About the Author

Anna is the author of A Moment of Christmas and Pumpkin Spice for Your Soul. She's worked at (in)courage since 2012, and lives in Minnesota with her husband and their four kids. Anna encourages others to look for and embrace the extraordinary moments found in their ordinary days.

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  1. Anna – I’m so happy to finally get to read this. So happy to be sharing space with you today. From one saver to another, I just GET that part. I can tell you about cards I’ve purchased and not sent, little things tucked away … you know. And yes, even some memories in the form of plates and platters from grandmothers and aunts that I need to pull out more often. Because making more memories WITH them is what’s important, right? And our gifts from Him? Pouring those out – best first and always as we love – that’s the thing to strive for. Blessed by your words. So much.

    • The cards!! I forgot about all my cards!! I have an entire drawer full. Good grief. You are so right – making memories WITH them is what matters. May we write cards and scrape knives and enjoy today =)

  2. What a touching post! –As a young teenager, I received many items from my grandmother as she was cleaning out her house. I still use many of them today. I could kick myself for getting rid of a few (that silver plated tea set I thought I’d never us). I get such pleasure remembering my grandmother when I use the items. That verse from Matthew is so right — Why save things up? Use them! Share them! That’s what He does for us!

    • ‘That’s what He does for us!’ Exactly!! I think of those grandmothers, and I know they would take joy in seeing us use their treasures. It is an honor to have them!

  3. This is so me, too. I keep those sweet gifts and trinkets safe, where they do me no good. There’s all my paternal Grandmother’s china sitting wrapped in paper in a box somewhere, and I don’t even really remember what it looks like. I think it needs to come out, be admired, have knives scrape across the surface and have someone feel it’s heft in their hands. Then I can look at it myself, in admiration, and say ‘Someone used that.’

    More and more, as I get older, I relinquish the need to save everything for a special occasion, as I realize that every day I awaken is a special occasion, that I’m never promised one more sunrise, and as I sit, with a box of china in paper and precious mementos strewn around the house, that today’s sunrise could be my last and all that beauty will just sit there, unloved. So I sip tea in my bone china cups and use the best silver when friends come to dine. Because…. why not??

  4. I struggle with this myself. I don’t know why I’m afraid to “use it up”, there is surely more to replace it with. Love this so much – almost as much as you! Beautiful!

  5. This is my heart!
    I have such a love for beautiful dishes; new ones and old, sentimental ones.
    I just lost my Granny last summer and I have a place setting of her china that is waiting on me to get displayed on my dining room wall.
    My mother, for Christmas a few years ago, gave me her milk cup from when she was a child. It is a pewter measuring cup actually. She said, “Please don’t stick this up in the cabinet, use it.”
    Wise words from a beautiful woman.
    Thank you for this post and for the encouragement to not hide these treasures, but to use them and serve with them, enjoy them and bless with them.

  6. Anna,
    What a beautiful story of cherishing memories and enjoying the special things…all the time. I often save things for special occasions, but in realizing how fleeting life is, have begun to enjoy those special gifts so that part of everyday has something special to embrace.

  7. Anna, This was such a great post, and so needed! I have my some of my grandma’s and great grandma’s dishes in my hutch. I need to start bringing them out more often. Thank you for sharing and for challenging us today!

    Jessica

  8. When my mother passed away 10 years ago, my sister and I were left to go through, sort and distribute. Memories poured out as we opened the cupboards and drawers. I decided from that point on I wasn’t going to tuck things away but we would love, enjoy and use Mom’s things. Yes, we’ve broken some bowls, plates and butter dishes but I know she’s in heaven saying the same thing, ” Enjoy them, use them and remember us together as you eat around the table” Not only do I tell my kids the memories but we make our own new memories as well. Thanks for the post!

  9. SO much here that speaks to my heart. My grandma, mom and sister all loved dishes and fine china. I never had a matching set of dishes until after I turned 50! Now my mom is gone, I have been at my dad’s and opened the cabinet just to run my hand over the edge of a piece she loved. And certain pans or bowls had recipes she traditionally fixed and served in them. Your writing brought all that sweetness to mind.

    Thank you for the blessing Anna!

    – RQ

  10. I, too, like to savor some things. But I don’t believe in hoarding anything. If I don’t wear it or use it in a certain time frame then out it goes to someone else who could use it. I want to spread my God given blessings.

    Don’t get me wrong–there is nothing wrong with saving family heirlooms, enjoying them & savoring the memories they bring. But God wants us to bring our best to Him all the time. Be a good friend, share meals with others–help the world. I want the world to know Jesus any way I can share Him@!

  11. An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered me lunch simply because I found it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this issue here on your website.

  12. Wow, I never connected my hoarding of china with my hoarding of my gifts and friendship and time and grace and forgiveness and love and listening and …
    Who am I to decide who gets my ‘best’?
    This is just what I needed to read today, thanks. Have been thinking about the nature of friendship and how many good friends I can “manage”, “cope with” or commit to. But God doesn’t want me to portion out my love and friendship according to some complicated scheme I’ve cooked up. God’s love and plans are bigger than that!
    Thanks for this post.

  13. Oh, friend, this is so lovely and challenging! This struck me especially — “their giver wouldn’t be too happy if they knew their gifts to me were just taking up space.” Yes, let’s lavishly use our gifts for His glory, not being afraid of what might break or tear because He is in control. He wants us to pour out our best for Him. I tend to stick with things that are safe, things I can control or predict, people I know best. But He wants us to love extravagantly and freely! Love you! 🙂