Last week, I took a little birthday vacation and visited a friend in sunny Florida for a few days. We’ve been friends for over 30 years. She befriended me my first day on a new job with a new company when I was only 23 years old. We had much in common – married, no children, about the same age, and we both liked to sew. She taught me to cross stitch – a pastime that became therapy for years to come. We had children over the same time period while still working together about six years later. As life changed for us, there were periods of time where we didn’t see each other frequently, but we never completely lost touch. She is one of my treasures – a life-long friend.
She really made my week special. It was my birthday each and every night. We had a fun time along with quiet time, enjoyed sharing and reminiscing, and discovered we are still learning from each other. She set up a game for us to play together and pointed out a few more features on my iPhone. I taught her two line dances – the Electric Slide and the Cuban Shuffle, which she discovered is really the Cupid Shuffle. She introduced me to a couple of her other friends who greeted me warmly and joined us for dinner. We shared a common thread – her friendship.
One day was spent on the beach. I combed the beach picking up sea shells – something I hadn’t done in years. I felt like I was on a treasure hunt as I searched for different colors and shapes. Some shells were large with distinctive colors and markings – some obviously had weathered many storms. Other smaller ones were perfect and worth keeping for their beauty. When I returned home, I took great care in cleaning my shells – soaking, drying, and finally rubbing each one with oil.
I couldn’t help but correlate these shells I collected to my earthly treasures – family and friends. They, too, are a varied collection – large and small, some colorful, some plain, some smooth, some rough – but they all complement my life. I must remember to nurture these treasures that are still a part of my life and will honor the treasures who have passed on or who graced my path for only a brief moment in time but left a mark, an impression, an influence – the large and the small.
My book, Reflections, is a celebration of some of my treasures – relationships of friends and family. I suspect I will write a sequel or two, as I barely scratched the surface when I think about all of my treasures, including my friend of 30 years and the two I just met. I never know when another treasure is going to debut in my life.
My vacation was far too short. The return flight home was packed to capacity. A lady boarding at the end sat down next to me. One might have been annoyed calling her a chatterbox, but there was something about her that struck a chord in my spirit. She was continuing on to Las Vegas for a week with family and friends – her treasures. As I prepared to de-board that afternoon, I handed her a copy of Reflections. I do not know why she just happened to sit next to me that day, and I do not know why I gave her a copy of my book. But somewhere in my jar of treasures, I believe she is represented.
When I look at my treasure from my day on the beach, I will remember my earthly treasures who are also my eternal treasures. I am, indeed, blessed beyond measure. Have you considered your treasures lately?
“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:20-21 (NIV)