I was cleaning the nursery, which is really just a room where the babies sleep on one side and have a HUGE playroom on the other. All my children play there. Because all ages are welcome here, so are all their toys, and the mass of toys had simply begun to grow too large.
Two hours later, I had a pile of stuffed animals in front of me. Each one staring at me, some smiling and some blank-stared. At that moment, I wanted to get a garbage bag while no one was watching and put each and every one of them inside it to make them disappear! I’m not sure anyone would notice a single one missing. So I went to the kitchen and got the black bags.
As I picked up each stuffie, I could recall the exact moment that particular one was adopted into our life. Some passed down from bigger kids, others rescued from black garbage bags such as this one. As I looked each one in the eyes (or eye), I found myself keeping a few—quite a few more than I had anticipated.
It then frustrated me that I was standing here with an empty bag, now trying to clear space to store these stuffies that my children hardly even touch.
It reminded me of this couple I know who actually have their childhood stuffies on display in their home! When we were all younger, toys weren’t nearly as disposable as they are now, and so toys were treasured much more in generations before mine. Yet, here are, like, aged people with their stuffed animals inside of a glass case and a book of random photographed stuffies of others.
I myself have a Miss Piggy doll that was given to me when I was very young. I’ve kept and treasured it and it makes me happy just to see her. While I certainly don’t have her on display in my home, I do keep her tucked away in my closet, and every now and then, I’ll go in and give her a squeeze.
What happened to the innocence of our stuffy?
So many different toys have been invented for children to play with in the last few decades. I feel like the toys these days play for the kids! Everything makes a noise or lights up, unless it’s in my house. I’ve been infamously known not to accept battery-powered toys (or just not put batteries in them). Long gone are the days when we would dig tunnels for Ninja Turtles or make Barbie beds out of tissue boxes.
You can get any toy, especially if you consign, for a reasonable price. Even stores have their own generic versions of higher priced items, which appeals to those of us who would sooner die than spend over $100 on a doll! As a spoiled but lonely-only child, I could have had any toy I ever wanted. All I had to do was ask and it would be mine. It didn’t matter the cost or time of year: I just got what I wanted when I wanted. Looking back now on all the toys I had as a child, the most treasured one was that mangled old Miss Piggy whose eyes had been drooled on too many times.
So as I took the black bag of doomed toys into the kitchen, it reminded me that God doesn’t look at us and just disregard us because we have a little stuffing falling out or our eyes don’t work the way they should. He imperfectly perfected us each and placed us on his earth, the most magnificent display case. Each one of us has a story for how we came to be the way we are. But the true story is that it’s not luck or chance, it’s God. Every moment, every despair, every triumph has made you individually you. Loved by the one who created you. So even with a few ripped stitches, you’re still loved limitlessly for it all.
As I went in to make my teenager’s bed today, I rolled my eyes at myself because there sat “Coco,” the beige dog that looks nothing like chocolate, who has rips and tears and probably smells a little, staring up at me. I reached down and squeezed him, and for a split second, I could remember the moment she gave her love to him. His life has never been the same, and I hope he remains encircled by my daughter’s love for years to come.
Be safe, be great, be you!
Reality Changing Observations:
1. What object or objects have you treasured in your life? Where are they now?
2. In this disposable era, do you still take care of your objects of value? How?
3. How do you react to enormous amounts of toys or shoes or clothes in your house?