There aren't many things that I (or my parents) kept from my childhood.
It's just not something we did.
Some people have rocking chairs or toy chests or baby dolls to pass on to their children.
Others have neatly pressed linens and clothes from a world gone by to adorn their babies in.
Or rather, I don't have a lot of those things.
But what I do have is very special and I take great pride in passing it on to my Emma and eventually this new baby as well.
That's why when we ventured into the attic to retrieve this childhood love, it was an exciting day.
This is a doll sized bedroom set that my daddy gave me when I was a little girl. The date it was made says Decmeber 15th, 1982. I would have been two-years-old.
I remember loving playing with this. It was the perfect home for my babies. It came with a dresser and mirror, a four-drawer chest and a four-poster bed.
Seeing as Emma is in the babydoll phase right now, I thought it would be a nice addition to her collection of strollers, baby carriers and such.
And she loved it I might add. Even more so, the happiness on her face when we presented it to her was enough to fill my heart with joy from now until eternity.
I haven't seen this stuff in years. It's been packed away in our attic longing to be loved again. And it just so happens when Jon brought it down, floods of emotion came back to me in the memories these precious toys held.
They needed dusting off and the mattress needed some love (ie. a good washing). It also needed a bed covering and pillow, which I promptly made so Emma's dollies wouldn't go cold.
As I nursed the wood back to it's former sheen I noticed a few scratches here and a crack there. The headboard of the bed needs a bit of glue. And there's a few dark patches from where I'm sure I spilled juice or something wet on it at somepoint.
But all in all, the whole set is in grand shape. To be almost 30-years-old that is.
Reminiscing about all the times I sat with my dolls on the floor playing in their little bedroom, I was reminded of when I first accepted Christ.
Upon first glance, this bedroom set and my faith have nothing to do with the other. But the feelings this envoked of my childhood, I was able to see so clearly myself in the delicate grains of wood. I could feel a love for me in the sturdy craftmanship of these pieces and I was once again transported back to a time when my adoration and faith in Jesus was so simple, yet so profound.
I don't remember a lot from when I was a kid. And as time passed and I became older, the blurrier my memories get.
But I do know for a brief moment in my history I loved God with all of my heart. Everything I was, I wanted to be even better for Him.
That's the stuff real faith is made of. An uninhibited and crazy kind of heart-wrenching love for Someone bigger than you and who you can't see...this that only a child can fully grasp.
Age brings with it doubt. And questions. Trials and lots of errors.
Before you know it...
Before I knew it, I didn't know who God was and in turn I didn't know who I was anymore either.
In retrospect, I was sitting in my own attic of darkness and sin, just waiting to be loved again.
Now I'm a firm believer that God brings us to Himself and even back to Himself at regular intervals in our human lives. We have to be aware of His calling. And for most of us, because we're just so darn stubborn, we have to be at a total loss, to have hit rock bottom, so that the only thing we can see is God.
It's not out of meaness that He does this, but out of love.
It's how He gets our attention.
And when He does, thirty years of dust and cobwebs, maybe even a hint of mold are wiped clean again. New coverings are made for you, your broken heart glued in all the right spots. And your soul is lovingly stroked and tended to so that your spirit shines once again.
Maybe I'm not to my former "childlike" faith. I still have those bumps, cracks and bruises I've aquired over the years afterall. But my heart has been restored to it's former joy because my Savior has rescued me once again, just like He did when I was a girl. And because of that, so too has my purpose in life been renewed as well.
Over and over I've heard it said and even spoken it myself, "You are a God of second chances. And third. And fourth. And so on."
I can't thank you enough for that being so true. That You love me so much, You would give me even one chance, much less multiple ones to see me through to who it is I am supposed to be in You....that is so remarkable and so awesome.
I thank you for life, Lord. And I praise you that you take care in constantly nursing my heart and spirit to the condition You wish it to be.
I love you.