String Too Short to Use

There was a period during the pandemic where there was a shortage of coins. Some businesses only accepted cards due to not having the change to give back. I began to notice the number of coins on the streets while out during my daily routines. A dime here and there, plenty of pennies and the occasional quarters. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve managed to collect $86.50 minus the quarters because I use them for laundry so there’s none in the case above. Of course some of it came from breaking a dollar or two, but the majority of it I picked it from the ground. My children have asked what I am going to do with all the change or why am I clinging on to it. Simply, I don’t know, and I don’t need it at the moment. Others have asked why is it I have credit cards and rarely use them? Again, I don’t need them at the moment. It’s not “free” money, it still has to be paid back. My children often tease me about hoarding or holding on to certain things like money, photo’s, books, etc. The thing is, I have all that I need and money can’t buy what I desire. My children say I’m due for a vacation. Knowing I have a bit of savings, they don’t understand why I don’t take one instead of clinging on to my money. After reading the passage I’m sharing today, they may be right. I simply feel better being prepared in case of an emergency. God has always provided, and I trust Him whole heartedly, so perhaps I will be planning a trip soon. When I share these passages from the Our Daily Bread devotionals, it’s because for one reason or another they speak to me and the message resonates on many levels.

(Devotional from April 24th, 2023 by Tim Gustafson)

Aunt Margaret’s frugality was legendary. After she passed away, her nieces began the nostalgically bittersweet task of sorting her belongings. In a drawer, neatly arrayed inside a small plastic bag, they discovered an assortment of small pieces of string. The label read: “String too short to use.” What would motivate someone to keep and categorize something they knew to be of no use? Perhaps this person once knew extreme deprivation.

When the Israelites fled slavery in Egypt, they left behind a life of hardship. But they soon forgot God’s miraculous hand in their exodus and started complaining about the lack of food. God wanted them to trust Him. He provided manna for their desert diet, telling Moses, “The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day” (Exodus 16:4). God also instructed them to gather twice as much on the sixth day, because on the Sabbath no manna would fall (vv. 5, 25). Some of the Israelites listened. Some didn’t, with predictable results (vv. 27–28).

In times of plenty and times of desperation, it’s tempting to try to cling, to hoard, in a desperate attempt at control. There’s no need to take everything into our own frantic hands. No need to “save scraps of string”—or to hoard anything at all. Our faith is in God, who has promised, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

Reflect: In what ways do you sometimes take things into your own hands? How has God proven Himself to be faithful to you in the past?.

Prayer: Father, help me to take You at Your word and to trust You with everything.

Published by 5thgenerationgirl

Tammy Wynette is a mother of three and a “G-MA” (grandma). Born in Warren, Arkansas, she currently resides in Sacramento, CA and is pursuing an AA degree in English at American River College, with plans to transfer to California State University, Sacramento (Sac State). She is an active leader and role model in her community, she works with teens sharing and teaching poetry, as well as providing insight for young parents to prosper. She has certificate from NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) and is a trailblazer & Griot, keeper of stories/traditions passed down from her ancestors. As an Author and motivational speaker it’d be an honor to present at your events to inspire, encourage & let our VOICES be heard! She has short stories and poems published in Our Black Mothers Brave, Bold and Beautiful!

23 thoughts on “String Too Short to Use

  1. My aunt was the same way because she lived through the Great Depression. Money became the centerpiece of her life. Even when she had a lot of it, she would systematically save bits of tinfoil and string, reuse tea bags, cut paper towels in half, etc. It was all very practical in its own way, but she was not a nice person. She looked down her nose at people, bullied people, and used people. She did not believe in God and had her own sense of Old Testament justice. I’m not sure that she ever really loved anyone. Although I tried to love her, she was so nasty and self-serving that I ended up despising her. I think deprivation can make some people horrible, but not everybody. People who trust in God seem to fare better and be happier.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m familiar with the tea bags & all. My grandfather lived throught the GD, didn’t trust putting his money in banks.
      Fortunately, eventhough times of struggle, I can always look back & see that I had everything I needed.
      I have a term I use “EGR”, extra grace required. We can never truly understand why some behave the way they do, and I’m sure you gave your aunt all the love you could. God knows us all & knows some require extra grace.😇

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your story touched me deeply, Tammy. You remind me of my parents and how hard they saved growing up and yet were content with the life they had. That is a gift from God you simply can’t buy with money. I also take the time pick up coins I find on the ground because it feels so wasteful and thankless to not do so.
    I will say, as a friend who knows you from afar, please do consider taking a trip and spoiling yourself while you can. I look at my mom, now 82, who saved all her life but due to her stroke, can’t travel or move like she once did. So please make sure to not wait and save for too long. 🙏
    I hope you have a nice weekend and thanks for this heartwarming smile today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I read this yesterday, I was so overwhelmed. My emotions were all over the place & my keyboard drowned w/ tears. I didn’t have the words to respond.
      I’ve keep reading it & still can’t stop crying but know that I am so thankful for you. Your words, wisdom, friendship & the list goes on. God bless you & your mom! Sending hugs all the way from Cali.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t mean to make you cry, Tammy. 😆 Sorry about that! But every word was meant in sincere friendship. Life is short and I hope you splurge on yourself from time to time. You deserve it! 👍

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for this, TW. Here’s an encouraging story…my grandmother’s friend used to collect coins because she lived in NYC, where there were lots of coins on the street, apparently. Anywho, she never cashed it in. Decades later, she had found and saved enough to buy a Benz! Can you believe that? It was the craziest story I’d ever heard (and seen…the Benz was really nice).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! My grandson asked me what will I do with it, I told him I don’t know.
      Secretly, I’ve considered giving it to him at a certain age, giving it one of my homeless friends at the neighborhood parks. Honestly, it’s too heavy now for me to pick up. So it’ll just sit & I’ll add to whenever I have enough for a roll, lol.
      I wonder how much a Benz went for back then.🤩

      Liked by 1 person

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