Noelle Kirchner, M.Div., is a Presbyterian minister and mother of two boys. As they wrestle on the floor, she enjoys wrestling with her manuscripts. She writes for Huff Post Parents, the TODAY Show Parenting Team, and has been a repeat guest author at in(courage). You can find her on her blog, where she writes about faith and parenting, and on Twitter and Facebook.
I'm walking around the house and I see another one. There it is, resting on the sofa armrest. I can't imagine how it lays there so close to the edge without falling off. It's like one of those quick scooter turns when the angle is sharp and the wheel is skimming the outside edge, yet my toddler makes the turn, happy and oblivious. Here, on this sofa armrest, he's left a treasure that despite all odds, is safe and sound.
I don't know where he found it. I've discovered the smaller the treasure, the more unlikely the place he'll find it. But he knows a treasure when he sees one, and there it lies. It's a Lego micro that looks like a dozen other pieces to me, but to him it's special.
Rachel Balducci has written about the unique collection of oddities little boys are keen on collecting. They turn up in funny places. I find them stealthfully hidden under or resting upon sofa cushions, or proudly displayed like trophies on bedroom tables. Rachel finds them in play clothes' pockets that she combs through before doing the wash.
What strikes me about these objects of affection is how my sons find their inspiration in such unusual places. Again, to me it looks like just another other Lego micro, for instance, but to them it's distinguishable and special. I quickly find out just how special it is when I try to return it to the toy bin, or when a brother wants to "share" it by taking it away!
I am willing to bet you haven't coveted a Lego micro lately. Regardless, as adults, we have our own treasured objects too. Sometimes these objects have apparent value to others. But sometimes these objects are very ordinary and hold a special value only to us.
I want to collect more of the latter. Particularly, I'm looking for everyday objects that remind me of God's grace. I'm learning I need to intentionally open myself to grace to avoid feeling empty and burdened. And one of the ways I can open myself is to search for grace-filled reminders in physical form.
The monotony of daily rhythms can distract us from the holy punctuations in our lives. When we experience holy punctuations, we need to take hold of them. Maybe we read a powerful scripture verse one morning - why not write it down and tape it to our mirror? It's a simple piece of paper, but it reminds us of a genuine moment of inspiration with God.
Maybe you know a place that's special - God spoke to you there and answered a prayer. Take a reminder of that place and carry it with you. A rock from the ground. A card from the business. Use it to remember God's awesome grace at work in your life for the day you'll need to remember. I'm wearing a necklace from such a place right now.
In the flurry of motherhood, it's easy to try to do everything in our own strength. This only contributes to our weariness. In our busyness preparing for tomorrow, we can miss the grace-filled moments God designed for us today. Don't let that be us, Lord. We're hungry for you, no matter how much our schedules distract us. Help us to humbly remember your grace and become unabashed collectors - for you.
If you liked this post, check out this one about the importance of slowing down called A Peaceful Pause.