Thursday, September 18, 2014

Kintsugi

The weekly reckoning...
854. Brooklyn bringing me the little piece that broke off of her toy wagon, instead of putting it in her mouth
855. Adam coming home early and taking her and the grocery list so that I could Practice Peace in solitude
856. A new issue of Mary Jane's Farm and a beautiful evening on which to enjoy it on the balcony
857. A mentally distracting song coming on the radio and derailing my train of worry-thought about Brooklyn's visit to the pediatrician
858. Sitting on the living room floor, playing Uno with Adam
859. Tea-drinking weather with delicious tea and pretty mugs to enjoy it with
860. Exploring the River Market district with Adam and Brooklyn
861. Her delight at holding his hand and walking with us
862. Discovering the perfect spot for a design photo shoot
863. Baby capybaras at the zoo - so cute!
864. A family dinner date at Big Orange, and a waitress who always stopped to talk to Brooklyn (but also kept an eye on us grownups)


865. Neither Brooklyn nor I being hurt when the glass globe on our dining area light fell off and smashed all over the table that we were sitting at

Sunday evening, I sat down at our kitchen table to help Brooklyn with her dinner. Adam was getting ready for a shower, and I was multi-tasking, writing out a to-do list for the next day between doling out bites of fried egg. The ping of a small metal object hitting the table caused us both to close our eyes and turn away reflexively - thankfully, as the heavy glass globe covering our overhead light swiftly followed the knob whose purpose is to hold it in place.

We sat there in silence for a moment, stunned and trying to process the shards of frosted glass that littered the table and floor. Brooklyn decided that it was funny and laughed, handing me the metal knob, which was the only piece that had landed on her tray (another blessing). Adam burst out of the bathroom, deeply concerned, to find out what the crash was, then brought shoes and fresh clothes and a wet washcloth and sent us into her room to play while he cleaned up.

Neither of us were damaged (physically or emotionally) and after maintenance came and replaced the globe the next day, the only relic of the incident is a few barely perceptible nicks in the surface of our table (nothing a good rub with a brown crayon won't fix).

Kayla over at Renown Crowned wrote a post this week about the blogger's balance between only telling about the good and only telling about the bad. Probably because I read it under the unfiltered light of three bare bulbs while waiting for maintenance to come, it made me think of how I reacted to the unexpectedly shattered glass - and how I captioned it on the Instagram picture I took before Adam swept it away. Brief, honest, positive.

As a child, I noticed that people avoid complainers but like humor. So I mastered the art of turning every situation, no matter how potentially negative, into a funny story. While my motive was perhaps not the best, it did have a positive outcome - after all, the only difference between a pessimist and an optimist is their outlook. Both could experience the same day, but because one focuses only on the negative and on unfulfilled expectations while the other embraces the beauty and small moments of spontaneity, each perceives the end result differently. Looking for the humor in daily life turned me into an optimist.

But mere optimism isn't enough - it can laugh at broken glass, but it can't repair it. Only gratitude can do that. Gratitude toward a loving and gracious God is the liquid gold that binds the pieces together into something all the more beautiful because of its brokenness. It stands out among the apparently unbroken (or perhaps only more secretively repaired), the shine catching your eye. Better still, my favorite aspect of the Japanese art of kintsugi (repairing broken pottery with golden lacquer) is that regardless of the origin of the piece, once repaired it becomes Japanese. Property of the One who cares enough to pick up the pieces and put them back together.

So without meaning to, my online portrayal of life-lived-out probably looks a little better than it really is, even with the imperfections I deliberately share. The veins of gold that run between the rough of edges of my broken-and-remade life stand out to me, making the cracks and lines seem less egregious, even while drawing attention to them. Because in the end, the only events worth celebrating are the ones that point to and glorify our Father - and with the right perspective, all of them can.
_______________

866. Waking up naturally a whole hour before Brooklyn - a first since she was born!
867. A before-dinner walk at the park, enjoying the cool  and the nice people and a puppy
868. Swinging side by side - Brooklyn though it was wonderful
869. Meeting Adam for lunch
870. Practicing Peace on the River Walk with Brooklyn - she watched a squirrel and I journaled and we both enjoyed the cool breeze
871. A letter from a friend and an update from Compassion about our sponsored child
872. Writing replies on the balcony in the sun, with a cup of tea and the door open
873. Meeting Adam at the park before dinner, after he got off work
874. and his near-heroism in blindly sticking his arm in an outdoor trashcan  in search of an irreplaceable missing sunglasses lens that I'd dropped (he found it)


The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will trust in Him.
[Lamentations 3:22-24]

Won't you join us in counting (and recounting!) His mercies anew? Just grab a journal or notebook (it doesn't have to be fancy) and a pen and write them down, then join us each week to encourage each other by sharing all of the blessings we've spotted. Catch up on everyone's posts and if you don't have a blog, feel free to participate by commenting, instead!

Check out these #NewEveryMorning hosts, as well, and don't forget to use the hashtag on Twitter so that we can find each other:
   Kayla [at] Renown and Crowned
   Kelsey [at] Faith Fun and the Fergusons

1 comment:

Kayla said...

So glad no one was hurt! Those can be trying events for sure. I love how Adam sent you and Brooklyn into her room so he could clean up the mess -- Austin would do the same thing. [We have some pretty great guys.]

Your commentary on kintsugi was fascinating. And thank you for being a "positive" social media-ist/blogger. While some call that "fake," I find it so very refreshing in a sea of grumbling and discontent. It also helps me hone my skills for seeing the best aspects of a situation that might otherwise be disheartening in my own life.

Praise HIM for all He is doing in and through us this year! Great things. Great things.