Have you noticed the old becoming new? Tie-dye shirts, bell-bottomed pants, hobo bags, platform shoes, short tops replacing long, and grandchildren flashing peace signs send me spiraling back to high school days. Everything old and unstylish is suddenly new and modern. But isn’t it that way with life? What was abandoned finds new purpose. That which was put aside, or packed away, finds a place of honor once more.
Following are thoughts on renewal:
Examining the Abandoned
In the final days before the estate sale at my aunt’s house, I struggled with knowing familiar things would no longer be in the house. My angst was not in letting go of the things, but in how closely I associated them with loved ones.
The beginning of a turning point for me, was an inquiry from those I know about purchasing the baby grand piano. Knowing this piano that we sang around, and on which I took piano lessons from my grandmother was going to a new home, where it would be played and treasured, gave me a vision of old becoming new.
Then, workers found what they described as a very dirty box in the attic and left it for me to sort through. The box was indeed dirty, with evidence of rodent activity, decay, and layers of dust.
Initially, I considered throwing away the entire box because I didn’t think I could face one more smelly sorting session. A few things in the box grabbed my attention and forced me to gingerly begin picking through and around.
Melted cough drops glued things together, and disintegrated fabric of some kind covered the contents with a fine red dust. After a sneezing fit, I again considered giving up and throwing away, but then I hit unexpected treasure, pictures and letters dating back to my mother’s childhood, high school years, and World War II.
As I sifted through the contents of the box, I wondered why effort hadn’t been made to protect these treasures. Almost as soon as I thought this, I realized these were all part of everyday life, things set aside as life seasons changed.
My mother’s teen-hood scrapbook was important to her then, but later forgotten. My uncle’s music awards were once recognition of achievement. Although music continued to be a big part of his life, these awards became attic refuse. Letters to my grandmother from sons serving in the military and from Alabama kin once held great meaning, but ended up in the bottom of a dusty box.
I’m thankful I took time to go through the attic box and divide the treasures to send to cousins. Hopefully, these items will provide renewed connection to times past, a clearer glimpse of our heritage, and reminders of the great love our family has shared for generations.
What have you abandoned that needs renewal? Do you need to look beneath the surface, fight through the difficult, and unearth what is hidden? Perhaps you need spiritual renewal or need to take steps to improve your mental outlook or physical health. Now is a good time to push yourself to dig through the abandoned and dirty, like I did in the attic box, and restart forward motion and renewal.
Do you need to look beneath the surface, fight through the difficult, and unearth what is hidden?
Nature provides good reminders of renewal. Branches that look like dead sticks suddenly shows signs of new life. Overnight, trees bud and shoots push through barren ground. Not everything old becomes new, but renewal is a part of nature and it can be part of your life, too.
Sometimes, we have to look hard to discern renewal. When our hearts are overcome with grief, when difficult relationships don’t improve, when hardships feel like a heavy weight, expecting the worst becomes standard.
Discerning renewal requires wisdom and perception. Perceiving renewal involves deciding to see progress, expecting God to act on your behalf, and opening your eyes and heart to restoration.
“Restore us to You, O Lord, that we may be restored; Renew our days as of old” (Lamentations 5:21 NASB).
Perceiving renewal involves deciding to see progress, expecting God to act on your behalf, and opening your eyes and heart to restoration.
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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