Wedding gifts are wasted on the young.
My husband and I were married at the tender ages of 25 and 24, respectively. We registered, and received the normal cookware, linens, and stemware. We unwrapped multiple packages of "Beer Fest" glasses and acquired at least two platters dedicated to serving chips and salsa.
A few rogue gifts also came our way. Gifts from rugged individualists who pooh-poohed the registry and bought what they thought we would love.
For example? We were the lucky recipients of chalice shaped like a heart. As you can imagine, we use that all the time. For those nights when only a chalice will do.
We were also gifted with several pieces of pottery. Although these items were not on the registry, I treasure them. Frozen light and heavy grace, these handmade creations inspire me daily.
I recently unearthed one bowl. It had been sitting in a cabinet, getting musty and lonely. I placed it next to my sink, so I could see it every time I washed dishes or sliced apples or smeared peanut butter on bread.
After my husband's mother was diagnosed with cancer, I started calling it my "God Box" in my head. I wrote little notes to myself. Prayers. Things that were tugging at me, mewing like a sick cat.
I wrote about things I needed to release. A formerly close friend inexplicably cut off all contact. I scribbled her name, and placed it in the God Box. I told myself that putting her name in the box meant that I was releasing my feelings of hurt, and my questions of "why."
I acknowledged my feelings:
"I am very angry."
"I am jealous of other writers."
"I am scared that the doctor is going to tell me I can't run."
On other occasions, I sent up my wishes and hopes:
"Please be with Paul's mom."
"Please help [my son] Owen when he starts kindergarten next year."
"Please help me find love when I am out of patience."
I happen to believe in prayer, but even if one does not, I attest there's power in acknowledging feelings, good and bad.
It's good to explicitly state hopes and dreams.
And sometimes, when the feelings are not serving you, it's good to state them--once--and close the lid.
And lest this get too preachy, there is one other crucial element of my God Box:
Because sometimes, the closest thing to the divine comes wrapped with the Hershey's label.