I found a great idea from this blog. I have lots of things with sentimental value. However in many cases it is not the object, but the story behind the object that is valuable. In order to simplify and remove clutter, Tanna from Complete Organizing Solutions suggests taking a picture and recording the stories of things with sentimental value. Then you can get rid of the stuff, but keep the memory.
So here is my first memory picture.
These three mementos traveled to me from three different continents, were given to me in three different states, by three different people, in three different years. What they have in common that they were from missionaries. We were blessed as children to have parents who welcomed missionaries into our home. Both my brother and I developed a strong love for missions. I'll take them in order:
1. The grass skirt and bag wall hanging is from Papua New Guinea. I received it in Rochester, NY about 26 years ago. Stuart Merriam was the missionary. But what was most exciting is that he brought tribal people with him when he visited our Church every few years. That year two Papua New Guineans stayed overnight in our home. One was a boy our age. We had so much fun playing with him, and he taught us how to use some native toys. They sold these little wall hanging to raise money for the mission.
2. The round fur is from Bolivia. I received it in 1987 in California, where I lived when I was in Jr. Hi. The missionaries were the Wymas. They were with Wycliffe Bible Translators. They came to our home for dinner when they were visiting our church. I still clearly remember their stories and our visit. They brought us the fur as a hostess gift. It is literally falling apart now. Pieces of fur fall off when you pick it up.
3. This little cat box is from Honduras. I received it here at my home in Illinois. It was a gift from my brother and sister-in-law when they worked at a mission school in Honduras.
While I have lost track of the missionaries who brought these (except for my brother of course). And these items don't take up space in my home anymore. The memories of the warmth and excitement accompanying them still keep a place in my heart.