My husband and I are not pack rats.

Since we have moved eleven times in twenty one years of marriage, we have learned to travel light.

It is easy not to collect too much stuff when you have to move it every couple of years. With each move, we got progressively more ruthless with what we took with us and what we gave away. By the time we arrived at our current home, we didn’t have a lot of extra stuff.

We have been in this home for six years. That is the longest we have lived anywhere since we have been married.

Recently, a tax assessor came by the house and I had to show her all around, top to bottom. All was well until we came to the basement. I looked around in shock.

Where did all this stuff come from????

I was appalled.

When my husband got home that day, I took him down to the basement and we both agreed that it was time to purge.

And purge we did. Three trips to the Salvation Army Thrift Store and our basement was much emptier.

But my heart was so much fuller.

You see, in the several bins I went through, there were cards, letters, pictures, old journals. As I stood in that dusty basement with gray walls, my past came alive in gloriously beautiful Technicolor.

Names I hadn’t heard in years were scrawled across notes and letters, a testimony to once-close relationships that either time, distance or death had taken away.

Photographs revealed happy days gone by: big, silly, or sweet smiles at various celebrations caused my mind to flood with memories of happy times: birthdays, adoptions, wedding receptions, housewarmings, baby showers, family reunions, graduations.

My journals from my early days of walking with Jesus revealed many joys as well as my fears about hard times gone by … and the complete and utter faithfulness of my Savior to lead and guide me.

All these little moments make up a life and make one rich in all the ways that really matter.

Sometimes when life gets hard and mysterious, it is easy to forget how much beauty a life can hold, how many blessings one truly does have. My life may not have always been rich in financial ways, but it has been extremely rich in relationships.

I needed that reminder and God gave it to me this weekend.

It seems appropriate that it happened in November, the month of Thanksgiving.

How about you? Could you spend some time this month being intentional about remembering how God has blessed your life in amazing and beautiful ways?

Open a photo album. Read old love letters. Pull out a yearbook. Choose to remember the good from the past.

Then look to your present and open your eyes to the many blessings you have right now, in this very moment.

They are there.

“God gave us memories, that we might have roses in December.”—J. M. Barrie

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