Sometimes when I am scrolling through the thousand cable channels in search of something decent to watch, I land on the show called “Hoarders, Buried Alive”. As I watch the show, I find myself shaking my head in disgust and in disbelief that a person could actually live in such horrible conditions. Then my common sense and compassion button turns on and I acknowledge that hoarding is a mental health issue that often stems around a loss of some sort and the hoarder is trying to fill the void with stuff. (Disclaimer ... this is my uneducated hypothesis. I’m sure there’s more to it and therefore I leave it to the professionals.)
While I do not consider myself a hoarder, I do like my stuff … particularly when it comes to closet stuff. (I may even have a slight obsession with boots but that’s another story for another blog). The truth is we ALL have stuff that we love and stuff that we want. And we definitely live in a country where stuff is readily available to us at any given moment. Thanks to the internet, obtaining stuff is as easy as it gets. But we are never quite satisfied with our stuff and so we continue with this craziness of buying and obtaining more.
You are probably thinking that Kangaroo Jane was written based on my obsession with boots and other stuff. Not so. You see, one of the things I love about children’s books is discovering something you wouldn’t normally expect … something that captures and sparks the imagination of the child. And such was the thought behind the kangaroo illustration as I wrote Hazel the Hippo. I want children to read my books and discover other characters through the illustrations. Adding a kangaroo with fun stuff in her pouch was sure to capture the attention and imagination of little readers.
I saw this quote one day while scrolling through social media … “the best things in life are not things to be had.” As soon as I read it, I knew that I had a story for Kangaroo Jane. This sweet kangaroo spends her days filling her pouch with objects but discovers while her pouch is full, her heart is not. I love her story and in some ways we can all relate to Kangaroo Jane’s plight. Stuff is stuff, this much is true. But at the end of the day, it’s just stuff. It's not what fills our heart.
There’s a great scripture passage located in the book of Matthew. It says “Do not gather for yourself riches on earth … instead gather for yourselves riches in heaven…your heart will be where your riches are.” Find what fills your heart and you will never be wanting for more. And that, my friends, is Kangaroo Jane's story.
Thank you for reading Kangaroo Jane to your little people - I hope you love her as much as I do ... and remember ... "the best things in life are not things to be had."
10/24/2022 01:49:53 pm
Suggest possible page me truth. Begin lawyer moment away. True although civil mother.
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Staci J. Allen has more than 15 years of experience teaching and working with preschoolers. She currently serves as the Director of Caring Ministries at The Summit Church. Staci and her husband Rick live in Lee's Summit, Missouri, and enjoy spending time with their adult children and grandchildren.