| from Dr. Kathy Koch |

Nativity from Estonia

Do you collect anything? Are there things you value? I know things aren’t important in comparison to people and beliefs, but they’re not valueless.

This month, on our Facebook page, I’ll share a nativity each day from my amazing collection. I own 139 nativities from 38 countries and they’re all displayed year round – about half in my office and half in my home. As I’ve traveled internationally, they’ve been fun to purchase from different on-the-street markets and stores. I’m very privileged.

Nativity from the Philippines

I like some of the nativities because of their color and unique design. That’s the picture-smart part of me kicking in. For example:

  • In the one I own from India, each of the ten pieces is designed as a stamp to use on an ink pad. You have to look closely to see and appreciate the detail.
  • In the one I purchased in Senegal, the people’s clothing is made with bright fabric. It reminds me of the fabric mart we went to while I was there. 

The logic-smart part of my brain reacts strongly to some of them. And, that’s why I bought them. For instance:

  • Mine from Thailand has an elephant in it. That makes total sense since elephants are revered in Thailand.
  • Mary looks youngest in mine from Estonia. Her hair is in ringlets, just as a young girl her age might have actually warn her hair.
  • I like the prayer posture Mary and Joseph take in many of the ones I own. I wonder what their prayers might have been!

Some of them are special to me because of who they’re from or who I was with when I purchased them. For these, it’s the people-smart part of my brain that’s reacting. For instance,

  • A staff member and board member made me a ceramic one that’s very special to me because of that. When I look at in on my top shelf, I “see” Joyce and Timmie, too.
  • I can remember purchasing the one I chose in Manila on my first missions trip. It was fun having Marilyn agree with me that a nativity collection would be interesting. Little did we know what that one purchase would lead to!
Nativity from Senegal

Watch this month, as you engage in life and participate in different activities. As you observe, think about which smart or smarts to use to increase your joy and success. You have all 8 and can use all 8. Sometimes, it makes more sense to start your thinking with a certain one. Can you figure it out?