treasures

I am not awesome at memorizing scripture with references. The past week or so I have had two verses swimming around in my mind and continually rising to the surface. The one about “this treasure in jars of clay”  “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day”. This verse just seems really fitting for life in general, but also very pertinent when it comes to my dad’s and father in law's diagnosises. I decided to word-search them though Biblegateway.com and found to my tearful surprise that they were both from 2 Corinthians 4…along with a couple other favorite verses (vs. 17-18).

“We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:7-18
 
Isn’t God amazing, how He brought those verses to mind and led me to this passage, that they BOTH were in?!
 
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I sometimes call Hayleigh my treasure hunter. I mean, she is always, always finding treasure-both literal and figurative. She has so much joy, so much enthusiasm, so much passion for the small things I might over-look. Her life is a musical, her subject matter is beauty in the seemingly mundane, and her stage is the world around her. I love to watch her live. She is a reminder to me to find the joy in every situation. She literally bursts with joy and excitement with each treasure she uncovers. She oozes happiness in the form of jumps, twirls and songs.
 
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The other day she found a stray seed on her slice of cantaloupe and asked me if she could keep it in her treasure box (alongside broken hair clips, dried leaves, broken seashells from the lake, pictures of loved ones and a half dozen tangled necklaces.) My first thought was to tell her “no” and make her throw it away. But I got distracted (as usual) and forgot to follow up to make sure she had actually listened and thrown away her beloved cantaloupe seed. Turns out she hadn’t “yet”. She had “planted it” in the carpet and watered it with her cup from lunch. Now, while there was probably enough dirt in our carpet to grow some fresh produce (our vacuum is fickle these days), I wanted to scream because of her disobedience and the sheer ridiculousness of it all. Who plants a cantaloupe seed in their living room rug?! As I scolded her I saw the tears well up in her eyes. Ugh. I softened a bit. “Why Hayleigh? Why did you do that?” “Because it is just so beautiful, Mommy. I wanted to keep it. Everything is so beautiful and a treasure.”
 
While I did make her throw out the water-logged seed and clean up her new “garden”, I couldn’t help but be touched by her thought process. She is a treasure hunter. Sometimes I wish she would would be a little more choosy about her treasure, but I really do love that she finds treasure everywhere she goes, and in any situation. A cloudy day is “just sooo beautiful, Mommy! Can we please please go for a walk and enjoy this beautiful day?!” Rain beacons her to twirl and sing under her umbrella. A stain on her new shirt “will just remind (her) of this wonderful time we had ice-cream after playing at the beach, Mommy!” The 3 tadpoles out of thousands that made it to the big leagues (named Brooklyn, Tree and Hiccup-Toothless) are so cute and precious and will hop all over the world exploring until they find her again…and maybe they will find Stella too (the late chrysalis  who never made it to be a butterfly and  literally vanished into thin air over night in our kitchen).  A last minute cancellation of a playdate because her brother is sick is “okay because it lets (her) take care of poor Braxton and show him love and let him watch his choice of show on TV”.  Where did this girl come from? My treasure hunter. There is so much I could learn from her.
 
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“We have this treasure in jars of clay…We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body…so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God….”
 
I need to be more of a treasure hunter. I need to carry the death of Jesus with me so that His life may be revealed in me. Jesus, Jesus is my treasure, in all things. Yet I can be so blinded by everything else: by the clouds and the rain and the pain and the struggle and challenge  and the guilt and the “to-dos” and the “supposed-tos”, by how life feels and what other people see, and by all the pretty and ugly that surrounds me and by the sunshine and circumstances.
 
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Hayleigh is a vigilant treasure hunter. She is always looking for the next great thing to excite and bless her.  And she does more than hunt. She gathers. She compiles her treasures. She…treasures them. If Jesus is my true treasure than I need to treasure it. I need to vigilantly hunt my treasure and plant it in my heart and be captivated by its beauty and splendor so that I can’t help but rejoice…maybe even sing and jump and twirl. (We could all use a good twirl every now and then.)
 
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It is because of my treasure, my Jesus, that I can say, though tears and fears, and with great joy and confidence :
“ we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
 
And I will never look at Cantaloupe seeds the same way.
 

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