Monday, June 3, 2013

People vs Things

This morning, as I sit in our bedroom chatting with a friend on facebook, the children begin getting their breakfast.  Hearing the happy chatter I grin.  Doug and I are already done with our morning coffee chat and I am having a pleasant conversation with my friend.

Suddenly an uncanny noise of shattering glass and a huge thud erupt from the kitchen.  The boys heatedly discuss who did what to cause such a calamity.

As I scramble off the bed - which takes a bit longer now that my knees seem to sorta 'lock in place' when sitting indian style on the bed with my computer in my lap - I can tell the boys are getting more and more worked up by the event that just transpired.

I walk into the kitchen expecting to see the candy dish from the island shattered with m&m's strewn about the floor.

That isn't QUITE what I discover.

First I see Elijah cowering his way to the living room holding his hand, sitting on the couch, assessing his leg and ankle.

Walking toward him, I call out to Jacob - who at this point is sitting on the kitchen countertop to avoid the shattered glass on the floor - and ask "What happened?"

His response, "I'm not sure.  The platters from up top," pointing up above the cabinets where I store 'extra stuff', "just fell.  Shattering everywhere.  Even the platter in the drain broke."

I go to Elijah and assess his minor cut.  Rattled and a small cut on his hand, but all is well.  Just confused.

Upon shooing all the kids, the cat, and the dog out of the kitchen area to insure no feet get cut, I begin to assess for myself what took place.

I have to take full blame on this one.

I placed all our 'big' serving platters up on top of the cabinets for 'storage'.  They fit, but they are all different sizes so they are a bit 'precarious'.

My guess is every time the cupboards are closed or the counters bumped, the platters shift.

Little by little.

Until today!

They shift a bit too much resulting in their ultimate demise as they plummet over the top and to the floor - nicking poor Elijah, bouncing back into the drain to break yet another piece of old china, ultimately crashing to the floor with a flourish.

My initial thought is, "Oh, no.  All our 'nicest' serving pieces."  Then I remember my boys - who had been under all the crashing pieces of glass.

I am so thankful that neither of them are hurt.

Sure, my crystal serving platter and the china plate that was my moms are broken.

But...... those items - as precious as they may have seemed - are. JUST. THINGS!

In thinking back to some situations we recently went through, God humbles me and I feel so grateful that I have this perspective.

Sure, I want to be careful with the 'things' God gives us.  That's good stewardship.

However, if I allow our stuff to be more important than the 'people' God gives us, that's idolatry.

So, this morning, as I sweep and vacuum up shards of glass; pieces of porcelain; remnants of memories broken in the fall; I smile.

Grateful that our boys, our girls, even our pets and Doug and I, who were no where near the incident this morning, are all fine.

Now I just have fewer items for which to find homes.  :-)

Plus, most important, our children are safe; in one piece; and no yelling for careless behavior came from my mouth.



  1. Thank-you for sharing that story. My wife had a similar accident and it is very hard when we lose things with memories or that have been passed down through generations. I think it's times like those that God is prodding us a bit to let us see where we truly are on the issue of things. We've always agreed that our children are more important than the things they are going to break. But sometimes it's easier said than felt when the events happen.

    1. Michael,
      You are so right. When you are in the 'throws of it', it is very easy to get angry, irritated, and even irrational about the 'item'. I was ever so grateful that I had the proper perspective this time around and that I was calm with the children. It's WAY too easy sometimes to 'cry over spilled milk' or broken mementos. Sorry to hear Heather lost a special heirloom.


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