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Saving for Tomorrow

I recently received canning jars from a friend who was moving. I promised I’d pass them on to someone who could use them, if I couldn’t.
How much “saving for tomorrow” did I need to do? After all, my canning cupboard was full of jars. Some with stuff in it.
I had bread and butter pickles from 2012. The recipe was my Grandma’s. I loved her pickles. I hated mine (I think I forgot to put sugar in one batch, so no one dared eat any of them.) I saved them for “tomorrow.”
I ended up giving what she gave me away, along with some of my one. Saving a few smaller jars for smaller batches of jams instead of the big quart size that we use to devour.

The same friend gave me a closet full of dehydrated foods her mother-in-law had given her when she married (40 years ago.)
Our animals would love them.
As I added boiling water and stirred the “stew,” “carrots,” and “cheddar cheese powder,” I wondered if I should save some for when the boys camp. Wouldn’t this be great? But as I smelled whiffs of cheddar cheese powder, I thought, “Will the dogs eat this?”
Yet every day as I add water and stir, I battle over the loss, and the “What if” we couldn’t get food later. I told the boys to hurry and give it to the dogs before I changed my mind. (The dogs loved it.)
The “wheat” and “rolled oats” will wait until the ducks and chickens are a little older, but they will also must go.

I often look at my clutter and wonder how much I save for “tomorrow.”
I can’t tell you the number of times when I've ordered vitamins. This time, I will do better. Because I can buy 3 bottles and get 2 free, I stock up—only to finish one bottle. I can’t remember to take them. They get stored in a box or cupboard. Why? for tomorrow. 
Yet I have thrown out or given away cages. Weren’t we done with rabbits? birds? Only to rebuild another cage later when another son had the interest. Why hadn’t I saved it?

Saving for Future Generations
In my grandparents’ era, they survived WWII by thrift and ingenuity. They saved every yogurt container, usable jar, magazine they received. When we sold their house, after removing all the piles of collected “stuff,” what did my dad want? Only the money they hid in the walls and pipes of the house. 

We save pictures. Then our children wonder, “Who are these people?”
Last year, I scanned our photo albums (I make a photo album for each boy.) Then printed them using Snapfish. If we ever have a fire, I can print another book, because it’s on their file. The books were so much smaller.
Now we can also have pictures stored on the cloud, where we never see them again.

As a “good” mom, I saved the boys’ teeth as they lost them. I put them in a box of special treasures they wanted to save.
That’s the first thing they threw out when I give them their box as a teenager. “Why’d we save these?” they’d ask.
But at the time, each tooth was a milestone, a memory of the struggle to lose one and gain something better.

Saving for tomorrow…
Why?

I look at the jams, butters and jellies in my canning cupboard and say, “for winter. When fruit tastes great but is not fresh.”
Saving for tomorrow…
Why?
For memories. 
But must I save every picture the boys draw? Couldn’t we choose the best or even the one that shows the most progress?

When one son finished the Spartan race, an obstacle race of feat, endurance and skill, instead of wearing the shirt he received, he threw it out. Why?
It said, “Finisher” on the back. He looked at me with disgust. “Mom, everyone finishes.” He used his award for target practice.
Others who ran said, they’d wear their award for a month to let everyone know they did finish.
Maybe memories are for those who need them. Not for those who move on.
Or maybe God wants us all to trust Him for today, not remember too much of yesterday and fret about tomorrow.
He promises strength for the day.

If I hold stuff from yesterday, my hands are too full for what God has for me today.
If I fret over tomorrow, I cling to thin air, for my strength is not enough.

Remember the grass—here today, gone tomorrow. Yet my Father provides for them.

Do I trust Him?
My overflowing cupboards of old pickles and my struggle to let go, tell Him, “No.”

You know those bread and butter pickles? When I gave a jar to the dogs, one dog experimentally picked it up with his teeth and chewed it. The others wandered back to lay down disappointed, not even trying them.
I threw the rest down the sink so the bees and flies wouldn’t be attracted. Even as I did, I struggled. Seven years of saving down the drain. Ugh.
My shelf is filled with empty jars waiting to be filled. I’d done the right thing. This Time.
Saving for tomorrow?
No.
Doing what I need today so I am prepared for what God has for me tomorrow. 


What do you find hard to throw away? What do you do to help you?
 

Good article Sonya. I remember a lady a long time ago had this rule. When people gave her bags of kids clothes, she gave herself one week. If she hadn't gone through them by then, she took them to the thrift store. She trusted that if and when she had a need, God would provide. Rather than hoarding and accumulating stuff to go through "some day" she let it go and had peace God would be there in her tomorrows. He never fails. The truth is we keep and hoard way too much stuff, to feel safe and that "we've got this." No we don't. God has it!

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I write about what matters...to you---
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about your family, faith and future.
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               Sonya Contreras

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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