Monday, May 16, 2016

Bring Out the Good China

by Eizabeth Goddard

Over the last fifteen years, we’ve moved several times due to my husband’s job in ministry.  At some point I stopped unpacking the china and my collectibles because it seemed that once I finally unpacked things, then we would move again. I’d have to rewrap every individual piece in bubble wrap and newspaper. Grueling work, this.

Add to that, with four kids, two dogs, an African Gray parrot, and two gerbils, there never seemed to be enough room for me to display china. And. . .well. . . I’ve never owned a china cabinet. The dishes, if they came out of the boxes, would usually get stuffed away in the kitchen cabinets wherever there was space. The collectible stayed in the boxes.

Of course, since I haven’t displayed the good china or had it stored where it was easily accessible, then I couldn’t use it for special occasions.

Then a couple of years ago I inherited my grandmother’s china—and let me tell you, she owned every piece in the set. Her china went into the boxes and I lugged them with us on our next move along with my own set of china I received as a wedding gift.

Recently I looked at the boxes of china and the carousel horses my husband bought me years ago and wondered why I continue to haul boxes around everywhere? After all, the fine china and the collectibles are just things. Stuff. Maybe I should just let go of the stuff and be free.

Somewhere you will find a devotional or encouragement telling you to do just that. Let go of the past—don’t carry it around with you like so much baggage. Good advice.

But that’s not my story today. I’ve been hoping to have some shelves built so I could unpack the boxes. With three strapping boys to feed, there really wasn’t any chance I’d have the funds to splurge and buy a china cabinet for myself.

But God surprised me, which He often does. Someone donating a sofa to the church fellowship hall also had a china cabinet. Do we want it? My ears perked up at that news-Yes! Tell them Yes!

After the china cabinet was delivered, I unpacked those boxes and loaded everything in the display case. I never thought I'd see the day when I would display not only my wedding china, but my grandmother's, as well, along with the carousel horses and other collectibles.

So let me just say that God is good. He does care about the small things. He knows what's in our hearts--the little things, those longings that we hide inside boxed up where nobody can see. And it's the small things that He does for us, answering those cries of our hearts, that let's us know only He could have answered that cry because only He knew it was there.

. . .who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Palm 103: 4-5



Elizabeth Goddard is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than twenty-five romance novels and counting, including the romantic mystery, THE CAMERA NEVER LIES--a 2011 Carol Award winner. A 7th generation Texan, Elizabeth graduated from North Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and worked in high-level software sales for several years before retiring to home school her children and fulfill her dreams of writing full-time. She currently makes her home in Minnesota with her husband and children.

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  1. Oh Beth - I'm soooo happy for you!! My great grandmother's china was also stored in boxes for many years by my mother. My mother was a very "down to earth" person and although she appreciated the china for it's fine workmanship, it really was not her cup of tea for use. She passed it on to me, where it continued to live in boxes until a few years ago when we moved to what I hope is our "final" home - and with that move, I was able to purchase a china cabinet and put my great grandmother's china inside. The display is really only a small portion of the entire set - which is a place setting for 12 with all the accompanying serving pieces. But I do love looking at it and knowing that a piece of our family history is finally out and shining. So I know how you feel and hope you get as much enjoyment out of looking at the display as I do mine. Do you actually use it? I haven't gotten the courage to use mine - I know that's silly - but I want to pass the china on to my nieces. If I broke a piece, I would be heartbroken - and I think they would be too - lol!

    1. Pam,

      I loved reading your reply. You understand exactly what I'm talking about. I"m sad to say that one plate was broken during our last move. :/ But I'm happy that was all I love. I love looking at the display and wonder why it has taken me this long--but of course, I know why. LOL

  2. I rarely use my china. I have a friend who has several sets and she uses hers all the time, but she likes to entertain. I guess that's the difference. :-)

    1. Yes. Entertaining makes the difference. I don't like to entertain--at least not anymore when I have three boys at home and two dogs, a par and gerbbils--entertaining means lots and lots of cleaning and keeping the family in line!