Does the inside of your Bible look like this...
or am I the only one with stashes of memorabilia inside their precious book?
I cannot remember when or how this collection started. Perhaps it began years ago with just a program or some notes from a sermon. While I don't think my Bible is ready to be featured on the show Hoarders it might look that way to some. As I opened it up this morning a letter from Meesha tumbled out of Matthew. Turning the pages I found a bookmark from Istanbul, the boarding pass from a trip to the states to see Jalen graduate along with the ticket to the venue where his graduation was held. I found the label from a bar of soap called 'Father Frost' that was given to me by my Business English students back in Russia, the envelope that held the invitation to the Fourth of July party at the American Embassy here in Belize, and a song sheet from leading worship at Krasnodar Bible Church. I also found a family photo from the year when Nathan had to wear glasses but Spencer did not. I even had the envelope that my eating utensils came from when we flew from Russia to Istanbul...still shocked that it has Protestant, Catholic and Jewish prayers written on it.
Perhaps it's time for a scrapbook.
But for now...I will just share with you how I almost lost this precious book with all of it's mementos. As we were packing to leave Russia to move to Belize we had certain constraints on us. Lack of time was a factor which leads to hasty decisions, the size of our suitcases along with how much they could weigh also played a role, and of course the questions 'what did I need right away?' and 'what could I pack in the boxes to arrive later?' also had to be taken into consideration. I chose to pack my jewelry box in the suitcase and my Bible in a box for later. I thought my smaller newer Bible would do for a few months until our boxes arrived.
After all this heavy, cumbersome NIV Study Bible published in 1984 is a monster. I don't carry it around much. Even in the cute Bible cover with the handles it is still awkward to tote around.
At the last minute, I took the jewelry box out of my suitcase and put the 25 year old NIV in it's place. I remember thinking that if I get asked to share some thoughts I would need the big Bible with all of my notes in it and of course the jewelry could wait. As many of you know our boxes from Russia were stolen and never made it to Belize. My jewelry is lost along with other treasures of ours, however, my Bible is safe on my lap right as I write.
Tom gave me this Bible in 1987...it was a Mother's Day gift...received just months before Nathan was born. It held a few of Spencer's certificates that he had entrusted me with from YWAM. I can turn to the very back page and reminisce about Nathan spilling milk from his sippy cup into my book bag back in 1989. There are song lyrics hastily written out from a conference Tom helped organize in Southern California, along with programs from funerals, and sermon notes from an international church I attended one summer in Rome. Most importantly, it holds years of underlining, highlights, prayers, and notes in margins that could never be replaced.
As I take begin writing down the lessons God has for me this year...I have to acknowledge that this is one of them: Embrace the nudges of the Spirit.
Something prompted me to take the jewelry box out and put the Bible into the suitcase just before leaving to catch our 4am flight out of Russia. I didn't make that choice on my own I had help. And I am so grateful that I was saved from losing a truly priceless gift.