Garage Treasures and Other Things to Be Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all. Today I am resting contentedly, the smell of cornbread is in the air, and I’m overwhelmed by all the goodness that’s seeped into my soul this year, even if it stung a little on the outset. Struggles and pain and suffering often accompany the growth process, but oh the sweet joy of knowing God is purifying my heart and helping me see Him more clearly. Goodness, motherhood in and of itself is such a stretching process, but such a good one.

Speaking of my kids. How I love each one so much. The other day, they wrote up a few things I could tell the grandmas they wanted for Christmas. I loved their sweet, simple lists. Then I noticed my five-year-old asked for boots. “Hey, I have a pair of boots waiting for you in the garage. They just might fit you this winter. Do you want to go look at them?” I asked him. He was so excited to dig into the shoe bin in the garage. I mean, in our house, “garage shopping” is a thing—mostly for the little two who inherit many hand-me-downs from big brother and sister. And my kids love garage shopping. There is never any pride about re-wearing something that’s been worn before, especially by someone they love and look up to…and it’s a fun way for me to see those cute dresses again, or those cowboy boots. Sure enough, the boots did fit. He’s worn them every day since with great pride. We’ve only needed a band-aid for one blister.

I could break into Jack Johnson’s song about reducing, reusing, and recycling now. Or I could brag about my children’s great humility in wearing old boots. But what I feel the message really is here is that my son found a treasure in the garage, a true treasure, guys. He didn’t humble himself to wear old boots. As far as he is concerned, they are the most valuable boots in the world because 1) they fit, 2) these boots used to be worn by BIG BROTHER and 3) he did not have to go on a boring errand into a boring shoe store to shop for them. His need is met, and his heart is full. There are a few other things on his Christmas list I emailed to the grandparents. But I hope my sweet boy never outgrows the idea that sometimes, in your own backyard (or in your own garage), you might be able to find just the thing your heart desires, already broken in and ready for the day. How we look at the world and the things around us can dictate whether we have hearts of thanks or hearts of discontented longing. My little guy saw the used boots in the bin as a treasure, not as a dirty pair of hand-me-down shoes. His heart isn’t disappointed in not getting a new pair of sparkly, unscuffed kicks. His heart is thankful and content.

So here is my prayer this Thanksgiving: that my heart will be simple and content like my kids, that I will see things with the right kind of eyes. I pray I can be as happy with a garage treasure as something with new tags on it. I pray I won’t overlook the blessings God puts right in front of me every day. I pray I won’t be distracted looking at all the things outside of my world that I think I want or need and allow my soul to sour. I pray I will keep learning from my amazing kids, who are unafraid of being vulnerable and honest and thankful and forgiving and apologetic and real. And I look forward to all the future days of digging treasures out of plastic bins together with them.

Enjoy your turkey, everyone. Gobble gobble.