to always invest my life in YOU, in heavenly treasures, so that I won't be sad to see some day that my heavenly cupboard is bare.  Amen.


  1. Beautiful! You said it all just right.

    1. Wow! Thank you Annie! Now if I can only follow through with this and learn to let go of these things...it is a challenge...

  2. Hi Pamela, I enjoyed your post today. I am still blogging and I have a page at my site called collections. We downsized and my garage still has things I need to get rid of. I inherited things too that are hard to let go. I don't collect many of the things I use to. You sound a lot like me. My kids don't want my collections so I will eventually sell them or give them away. I looked on line at it is Pack Rat Day!

    1. I know it is difficult to let go of family relics...and I have sons who aren't interested in tea cups and tea pots and dolls, etc., nor do I have any granddaughters (yet) so I know when I go, these things will go elsewhere. but I won't care then. I will check out your collections page on your site. Thank you for visiting here today.

  3. Oh yes! You nailed it! i recognize a few items here in the photos! 😉 I am saving this because it's so good, especially this list of the eternal treasures. I love the way you took this national holiday (😉) and made a devotional. Well done!

    1. thank you Nonnie...you helped me get inspired to write today! I think Terri D. also had the same "Hodgepodge" today, so both of you made me start thinking! Thank you!

  4. Beautifully said. You certainly have a gift with words!

    1. Thank you Becky. You know where I'm coming from...this Mursch collector's gene is really deep and strong! Apparently your part of the family tree didn't quite get this gene. It must have all gone to my part of the family tree. LOL!!!

  5. Not a hoarder, not a pack rat, just a keeper of precious treasures!!

    1. Thank you for that, Mary. I appreciate your understanding of my situation, because that is what I have felt I was for all these years as things have been passed down to me from various family members, etc., but there is a limit...and I'm afraid I've about reached the overload limit...because I'm starting to feel a bit hemmed in by these treasures. Praying for God's wisdom in this.

  6. Love that watermelon pitcher on the top shelf!

    I like to get rid of things. I love to clean out, toss out, give away, and minimalize. My hubby likes to keep things to remember things. :)

    1. Thank you Sandi. The watermelon pitcher was a gift from a friend. I do enjoy it and use it for iced tea when we have gatherings here...which is often. I may need to enlist your help some day when it comes time to "get rid of things".

  7. Matthew 6 is one of the more recent memory challenges that I've done with Do Not Depart. I still go over it through the Scripture Typer app and every time that I type those words about treasures I go through the same thought process as you have shared here, Pam. There is always some soul searching going on. Thank you for sharing your heart here. It is making me to think things through again. xx

    1. I don't think we should feel guilty about the things we have that are in some way special to us for whatever reason...but it becomes a problem when the things become more important than being able to part with them in order to do something more beneficial for all concerned. That's kind of where I'm at...thinking through that process...IF we were to "downsize"...what would have to go...and what would have to stay? When there are family memories attached to the items it makes it more difficult...especially when no one else seems to want them...So I pray about this and want to do what is right in God's eyes.

    2. Pam: I didn't know there was a day to focus on our hoarding tendencies. I have a friend who tells me she has too much stuff. I understand, because I do as well. Just before Lent began a Facebook friend posted an idea. We could use the 40 days to declutter. I decided to try it.When the weather turned colder, I got lazy about this project. I did some of this decluttering last week or was it rearranging and hiding it?

  8. I loved seeing your collection of treasured things Pam! And then as you wrote about the Lord dealing with your heart about what to keep and how much and treasures in heaven versus treasures on earth. When we downsized a couple of years ago from 2000+ sq ft to 780 sq ft, it was a HUGE difficulty for me, in so many ways, yet I persevered. I still have a few treasures boxed up, things that carry deep memories, but for the most part, I gave or sold a LOT of things, and it does make life simpler. It can be done, but I'll be the first to tell you its not an easy task, rather exhausting and daunting, but FULFILLING when you get there. I love your old hutch filled with the vintage treasures! My MIL has one just like it. Now, as we live in this tiny home, I find myself staying away from places where I would find things that "had" to come home with me, lol! I just have no place to put them! I enjoyed your post today and seeing all the gorgeous vintage collections that you have :)

  9. I love your collections and have several of those myself...as I have discussed these past few months as we moved into our retirement home and had to purge a bit. It isn't easy, but having family to absorb some of the precious pieces helps, and so does recognizing that we can't take it with us. Bring JOY into the picture. Sometime those things we think we can't live without don't bring us any joy at all.

  10. Beautiful! I had to face my pack rat tendencies head on when I prepared to move. I used very similar thoughts when I went through things - if it had sentimental value, was given to me by someone special or brought a smile to my face - I kept it. We do accumulate so many things and something those things tend to own us! I found that out as I had heart burn getting rid of things! An excellent post!

  11. I have to admit, I am exactly the opposite....I tend to give away or throw away and keep things simple. Now Jim, he is a hoarder big time!

  12. Pam, I can relate all to well to your post. I'm a bit of a "collector" of "stuff"--it seems to be a genetic trait for several generations. In the years since my mom passed (2008), I've parted with many things (likely still not enough but...)--lots to the landfill others to the recycling center, and some given away. And yes, I've kept some.

    As I think on things, I do see the need to go through and part with more items (mostly all mine)...they have long since served their purposes.

    I know that I need to keep before me the words of Jesus to store up treasures in Heaven--those are treasures that I want to add to--treasures that will last for eternity.


  13. I do have a few sentimental items I've hung on to, especially as they relate to family, but Danny and I are more or less minimalists. You certainly have some gorgeous and unique objects in your various collections, Pam, but I have no doubt where your heart's treasure is. God knows, too!
    Blessings, my friend!

  14. I guess we can all relate to some sort of collections a.k.a. pack rat collections LOL!. But I have to say yours is so neat and many beautiful objects. Have a day and weekend of blessings dear Pamela.


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