For those of you who are asking what in the world I am talking about, a Memorial Box is a box in your home that holds reminders of God's faithfulness. Each item represents a story of something that God did that you do not want to forget. They are the stones of remembrance to remind us of God's faithfulness when life gets tough. If you like the idea click the button for Memorial Box Monday to the right (not the one on here because I am barely computer literate and have no idea how to make the picture link up!)
Sometimes God does things that seem little to begin with but then, months later, I find they have permeated my life in ways I never could have imagined...
Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!
Last Fall, and family from Doug's work had their house burn down in the middle of the night. This young couple with young kids literally lost everything. The next morning an email went out asking for donations, they needed whatever people could give. Doug called me and we prayed, imaging what they must be going through.
I started up a box of things for them (their youngest kids were the same size as our oldest)...extra pants, toys, books...you know, the periphery things...the easy things. As I walked around the house I asked the Lord what He thought we should give, what I heard back was crystal clear "Give your dishes."
I would love to say that I jumped up and ran to the cupboard...but I didn't. I kept walking around the house looking for something else that might do instead of my dishes. You see, I loved my dishes so much! They were not anything fancy, just from Target, but I loved them. I loved the deep red & green, the way they cheered up the table no matter what meal they held. My dishes represented so many meals, so many memories with friends...such richness in our lives. So, I loaded up a second box, games, some of my clothes, a few pretty bowls (I have a serious love of pretty bowls, so maybe this would do?). Still, in the back of my mind, the words hung, "give your dishes."
I loaded the boxes into the car, strapped Georgia into her car seat...did everything I could in hopes that the little voice would change (I know, how sad right?). As I sat, keys in the ignition, that voice was still said "Give your dishes"...so I turned off the car, walked slowly back into the house, and loaded up my dishes.
Not the dishes but too darned cute to pass up!
The whole drive to the drop-off spot I wrestled with God. Our budget was tight, we didn't have money to buy new dishes. What the heck was I going to feed our family on that night? Surely someone else would donate some! Feeding others in our home was a ministry, I needed the dishes! The answer came, "Give your dishes." So finally at the drop-off, I took a big breath, said "Ok God!" I grabbed the dish box first and headed over.
Standing in the driveway was the couple fresh from the fire, eyes rimmed red, holding on to one another. I found that I had so little to say....Here I had struggle with God about giving away a few precious dishes and they had lost everything. I had my whole home full of everything I could ever need. We talked for a bit and then I needed to go and pick up the kids from school. I walked back to the car so humbled by my own greed...my own attachment to something as trivial as a stack of plates.
As I drove to pick up the kids, my mind drifted to snack time and I thought, "Oh crud! I don't have anything to feed them on!" Right close to the kids school there is a tiny thrift store. I had exactly 10 minutes until I needed to pick them up. In a magazine, I had once seen a table beautifully set with mismatched old dishes. I thought, "well, here's my chance!" and hopped out to look around. After a few minutes I had a little pile of sweet old dishes, just enough to feed our family and a couple of friends. I came to the register with my treasures and the lady asked what I was doing. I chattered away as she rang my stuff up. Explained what I was doing and how God had challenged me...explained how humbled I was by the whole experience.
My beautiful girl and one of the beautiful plates!
As she wrapped up my plates and handed them to me she said, "These are on the house!" I balked and said, "Oh no! I can pay! I have always thought mismatched dishes would be fun!" She kept insisting until finally I took my dishes and hurried to get my kids.
You think they get tired of the camera????
Today, those sweet dishes bless me every time I set the table. They remind me every time of God's little voice, of how He knows best and how He cares about every single area of our lives...right down to the tiniest details. He delights in whispering to us, delights in wooing us to what is better and delights in meeting us in every little tiny detail of our lives! How cool is that???
In my Memorial Box (where the heck do you find one? I cannot find one anywhere!) one little plate from the girl's old tea set.