November 24, 2008 | 8 comments

The walls were lined with bins of bears and cats and bunnies, ready to be stuffed, stitched and taken home by pint-sized “parents.”

Lydia had been begging us to take her here — to the Build-A-Bear Workshop — for her 7th birthday. Her birthday is in November, but she’d had this arranged since April.

She’s a Type-A planner like that. Like her dad. And yes, … like her mom, too.

So there we were on a snowy Saturday in November, far from home, looking for the perfect bear to take home.

Anna chose a white “Hannah Montana” bear. Lydia picked a cat, with pink leopard-print fur. We took the animals to the stuffing machine first, where the attendant instructed Lydia and Anna.

“Kiss the heart,” she told them, and they did.

“Now turn the heart over,” she said, “and kiss the other side.”

They did as they were told, and then the lady inserted double-kissed hearts into furry bodies.

Afterward, we moved to the place where the girls gave their animals baths and a proper “fluffing.”

We picked clothes and accessories — they even have Build-a-Bear underwear — and we took a good long while picking perfect names. These things take time, you know.

Before we left, we stopped at the front of the shop and took a photo to commemorate what they had carefully chosen, stitched and named.

At Build-A-Bear, the slogan goes something like this:


Look at those smiles, just over there, on the right-hand margin. We take joy in what we create, don’t we? We take joy in whom we choose. In what we stitch together. In those we name. And especially, in what we take home.

I suppose it’s built into us by the One whose image we bear.

Imagine God, in His own workshop — in His “Build-A-Person Workshop.” It’s there where he chose us, stitched us together, named us, and sent us out into the world.

And one day, you know, He’ll take us home.

I imagine Him there, in His workshop, kissing both sides of our hearts. Before even time began.

(Click on the video below.)

by | November 24, 2008 | 8 comments


  1. Nancy

    Jennifer…. thank you for this. Having been at Build-a-Bear Workshop, I can picture a Heavenly version of “build-a-person” — what an incredible picture!!

  2. Billy Coffey

    I spent three hours in a Build-A-Bear Workshop one Saturday with my two kids. Coming from a father, that might sound excruciating. It wasn’t. In fact, I was close to building one myself. And I LOVE the parallel with God in his workshop building us. Wonderful.

  3. lynnrush

    What a great post. You captured the Build-a-Bear so vividly, then ended with such a fantastic message.

    Part of the video was hands working with clay. That has always hit home the most with me. I want to be clay, molded by His hands.

    Great post!!!

  4. patty

    Thank you so much, Jennifer! How wonderful to be reminded once again that we're chosen & created exactly according to His design!

  5. Minister Mamie L. Pack


    You have no idea how much these words are continued confirmation of a word that Christ has spoken into my life. Just on Friday I attended a women’s fellowship in which the message was Chosen. Each time I receive these messages of encouragement I am ever thankful to know that I serve a God who choose me in spite of me.

    with blessings,

    Minister Mamie

  6. Lydia

    hi mom. i loved build a bear workshop. it was fun.

    i think build a person is cool.

    love lydia

  7. Jennifer Dukes Lee

    Thanks all, for stopping by.

    Nancy — Good to “see” you here! Isn’t it amazing to think about the God of all Creation designing us in His own workshop? Amazing.

    Billy — Why does it not surprise me that you were kickin’ it at a BAB Workshop with your kiddos. Too cool.

    Lynn — I, too, love the idea of God as potter. We are all just jars of clay — and cracked pots at that. God is so good.

    Patty — Thanks for stopping in. I’m glad to see you’ve been blogging, too. I always enjoy your perspective on things, as well as your honesty.

    Mamie — Amen, sister. Isn’t it amazing how God will find all sorts of ways to repeat His messages to us?

    And dear, dear Lydia — Thanks for stopping by, honey. I had a great time at Build-A-Bear Workshop, too. You picked such a cool cat, and we’ll take it to Mema’s house for Thanksgiving. Love you!!! Oh, I think Build-A-Person is cool, too.

  8. Kt*Mac

    That put the biggest smile on my face. Kissed both sides of our hearts and made us perfect in his eyes…yeah…


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