Have you ever spent a lot of time walking through an older person’s home? If you are like me, you are mesmerized by the pictures, ornaments, sculptures, doodads, and furniture. Looking around, I wonder what story these collections tell. Where did he get that trophy in the corner? What does that picture mean to them? Who are those people in the black and white portrait on the wall? It makes me want to ask question after question and learn all I can about who they are, and what life was like for them years before I was born. What is the significance of the things they saved all these years?
Over the years, we get rid of a lot of things. Between yard sales, kids leaving and taking items, moving, downsizing, eBay, and accidental breakages, most of us aren’t going to keep everything we have for a lifetime. What we do keep are those things that are important to us.
Downstairs, I have a Kitchen Aid mixer my grandma got in 1957. It’s almost worn out and I haven’t used it since she gave it to me, but I don’t ever plan to get rid of it. That item reminds me of all the baking Grandma did when she was able and of so many memories of her in her kitchen.
In one of my parent’s bedrooms, there hangs a plaque that reads, “Tarheels, National Champs, 1982.” The plaque itself is ugly, but my dad recently asked me if I wanted it since it is also my birth year. Without hesitation, I took it and put it up on my wall. When I see it, I’m reminded that Dad got a daughter and a championship in the same year. I keep these things to remind me of where I came from and all that I have.
Looking through people’s homes, and your own home, it is evident to yourself and others how God has blessed you. The people with whom He has blessed you are in frames and the experiences with which He has blessed you are documented in each room.
Joshua 4:1-7 tells of how the Israelites, after crossing the Jordan, documented to glory and grace of God in a visible way:[note color=”#FFFF7E”]When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’” Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever. (ESV)[/note]
Can you imagine what it must have been like to be a child of someone who passed through those mighty waters on dry ground? Personally, I would want to hear that story at bedtime every night for a while. And, not only would you have the story told directly from someone who was there, but you would also have the stones as proof that a miracle did indeed take place.
This story made me think, “What remarkable blessings has God given me?” How have I documented His amazing grace? If someone were to visit my home, would I have anything standing that would reflect the presence of God in my life?
In the Joshua excerpt above, the stones were meant to be a sign to future generations, so when they asked what the stones meant, God could be glorified again, and His wonders remembered. When He blesses me, what a testimony it would be to build something in His honor, so when someone asks me, “What does this item represent?” I could tell that person how God has blessed my life.
One item we currently have in our living room on the fireplace mantle is a porcelain gazelle (the picture at the beginning of this post). Eric gave that to me as a gift shortly after we got out of debt as a reminder that we were free of that burden forevermore (Proverbs 6:1-5). It is such a unique item that we are happy to tell others what it represents in our lives.
How has God blessed you? What items do you have that you will put in your home with your future spouse, bought or created, that remind you, and represent to others, God’s work in your life or lives? Please comment below and let us know what they are and what the stories are behind them! If you don’t currently have any, what can you build into your home decor that will be a testimony to the Lord? Pick out an item that represents the Lord’s faithfulness and provision in your life.
What item(s) do you have that remind you of God’s faithfulness?