Use It Up — Wear it Out…

I can still see them now, Dad in a pair of old dress pants…the seat worn shiny and threadbare, a small hole in the pocket where he kept his stuffed billfold, a long sleeved shirt and a hat to ward off skin cancers to which he was prone…trudging behind his lawnmower at age 90, and Mom in a mousey looking house dress in pastel colors blending into the landscape, a dish towel draped over her arm as she smoothed out used aluminum foil, washed it and put it away for another day and another use.

It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. My Mom made most of her clothes until arthritis crippled her fingers. She kept everything…even shards of bar soap. It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. They were children of the Great Depression and they knew how to do without.

We learned this mantra early in our growing up years.

  • Use it up
  • Wear it out
  • Make it do or
  • Do without

All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, saving leftovers…I wanted just once to be wasteful. She only gave me 1/2 stick of gum and told tme o make it last. Today, sometimes I will chew the entire package of gum at one time. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there’d always be more.

But then Mom died suddenly one February morning, and on that day before Valentine’s Day, in the company of my Dad (her husband for 70 years) she held his hand and whispered her last, “I’ll see you in the morning,” I was struck with the pain of recognition that sometimes there just isn’t any more.

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away never to return. So… While you have it … it’s best to love it … and care for it … and fix it when it’s broken … and heal it when it’s sick.

This is true. For your marriage … old cars … and children with bad report cards … and dogs with bad hips or cancer … and aging parents … and grandparents. You keep them because they are worth it, because you are worth it.

Some things you keep. Like a best friend who moved away or a classmate you grew up with. There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special …

You may have been married a long time or short, but marriage is important. Too many of you have gotten into a rut and just go through the motions. Your marriage is special whether or not you are giving it special care. It is never too late to fix or renew your marriage. You CAN recover whatever has been lost. Mend it…don’t throw it away.

One way is to engage with us for a Marriage 3.0 weekend with us.

Final Note

Develop a servant’s heart toward each other. Start today

and continue every day telling your mate,

“I love you, because______________.

Figure out what blesses your spouse and then do it well and often. The 5 Love Languages Quiz is a great tool. Click on the link, take the quiz and bless each other every day.

Families matter to the Iveys. You do not have to use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. Holler if you need help.