Use the Special Things

I tried to wear my favorite pair of Capri pants last week. Unfortunately, “tried” is as far as I got—I was unable to zip them up. (Apparently I’ve gained a few pounds since last summer!) I was stunned. No, it wasn’t that shocking that I’d gained some weight. What was shocking to me was how infrequently I’d worn the pants back when I could. I loved those pants! They were a great color and a great cut. I chose to wear them only on special occasions so I wouldn’t wear them out. Mission accomplished…I guess. I certainly didn’t wear them out, but this means I also didn’t get to experience the pleasure of wearing them very often. Now I no longer can.

Use the Special Things | Do you have fine china, formal gowns, or expensive perfumes that you don’t use frequently? I’ve been inspired to start using some of these special things.

A pair of ill-fitting pants really isn’t that big of a deal, but they brought to my attention my tendency to put off using other special things in fear of wearing them out or breaking them. I have a hutch full of beautiful dishes that I rarely use for fear they’ll get broken. I have wonderfully scented candles that I put off burning until special occasions. What about you? Do you have fine china, formal gowns, expensive perfumes, or other special things that you don’t use frequently?

I think it’s time to start using some of these special things.

Who matters the most to you? Your husband? Your kids? Other family members or friends? We often put off using special things until “special occasions.” What is more special than time spent with the people we value the most? Why not don that formal gown for dinner with your husband (even if you’re just going to a casual restaurant)? Isn’t he worth it? Why not serve dinner (even if it’s just spaghetti and meatballs) to your family on your best plates? Aren’t they worth it?

What’s the point of having possessions? Our material possessions are blessings that should enhance our lives. A scented candle stored in a cabinet doesn’t enhance my life. Perfume left in a bottle doesn’t enhance my life. When we esteem these possessions too highly, we become crippled by fear of being without them. At this point, they are no longer enhancing our lives.

What is there to lose? What happens if you break a dish, ruin a piece of clothing, or use up a special soap? It’ll be gone, right? Whether we want to admit it or not, someday all we have will be gone. We can try our best to preserve our possessions while we live, but they can’t accompany us into eternity. Eternity may be decades off or it may unexpectedly begin tomorrow. Why not enjoy our special things with our loved ones while we can? One wise teacher put it this way: “So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 8:15).

What special things do you put off using in fear of wearing them out or breaking them? Will you join me in pulling these out and enjoying them on occasion?

Shared on the following link-ups:

Desire to Inspire, Gratituesday, Titus 2sday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Essential Fridays, Miscellany Monday, & T.G.I.F.


  1. So very true. The thing that hit me in reading your post is just how quickly life passes. May we make the most of each day. I think tonight I will use my china & light a candle! Won’t they be surprised!!! Thank you for this reminder today. I was your neighbor at Bible Love Notes. And I honestly was glad that I was! Thank you!
    Have a great Friday!

    • Thanks, Joanne! I hope your family is delighted when they see the china and candle. I hope it sets the stage for a great weekend!

  2. Oh, you are so so right! I need and I want to change. Thanks for stirring me up to enjoy the moments richly.

    • Hi Barbara,
      I’m so glad you’re stirred by the post! I’ve been enjoying many moments this week as I’ve used some special things. I hope that will be your experience this coming week.

  3. Charlotte Thiel says:

    Your post reminded me, too, that when going through my mom’s things when it was time to clean them out, we found about 30 collected T-shirts from special events in her life, kept unwashed and unused, How much joy did they bring her that way? We have worn them since but they weren’t special memories for us. Theopposite of your experience last week is the age old question about why it is always our FAVORITE piece of clothing that wears out. I think the answer is obvious and, with regard to this discussion, I would say a good choice!!!

    • The collected t-shirts are a great example!
      I agree that the good choice is wearing out favorite pieces of clothing (I clearly learned that one the hard way!).

  4. Norma VanMatre says:

    All too true. Thank you so much for the reminder. I have several sets of china from past loved ones and have no one with whom to share them…….but I can use them and enjoy the memories. I may not do it everyday, but I can still enjoy. Thanks!

    • I think our loved ones would be pleased to know that we enjoy using the dishes and are able to reflect on our memories of them as we do it.

  5. Alberta Coleman says:

    So true. I started to think and its amazing how often, and with how many things we do that. Time to allow some THINGS to accomplish their purpose…Be a Blessing. Thanks Shannon!

  6. There is a fine line isn’t there between making things feel special because we don’t use them every day and then using them so seldom that we miss out on making the most of the pleasure they bring us.

    This is great post and I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing it at Essential Fridays.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

  7. I really enjoyed this post and can relate! I think I have a tendency to do this because we didn’t have money for a lot of extra things when I was younger, so I worry that what I have now will be gone and I won’t be able to get more. This is one, greed, and two, just silly. Thanks for the reminder to not want to hold on to material things in a way that they can’t be used for their purpose.

    • Hi Kelsea,
      I believe the inability to replace things (due to lack of money or any other reason) is a motivating factor for many of us. Thanks for highlighting it.

  8. I have china that has been in my family for something like nine generations. My aunt and my grandma NEVER used the heirloom dishes. I’ve changed that tradition because I agree with you: they are a treasure, they are special, but they’re meant to be used. We don’t use them everyday, or even every month, but on really nice occasions and at holidays I have no problem taking them out of the china cabinet and using them.

    Thanks for linking up to Desire to Inspire!

    • Wow! How special to have china that has been in the family for that long.
      I think your approach (using it on nice occasions) is wonderful.

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