Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Broken Bracelet

My bracelet broke.

Not the one Margeaux made at the retreat. This was a new bracelet.

After reading the last story, “The Blessings of a Bracelet," she surprised me with what I call

“My Life” bracelet. 




It had all these different beads- BIG and small. Black, clear, blue, pink and red beads. Some were simple in shape while others were quite silly. This was her representation of my life manifest in a bracelet. 

It broke. 

I don’t know how it happened. 

I was slipping it off before bed one night and poof! All these beads were rolling round the bathroom.
I was finding beads for days afterwards. 

I think I must have been tugging too hard on it at night. All that tension and stress just built up until  --breakage. 

As I’ve said before, beads are not my thing so I don’t have any of the supplies or tools to make jewelry. Instead of trying to fix it myself, I called Margeaux and told her what happened. 
She said to give it to her and she’d be happy to fix it. 

She didn’t yell at me or make me feel bad that I broke it. She just offered to fix it. 

Actually, not fix it because I snapped the nylon in half. She is recreating it for me instead. 

One night after bible study, I remembered my little baggie with my broken bracelet in it. I handed it to her and said, “Look at my life!” 

She laughed and said, “It’s a mess! Don’t worry, I’ll rework it.”

As I drove away I started to chuckle.

How much insight was the Lord going to give me with these little bracelets anyway?!

Well at least one more thing...

For a very long time, my life looked like that broken bracelet with pieces everywhere.  My life was barely functional.

What did I do then? Well I picked up the proverbial pieces and I tried to fix it.

I didn’t have the tools or supplies but I tried anyway. It was always in vain.

All I needed to do was tell my Creator, “Oops, I broke it. Can you help me?” Without guilt or condemnation, I would have heard a loving, gentle, “Yes.”

But I never asked Him and I never gave Him the chance. At least not until later. Much later I’m afraid.

Instead, I actually wore my own creation. People kept asking me, “What is that?”

"Why, it’s my life can’t you see?"

No, they couldn’t because it didn’t look much like a life that anyone would voluntarily wear. But that’s what I did. I wore it for years.

It didn’t fit and truth be told, it was quite ugly.

Finally, thankfully, it broke for the very last time.

I couldn’t even find all the pieces. I was scattered and lost. At my core, I was empty.

Then His hand reached down to me. The very beautiful and very scarred hand of Jesus.

He took the pieces I had left and placed them around His Spirit. He gave me gifts and added them too. I didn’t have to do anything. I didn’t have to help or worry. I simply trusted and received what He had for me.

As we know from the “Blessings” story, His reworking of my life is exactly that-

His work. 

I just simply wear it for all to see.







Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Mid-Blog Crisis

Those of you who have been my companions for the last few years know long blogless droughts are not the norm.

Those of you who have been faithful readers know at the very least I'll make mention of school.

But as the title suggests, I'm having a bit of a "mid-blog crisis." 
And blogging about not blogging is never a good idea.

My thought is, most of you are moms.  Moms are busy people.  You are my friends and you will understand the quiet.

But you are such good friends that not only have you understood the quiet, you've grown concerned.

For that I love you all.

My quiet has more to do with ability right now. 

My frail "tent" is giving me trouble and I am waiting and hoping on the Lord to provide answers.

In Him timing... in His way...

'Tis not an easy wait, especially since I am an impatient person.  But, I know that is all part of His divine plan.  More of Him means less of me.

***

The only thing I can think to do is this challenging season of my life, to keep sane, is to appreciate the little things and to be grateful for all I have.

I know some are doing this as they are reading Ann's book, One Thousand Gifts, which I'm sure is lovely.  I, however, do not own that book. But I do have a Book that says,


O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good; 
for His mercy endureth for ever.
1 Chronicles 16:34


My list may seem strange to you.  But right now, these are the things I am truly thankful for.

I am thankful...

1. I woke up in my own bed today.
2. That I have bladder and bowel control.
3. That I can smile.
4. I can breathe on my own.
5. I can swallow.
6. That we have medical insurance.
7. That the internet makes the world smaller, closer.
8. That I have a husband that loves me and never makes me feel "less."
9. That my children are very gentle with me.
10. For my parents that live next door.

11. For good friends and show their love for me.
12. That God loves me even when reading His Word is difficult.
13. For a good church that faithfully teaches through Scripture.
14. For Rocky Road ice cream :)
15. For Asian Pears
16. For a working vacuum cleaner.
17. For running water.
18. For working toilets.
19. For a dishwasher.
20. For a refrigerator.

21. For food to put in the refrigerator.
22.  For a great curriculum that helps me stay on track when days are hard.
23. For Stash Fusion Breakfast Green and Black tea.
24. For raw honey.
25. For a car.

I am thankful...
26. For music.
27. For iPods.
28. that I can speak (even when it is slow and painful).
29. that my hands work.
30. that Jesus is faithful.

More next time...

Hopefully, I can update school soon too.  We are heading into Week 21, I think ??

Oh wait!  # 31- I am thankful for this beautiful ring Andrea made me...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Life with a Film Maker...

Abby: "Be nice to me.  I have a bruise."

Me: Very skeptical, "You? Have a bruise?"

Abby: "That's what I told Elijah."

Me: "How did you get a bruise?"

Abby: "I told him I dropped a frying pan on it."

Holding her hand out to me, she showed me her "bruise."


(Note: if you received this post via email, the pictures might not show up.  

Me: "You used your makeup."

Abby: Very proud, "Uh huh!"

Me: Knowing that she made dinner tonight, I said, "A real bruise wouldn't show up that fast."

Gazing admiringly at her "wound" she added,

"Yeah, but it looks looks good, right?"

{Pause}



"You know, except for being sparkly..."



Oh. dear.  Sparkly bruises courtesy of eyeshadow.

This is life with a film maker.






Monday, March 14, 2011

Nana? Is that you?

Picture the scene...

We're all snuggled up in the family room waiting for the news to start.

Karl wanders over to the calendar to see what the topic for Continuing Medical Education is on Wednesday.

He calls out, "I don't know what this is... it says the topic is,

"Mindfulness as a Therapeutic Tool for Treatment of Anxiety, Chronic Pain, and Stress."

The reply, "I don't know about that.  It sounds like a bunch of New Age mango-tango to me."


New Age Mango-Tango?



Nana?
  Is that you?

Actually...

No.  It wasn't Nana.

It was...



Me!!

{{{hangs head in resignation}}}


I knew it wasn't correct, but I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out what the saying was!

Unfortunately, Miss Abigail was sitting right across from me on the couch. I could tell from her face that I got it w.r.o.n.g.  

So I covered my head with the blanket to obscure the look of shocked disbelief spreading across her face and she slowly and carefully said, "You mean, mumbo-jumbo?"

Mumbo-jumbo!!!!

That's it!

Oh.dear.

Now more than ever, the poem is true...

Mirror, mirror on the wall.
I've become my mother after all.


:)

It's a good thing I think my momma is pretty cool ;)

Now Showing:
Nana-isms: The Next Generation



hahaha

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Blessings of a Bracelet

A few years ago Karl and I went to a Couple’s Retreat in southern Oregon. We were able to spend a few days away from our three children where we fellowshipped with other couples. We also learned a lot from our pastor about loving each other and learning from one another.

We mainly learned about looking to Jesus as not only the author and perfecter of our faith, but He is the author and perfecter of our marriage as well.

He is to be the center of our marriage. He is the strong main cord which my husband and I are to wind ourselves and our marriage around creating that very strong three-fold cord.

A three-fold cord is not easily broken. Neither is a marriage easily broken that has Jesus at it's center.

A good friend and her husband were also at this retreat. She loves to make jewelry for other people. She blesses those around her with her talents, of which there are many. She knew I was wearing a dress on our last day of the retreat and wanted to make earrings and a matching bracelet for my outfit.

I quickly accepted her offer but she wanted me to pick out the beads. Well, it is very safe to say, jewelry making is not a talent of mine. Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not being self-deprecating in some attempt at a false humility.

The Lord has blessed me with many gifts and talents that I am so grateful for. But, making beautiful jewelry is not one of them. This is merely a statement of fact.

But my friend was not easily deterred. She pulled out her organizer, two of them in fact, and wanted me to choose the beads that I liked best. There is only one word that I can use to describe my thoughts and emotions as I gazed at the vast array of beads, doodads, and assorted hardware-- 

overwhelmed.

There were too many choices, too many potential outcomes. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around any of it.

I knew what she was capable of so I trusted her to make the choices and decisions for me.
I knew I would love it and I knew it for two reasons.

First, I’ve seen other things she’s made and they were lovely.
I trusted her from past experience.

Secondly, she was making them for me, not because I was asking her to and paying her to do it. She was making it for me because she wanted to, because she is my friend and has a very generous heart and because she loves me.

I trusted her because it was a gift motivated by love.

I was thinking about my very beautiful bracelet this morning as I was cleaning the kitchen. I know the two things don’t seem to go together but be patient I’ll get there soon enough.

So like I said, I was cleaning the kitchen, which was quite messy after cooking breakfast. It felt so good to put everything away. It was satisfying to clean what was dirty. I had peace seeing something that was once in disorder now be in order.

Oh, that was when it hit me...

My friend could take a jumble of beads, varying shapes and sizes and colors that were thrown into a container, and make something very beautiful and orderly of it. All of my life experiences are like a bead.

I have a blue bead of sorrow when my grandparents died. I have a red trinket of shame when I’ve lost my temper with my children. I have fun yellow doodads when I’ve laughed with my husband.

In my container, I have silly pink beads of dancing in the kitchen for my children right next to black beads of a painful past. I look at the container of my life and I am overwhelmed.

What do I keep? What can be used? I have no idea.

There are too many choices and too many potential outcomes.

What do I do?

Do I live with a container full of seemingly random experiences all jumbled together in chaos? No.

There is a much better choice. Surrender my “beads” of life to the Perfect Artist who has shown me time and time again that He can take disorder and create order.

“In the beginning...” there wasn’t and then there was. He can turn despair into joy. In His expert hands He can turn random and haphazard into order and beauty. Our God does this everyday.

I heard it at the dining tables at that retreat. There was story after story of how the Lord took what looked liked unsalvageable pieces of peoples lives and from those ashes created a thing of beauty.

Our marriages were each different looking, just as each bracelet my friend made that weekend were different. But they were all beautiful in their own unique way. Some of us had similar beads just as some of us have similar life experiences. But no two lives are identical so no two outcomes are identical. But there was a commonality, the center of the bracelet.

The core of a person or marriage was same. In order to make sense of all those beads, they needed to be placed onto a common thread. All of our lives were being strung onto the common thread of Jesus Christ. He is the beginning and the end. He is the knot holding it all together. His masterful hand picks through the beads of our life and chooses, if we let Him, what to keep and what not to keep. He then takes the useful things, both good and bad, in our life and arranges them in stunning order and breath-taking beauty.

How many times however do we try to tell Him our choices and our opinions?

We’ve seen His handiwork before.
We know His heart is generous and loving and yet we don’t trust Him to recreate us.

We want to pick what we think will be best. But let the truth be told- we have no idea! Not one clue.

But He does. He knows all the outcomes. He knows what will be best.

He has shown us time and time again His wonderful gift and His loving heart.

In the same way, I could trust my friend to make my bracelet, the Lord wants us to trust Him to make our life a thing of beauty and order. I am relived to know I don’t have to know. I don’t have to choose and then fear that I chose unwisely. I can instead trust and surrender to His masterful hand.

It is only then that I can be delighted with the surprise of the life He has given me. Delighted with it’s beauty and surprised that it surpassed all of my expectation.

The bracelet of my life is not yet finished, but even now I can see that it is more wonderful then I could have ever imagined. It is more beautiful that I can describe. And most of all, it fits me perfectly.

***

(This is a bracelet made by another friend, Jennifer, at Yellow Girl designs.)

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