Hidden with Purpose

It’s hard to believe that ten months have passed since I held my mother’s hand and watched her slip into eternity after battling Lung Cancer for nineteen months.  It is equally as difficult to believe that it’s been eight months since my siblings and I made the grievous decision to place our eighty-year-old dad, who has Alzheimer’s disease, into a private memory care facility.


My parents had our home built next door to my grandparent’s home and moved our family of five into the new house the summer before I began Kindergarten.  After fifty years, the house is full of all kinds of memories, some good, some not so good but never the less, it was home and we were greatly loved.  My mom told me before she died that she and my dad had made a pact.  They promised each other that they would “go together”.  Six weeks after she passed away, we realized that Dad needed more extensive care than we could offer on our own to meet his daily living requirements.  And so, the decision was made to place him in full time care.  In a way, I suppose her words were true.  They “went together”, vacating their home of fifty years; one vacating her earthly body and the other vacating his mind.  Separately, but together as stated in the pact, they vacated.

For the past ten months, my siblings and I have had the laborious and emotional task of sorting through and finding new purpose for each item contained within the walls of our family home.  One particular item, a small roll top desk that sat obscurely in the front entry hall of the house for forty years caught my eye as a piece that no one in our family wanted to keep.  I lamented over the fact that the desk had been in the family for so many years, holding all of our childhood latest, greatest trophies, sports medals, handmade pottery, and now, small photos of our own children. Being the sentimental person that I am, I was having a very hard time deciding what to do with this small piece of furniture.  I knew I did not have room for the desk and neither did any of my other family members.  I also considered that over the many years, its significance was of little importance.  After all, it was small, only had two shelves below, and absolutely no room for writing either by hand or computer.  In my mind, apart from the sentimental value, I rendered it useless.


After several days of emotional turmoil, I decided to place the roll top desk on one of the neighborhood online sale sites praying that it would move quickly and I could get it out of sight and hopefully soon recover from the sadness of letting it go.  Within just a few minutes of posting it, I received a text message from a very special friend with whom together, we attended Kindergarten and graduated high school.  She and her husband were interested in the desk and wanted to know if they could come by and see it.  Of course I was delighted and hopeful that they would love the old piece and give it a new home! I texted my friend, Tina and asked her what her idea was for the desk.  She explained that she needed it for her computer workstation.  I knew in my heart that she would take one look at the workspace and tell me it was too small. However, I always enjoy her company so I invited her over.

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Deflated in spirit because I had already decided it was not going to be the perfect fit for her, I led Tina and her husband JimE to the corner where the old desk sat.  She walked around a couple of times as she studied and discussed with JimE whether or not it would serve the intended purpose.  I told her I didn’t think the small work area would accommodate her computer.  She silently kept studying the front of the desk with the top rolled back.  Reaching down, she pulled out a “hidden” desktop that slid from beneath.  It was more than adequate for her computer.  I was completely shocked with disbelief.  The desk had gone mostly unnoticed and unused for so long and we had all accepted the fact that it wasn’t really good for anything, unaware that it had the extra pullout workspace.  As a young girl growing up, I remember dusting it as part of one of my Saturday chores.  To me, it was only good to collect dust and waste my playtime.

I helped Tina and JimE load the little desk for its new destination in their home in LaGrange, Texas.  Sitting in the silence with my feet up and a cup of coffee in hand, I pondered how often so many of us settle for dust collecting when in fact, like the little old desk, we have other useful, God-given components hidden within us that are just waiting to be exposed, brought into sight and used for His eternal purpose and glory.  I encourage you to shake the years of dust that has been collecting, reach deeply within your soul and find that hidden talent and purpose before you, as we all will eventually, vacate.

21 thoughts on “Hidden with Purpose

  1. Love this, Sandy! Thanks so much for sharing a piece of your heart! It is far too easy to sit and collect dust, especially the older we get. But God has a purpose for us at any age. Thanks for reminding me!


  2. Ok now that I have stopped tearing up, I have lived you and your family for so many years. I look at my precious little desk every day and think about all the good times we had growing up and growing old. I look out my back window and see the concrete statues by my pond and think of you. Love you so much and your blog is such an inspiration to all.


  3. Yes, Lynn. This was a great reminder for me as I have gone months without using what God has entrusted to me. I too am tempted to coast. Thanks for following my blog. I always appreciate your encouragement! Miss you!


  4. Sandra, my sister is moving into a senior residence, Carriage Inn, soon and as she goes through her belongings it is sometimes hard to let go! I am sharing this with her. Thank you for the lovely story. Us older seniors have to let go and let God and be thankful for the many years we have here on earth – not always easy, as your folks knew, too! We have been blessed to be raised here in Katy. Sonny & I have always said we want to “go” together, also so if it is God’s will we will, if not we will see one another in God’s house!

    Marcella is so happy you will be in their “Sunday house” – isn’t God amazing how He helps us???

    Sent from Windows Mail


    1. I will keep you and your sister in my prayers, Mrs. Fraley. It is truly a laborious, emotionally draining task. A wise person told me, “you are getting rid of the furnishings and stuff but taking the memories”. This helped tremendously. Bill and I are very excited to have the Nelson Sunday House! God is good!!


  5. Sandy, Thank you so much for including me on your “blog” or email list for your “From My Heart” mail. You have such a great way with words, expressing feelings that we all have but don’t take time to verbalize or write them down. Your parents did a good job raising you!! I love seeing pics of your grandchildren – you are passing on so many treasures of godly wisdom to them! Love, tomi


    1. Thank you, Tomi! It’s my pleasure to share. We are very excited to welcome grandchild #7 this past week – Katherine’s third boy.


  6. Your stories always touch my heart and soul. I treasure every keepsake I have, be it something daddy or momma made, or certain things that were my grandparents. I will never be able to part with any of it and can only hope that my own daughter and grandchildren will treasure them as much as I do.


  7. Sandy, such a sweet, sweet story and one that will come to mind often as I draw nearer and nearer to the same situation. Thank you for sharing.


  8. Very Good thought Sandra. I remember that small desk sitting in your Mom’s front entrance. Who knew that it had a hidden part just waiting to be discovered. I am happy that Tina has it as well. That seems like it is still in the family….


  9. It was difficult to part with the old desk among other things. However, we are starting to see the light at the end of the clean-out tunnel. The process was painful but necessary. Thank you for your comment, Aunt Patti


  10. Hi Sandy. Im terribly behind on the kind of emails that “can wait”. Wishing I was already ready or bed, I decided to spend 5 more minutes taking a look at those backbend emails. (I’m sorry…). Sandy, Im fighting a personal battle, one concerning how I serve in the church, and what I read encouraged me, although I still don’t have an answer. “Backing down” would only allow to to serve as “everyone else does”, yet the skills God had grown in me would go unused… but Im tired, but someone needs to do it, and none is standing in line. So, thank you Sandy; thank you for including me. Pray for me, please. Thank you. I still need to come see you; I haven’t forgotten. 🙂


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