C – Collections {26 Surprising Ways to Encounter God, A-Z}

“Ownership is the most intimate relationship one can have to objects. Not that they come alive in him; it is he who comes alive in them.”
– Walter Benjamin

shell-collection

C—Collections

Do you have any collections in your home?

Maybe you collect dolls or books or coffee mugs. Why? There’s a reason.

After my baby girl Kali died, I collected angels. Or rather, angels came to me. They were gifts, reminders from my friends and family that they remembered. Kali was not forgotten.

They were also reminders from my God. I was not forgotten.

Through the years I’ve also collected books. Most of them I’ve chosen myself. Many I bought because I’d already read the library version, yet needed to own a copy myself so I could re-read it over and over.

God is in those books. In the words of the authors. In the truths about human nature and the world that God created himself. My collection of books reminds me that there is an ultimate source of wisdom, of knowledge, of all truth.

And that I’m not it.

Try This

What do you collect? Look around your home.

Now go deeper. Look for God in your collection.

How has he led you to this collection? How can you encounter him in your collection? Is there anything about your collection that reminds you of God’s character?

Learn More

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What do you collect? When did you start? How do you see God in your collection? Please share in the comments.

Next:

  • D – Doubt
    How can our doubts lead us closer to God?

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19 thoughts on “C – Collections {26 Surprising Ways to Encounter God, A-Z}

  1. blankSherry Stahl

    LIsa, very interesting post. the only thing I collect is books and Bibles are my favorite. I have one of most translations, and many Study Bibles. My favorite still is the NIV Study Bible for a balance of historical, Archeological and cross-reference information. I can get lost in the Archeological Bible or Apologetics Bible. So, it’s really easy for me to see God in my collection 🙂

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      What a beautiful collection you have, Sherry. Yes, that’s probably one of the easiest collections to see God in! I wish I could take the favorite things from each of my Bibles and combine them all into one. 🙂

  2. blankJoanne Viola

    Lisa, I enjoyed this post. It is interesting to think about finding God in the things we collect. Like you, books are special to me. I mark them up and write in them, making them evolve into more of a journal. I love going back to reread them because it is there I truly do encounter God and remember His faithfulness, grace, and mercy to my family and I. Blessings!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I wish I wrote more in my books, but alas, I just can hardly do it. ha. My sister, however, writes and highlights and stars so many things in her books. It makes it fun to borrow her books and read her thoughts right alongside the author’s thoughts. 🙂 Sounds like your books would be equally delightful to borrow, Joanne!

  3. blankDavid

    We live in a tiny house (a “cottage” – sounds nicer), and I have thrown away a lot of things I’d rather not have had to (boxes and boxes of books and vinyl – given to charity shops), so I have hardened my heart against this a little. Collecting things can be a symptom of, or encourage, various kinds of fetishism — which I’m a bit too familiar with as well.

    Looking for God in a collection is a good idea, and can be a step towards redemption for someone keeping one of those Bad collections.

    There’s also the collections we don’t realise we’re making. For example I’ve just counted and we seem to have nine Bibles — only one of which I bought after I “became” a Christian.

    Nice 31 Days theme! (and nice surpise to see Benjamin here!)

    David

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      It is interesting how our collections form; sometimes they’re conscious and sometimes not. You bring up a valid point that they can be signs of fetishism. I do know people who collect so much stuff that it hinders their daily lives. What we collect and the quantities of the items do indicate something about us, that’s for sure. We just don’t always think about what that something is.

      Interestingly, I started following another 31 Day Series this month about decluttering sentimental items. 🙂

  4. blankTiffany Parry

    Hmm…you’ve got me thinking. I don’t have any noticeable collection habits – mostly because I’m not a huge fan of clutter – or dusting! 😉 Do shoes count? This is a great theme for 31 days, Lisa. It’s amazing the ways we can encounter God in the simplicity of everyday if we are watching for Him.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I wonder if clutter-adverse people (count me in!) are typically NOT collectors. ? It makes sense. I guess I don’t mind certain types of clutter though (like overflowing bookshelves, ha). Some people might count shoes as a collection, but you don’t have to since they don’t have to be dusted. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Tiffany.

  5. blankbluecottonmemory

    Your post is a blend of an invitation to playfulness and introspection – and I needed that blend today – to lift the introspection out of a deep into a place of sunny play. I don’t know if it’s so much a collection or, like you say, a coming to, but I bring home books, coffee cups (I’m a pottery and china girl so I have both), and blankets – because my boys love blankets. I guess I bring home words in signs because words are important to me. Recipes are important because they’re not only a heritage but an adding to the heritage. I bring home tea now – coffee not so much – and chocolate. Some things are reminders of where I come from, some, like the pottery mixed with the china, are a staunch stand for that part of who I am because some people believe you shouldn’t mix your pottery with your china. Thank you, Lisa. This made me smile – and I needed smiling! I can see the God-messages in all of this – and that warms me!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Oh, I love seeing in my mind’s eye all the things that you collect, Maryleigh. Our collections often reveal things about us that others don’t know. I’m imagining you wrapped in a blanket, reading a book, and drinking out of one of your mugs. Glad this post made you smile. Your comment makes me smile.

  6. blankHeather

    ohhh what an interesting question- can I see God in my collections? Honestly I collect old things… Vintage anything makes my heart go pitter pat… So the idea that I love to welcome home an old piece and make it new again- through paint, setting, or a new use… well I guess that points to what God does with us! Love this Lisa! ♥

  7. blankEvelyn Sanches

    I collect cookbooks and all kinds of bakeware..I love to cook and seriously love to bake…I am praying one day to open my own bakery

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I love people who love to cook. Because I love to eat. 🙂 Thanking God that we have a wide variety of collections and interests! May your bakery open sooner than you realize and bless the world.

  8. blankfloyd

    I guess the closest thing to a collection that I have would be books, but I don’t have too many of them, relatively speaking, and if they aren’t special I don’t allow them to take up space on the shelves in my office.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I need to follow your example and get rid of more books that aren’t particularly special. On my bedroom shelves I only keep the special ones, but my basement shelves definitely need a serious purging. One of these days…

  9. blankBetsy de Cruz

    Lisa, I just love coming here, you are so creative! My collection would be family treasures: boxes from my grandmother’s collection, china painted plates from my other grandmother. Maybe it’s God reminding me today that I should treasure my heritage in Him and hold fast to the ancient paths? 🙂

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      What beautiful collections, Betsy! And that fits perfectly with my upcoming “G” day which is Grandparents. 🙂 Two for one. Yes, hold on to the ancient paths. Such a blessed heritage!

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