I pulled up the blog this morning, noting that the last post was written on August 26th about my Aunt Mary Ellen. I smiled, finding it fitting since my intent was to write about her again this morning, my first day back after a long break. Mary Ellen met her beloved Jesus just a month after I wrote that last post, and I haven’t stopped smiling since. Not that there haven’t been tears interspersed, of course, but she was so ready, so expectant, that the thought of her in His company thrills me.

This week I spent two days with my parents, at her house, to begin the task of readying it for estate sale. Like many depression-era children, my aunt hid things of value or tucked money away, here and there, “just in case.” Because of that, it isn’t prudent to just turn the house over to an estate company until every last thing is checked thoroughly. I was assigned her closet, so there I spent the majority of the time, sifting through mountains of costume jewelry, and checking the pockets of literally hundreds of outfits.

I found money. There was some old family-looking jewelry tucked into the costume stuff, and some valuable vintage hats and bags, to boot. But the real treasure, at least to me? A beautiful old rosary that had been clutched and prayed through during a particularly hard time in her life. Old letters from her mother – my grandmother – that mentioned my infant self. Packets of correspondence from her deceased siblings, already wrapped up and marked to give to their children. Glimpses into the private areas of my aunt’s heart that only further proved the intense beauty that was there.

I realize afresh that when I started this blog back in 2007, it was to do one thing: look for hidden treasure. Every single day is filled with it as we travel the road home. Some gifts are obvious, but others take an intentional eye to see. During my break it became apparent that writing about my days helped me open my eyes more and live and move in gratitude on a daily basis. I not only missed writing, I missed everything.

So, I’m back in business, mining the world around me for tucked away treasure that gives me a glimpse into the private areas of my Maker’s heart, only further proving the intense beauty there. I’d so love to have you along. Let’s try not to miss a single thing, shall we?