bags, buckets, and boxes…

Stuffers. Hoarders. Crammers. Packers.

Call them what you may, but my girls absolutely love stuffing small things into some type of container. I find them all over our house. A bag with small princesses, waded up fake money, bracelets, a pretend apple, and sometimes (if I’m lucky) an old school picture of James that he has “gifted” to the girls. Or sometimes it’s a large box closed up appearing empty but actually holding one tiny special animal.

“Shhhh, Mommy she’s sleeping,” my daughter warns.

Sorry, I wasn’t aware that the box was a bed. Or that that plastic animal was real.

Filling bags full of toys has at times taken up large parts of their afternoons, accompanying them to far away places. You see, one bag is not enough. When I say they fill bags I mean they fill bags! Four or five bags a piece usually will be enough to get them to their “fairyland” or “princess castle” and they are satisfied. Once they have arrived what do they do? Dump them out of course! Explosions of toys, dolls, blocks, and randomness spread across the floor and when asked why they need so much they respond simply:

“We just do, Mommy.”

So here is my thought, we have all heard the baggage analogy, the idea that points out that we all carry around past pain, mistakes, failures with us when we should give them to God. While this is true, this is not where I’m going with this…

When my daughters empty out the contents of their bags nothing is as it was created to be. A car is now a carriage, a spatula is a fancy wand, and a tiny plastic animal is now a sleeping baby. Every thing they packed has a specific purpose. Something about the bag, or the box, or the bucket changes what goes in and produces something valuable coming out.

My bags may be full of pain, of mistakes, of regret but what if they came out of the bag as stories of redemption, wisdom, and fearlessness? The explosion does not have to create more chaos. In fact the explosion can produce tools to be all that God created me to be; to expand my realm of influence beyond what I have settled for currently.

So whatever may be filling your bags today, allow God’s transforming power to turn it all into something to be valued. Stop carrying it just to carry it, but use it to show God’s never ending love and grace for His children.

Remember, in this case what goes in does not have to be what comes out.

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