Thursday, January 28, 2016

Desperation and Innovation

Everyone needs to read this book, parent or not - I derived just as much from it for myself as I did for Brooklyn and Tobin

A new book released on Tuesday, and my anxiously awaited copy was handed to me by our friendly postperson yesterday. It sat on the table, teasing me, while I finished attending to the breakdown in sibling relations that the knock on the door had interrupted, so I was especially excited when I finally cut open the box. I've already read Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World since I was on the launch team, but the hard copy is gorgeous and I'm planning on rereading it soon.

But I was most curious about the "global family kit" that came with it - I knew that several countries were represented but didn't know which one we'd be getting. Brooklyn and Tobin won't be old enough to enjoy a dinnertime discussion about Kenya for a few years, but I promptly sat down to read the cards and examine the sturdy handmade soccer ball, cleverly constructed from plastic bags and thin blue rope.

copper and white bracelet available from Mercy House
blue bracelet available from 31 Bits

I'm deeply fascinated by Things Made From Things. Not just the "upcycled" kitsch that is popular in American boutiques right now, but also (and especially) the ingenious treasures made from actual trash, the only resource available to the maker. Things made from salvaged metal, repurposed magazines and other paper, discarded bags... I'm continually amazed at the artists who craft not just art but a better life for themselves and their families from such humble media.

It's humbling in itself... these people are living out the poetry that was written into them, without complaining to God about a lack of proper resources, like I'm so often guilty of doing. Their innovation springs from a desperation I've never actually experienced, privileged Westerner that I am.

But I'd like to change that. I'd like to live less comfortably and more trustingly - not just putting verses on my walls about how God provides, but actually living in that provision. I'd like to give from a place of gratitude, to pour out grace and be refilled, to live a "trust without borders" that truly recognizes its reliance on God, for everything from food and shelter to the next breath and heartbeat. 

2357. An awesome start to a new study at church (and Tobin gracefully going to play with Brooklyn and the other littles)
2358. Meeting Adam for lunch
2359. Books that make my brain hurt (Jasper Fforde, if anyone's looking for an author who makes you read every sentence twice, for the fun of it)
2360. A short but productive day
2361. Finishing my "homework" for the week, early enough to think about it after
2362. An act of kindness by our mail carrier (who used to just be grumpy)

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