Collect Moments, Not Things

I recently saw this saying, “Collect Moment’s Not Things” on Pinterest and instantly fell in love with the quote. It really fits my life right now. We sold our house back in March and now have a rental that is literally about half the size of our previous home. Most of the time it’s cozy, but there are times when we feel a bit like we are on top of each other. Still, I truly believe God is using this time to really show us what we can live with and what we can live without. I’m actually very happy with our space right now and have learned to love us being together in this way. My kids are making precious memories as they are sharing a bedroom, and I love to hear them chatting away before bed each night. I know as they get older, they will certainly want their own spaces, and I will not want my bedroom right next to theirs, but for now, it is a blessing I’m soaking up.

While working at an antique shop for my entire teenage life and then some (seriously started working there when I was 13), I collected all kinds of things and learned so much about antiques, refinishing furniture and fell in love with interesting pieces. I lived with my grandmother at the time, and truth be told, most weeks my pay for the week was an item or two that would go home with me rather than any type of paycheck. ┬áMoving a few times and now downsizing, I’ve quickly learned to weed through items and know what are true treasures to keep and what things I can live without. I have a dresser that was has been on my mother’s side of the family now for 7 generations. My grandfather’s pocket-watch and pair of small pliers he always had in his pocket. My grandmother and great-grandmother’s Bible. Jewelry that has been passed down. These are things that hold a special place in my heart, and I can’t depart with them. Other than that, I’ve really been learning lately that nothing materialistic means much to me.

I want the home for my family to be warm, inviting and safe, but that is all. Square footage doesn’t matter. My car doesn’t have electric windows, locks or power steering. It was not worth the cost to me. I don’t own a smartphone and don’t want one. My husband is the opposite of me, mind you, in the phone and vehicle department! :-) We just turned off our satellite service to go with streaming options because it just wasn’t worth the cost to our family. Now this government shutdown is even teaching me more about what I can live without. We eat at home as a family and cook what we have on hand instead of running through a drive-thru or spending time at the busyness of a restaurant.

One place I do not believe in cutting back and will spend the most money on is anything that involves making memories with my family. We travel… a lot! Not all trips are grand and involve a lot of money, but they all involve spending time with those I love. My husband and I will often talk about what all our kids have seen and experienced in their short lives… much more than we had ever done at that age, and I believe we learn much more in traveling and experiencing than we could ever learn from a textbook. We love seeing things and experiencing places with them… sharing in their excitement and sense of wonder at it all. We have spent time on the lake in a pontoon and again in the gulf, on the river in a raft, on a train in northwest Arkansas and again to New Orleans and made sandcastles together at the beach. Soon we will be visiting a cabin in the Ozarks to enjoy family time like none other. We have a tent camping trip planned soon and lots of other events locally for the holidays. ┬áMy kids and I can be found cooking or baking something just about every weekend. Crafts are always a good time to learn and share together as well. I believe memories are the only things you take with you into eternity, and I try to make as many as possible with those I love.

Here are a few shots of things we all experienced together for the first time during a trip to New Orleans.

The Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis King of France is the oldest Catholic cathedral in continual use in the United States. Seeing the sunset with this before us and the Mississippi River behind us is a memory we’ll always treasure.

 

Beignets at Cafe du Monde…. need I say more really?
The original Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand was established in 1862 in the
New Orleans French Market and is open 364 days a year, 24 hours a day!

By happenstance we ate at the Camilla Grill on Chartes Street which is somewhat like a diner. It has about 30 or so stools wrapped around two counters with an open grill and true New Orleans style. The kids loved how we sat at the stools and could see the guys cooking up our orders right at the grills then just pushed right on down the counter to us. I smile at the recollection of this sweet memory!

 

Have a chance to collect moments? Choose them over things at every opportunity!

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