natalie gonzalez

Today I cleaned the nursery, which is really just where the babies sleep on one side and a HUGE playroom on the other that all my children play in. 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 and, while no one was watching, I wanted to put each and every one of them inside this bag and 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 one, I could recall the exact moment that particular stuffie was adopted into our life. Some passed down from bigger kids, others rescued from black bags such as this one. As I looked each one in the eyes or eye, I found myself keeping quite a few more than I had anticipated. It frustrated me that I was standing here with an empty bag now trying to clear space here and there to shove these objects that my children hardly even touch.

It reminded me of this couple I know who actually has their childhood stuffies on display in their home! When we were all younger, toys weren’t nearly as disposable as they are now, and toys were treasured much more in generations before mine. yet here are like aged people with their stuffed animal 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 that I’ve kept and treasured. 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. 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 to not accept batteried toys or to not battery a noisy toy. Long gone are the days when we would dig our own 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 versions of higher priced items which appeals to those of us who would sooner die than spend over one hundred dollars 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. Cost had nothing to do with it or time of year. I got what I wanted when I wanted. Taking a look 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.

1 John 3:1

3 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

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 answer 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 that moment that 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:

Q1. What object have you treasured in your life? Where is it now?

Q2. In this disposable era do you still take care of your objects of value? How?

Q3. How do you react to enormous amounts of toys or shoes or clothes in your house? ​