Silvered Cracks


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Firstly, thanks so much for your calm patience. The school year is almost done; that particular madness almost over for a couple months.

Now. May tell you a story about this mug right here? Oh, OK. Thank you!

I know that, to you, it might look a bit of a mess, but I find it quite beautiful. This TARDIS mug was gifted to me by some dear ones a few Christmases ago. Completely unexpected and absolutely delightful. I love my TARDIS mug! However, one day last year, I came home from work to find this waiting for me on my stove.

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My darling TARDIS all in pieces and an apologetic note from my father in law. At that time, I had just started back to work, our daughter was attending preschool/daycare half-day, and so her grandparents would take care of her in the morning and get her school at noon. My dad-in-awesome likes to keep busy and, as such, he helped out with the chores around the house. Again, this was my first year back to work since our girl had been born four years previous, and I was, honestly, overwhelmed with handling work and family and housekeeping. So I appreciated my father-in-law doing up the dishes and coming home to an empty sink. Unfortunately, in the process one day, he knocked my mug against the side of the sink just right (wrong?), and it shattered. Most of the pieces were large enough to fit back together, however, so he saved them for me.

I cried. Seriously. I sat down and cried over my broken TARDIS. My gorgeous “borrowed-and-blue” box had exploded. I snapped a picture and sent it to my tea-guru, sister-mama, and oldest friend in my adult life. She immediately suggested that I send her the pieces, and she would kintsugi them. If you do a quick Wikipedia search, you’d find that Kintsugi (“golden joinery”), also known as Kintsukuroi (“golden repair”), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. My dear wifey had done this with some of her own broken crockery before and I found myself irrationally excited by the prospect. I knew the mug would likely not be useable again, but I would have my dearly-gifted TARDIS back whole. So I packed up the pieces in bubble wrap and newspaper and sent them off to Courtney.

Before I did that, however, I sent the picture of my TARDIS-in-pieces to one other person, my friend Daniel. He is my beloved “clever boy” and the main reason that I adore the Eleventh Doctor (“Doctor Who”) so much: the character is art imitating life to me in that his playful and buoyant personality reminds me constantly of my Dan. When I sent him the picture, his response was immediate.

Oh no no no no no. This is your fabulous TARDIS mug?! Or was this the teapot? I insist you let me send you a replacement for whichever it was. ❤❤ Time Ladies need their T(ea)ARDISes.”

Soon enough a new mug showed up in my mailbox, which I have happily used up to the present. Now, I will admit to embarressedly not telling the dear friends who gifted me the mug in the first place that it was broken for the longest time. I have finally just admitted to it. I think I did not want them to think me reckless with my gift, nor did I want them to be upset that it had gotten broken. (I’m sorry, dears, really-really!)

Now, flash-forward to last week. A package arrived from my wifey’s art Etsy shop; in it were a calendar and some prints that I had ordered. However, there was also another package from her waiting for me, and I had no idea what it is. Upon opening up the second package, I found my precious TARDIS 1.0, now beautifully put back together with shimmery silver lining its cracks and cementing the pieces into a whole. It was as though starlight was trying to burst out from the inside. It is stunning!

It now sits on my shelf with some other keepsakes, such as my first dip pen and the box for one of my newest gifted fountain pens, and reminds me constantly of the treasures that are my dear ones. How they have all come alongside me when I have needed them most, and shored up my heart and spirit in its darkest moments. A reminder that, while broken and cracked, there is still light. It can and does still pour through, even if just in bits. Thank you, my dears.

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Grace in our Belonging. Grace in our Gifting.


BloPoMo Day 10 – The day after the Day After

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Like many others, I felt heavier today, wearier than yesterday. My body has shown signs of stress that I apparently hadn’t realized I was under. Today held my larger, rowdier classes and I prayed fervently during my prep period for the passionate strength I had found in myself yesterday. As I sat and pondered what to write about today, as I thought and read about grace in its myriad forms, I was reminded of something over and over again. We belong to each other. Let me say that again. We. Belong. To. Each. Other. There are people for whom this is the battle cry of their lives and it is stitching itself more and more boldly into the standard of my own.

We belong to each other.

This means that we are each other’s responsibility. We are each other’s circus and monkeys. Jesus set the example for us by leaning into the lives of others, meeting and loving them where they were, getting into their business as Ben would put it, and showing them that, yes, He cared for them. It didn’t matter if they were Jew, Gentile, Samaritan, man, woman, child, etc. He belonged to all of them and they all to Him.

We belong to each other. So when the going gets tough and the pain gets heavy, we share our shoulders, share our strength, share our grace, share our safe places. Sometimes we are the bearer up, sometimes we are the one falling apart, but what matters is that we are there, belonging to each other, holding each other, leaning into and being for each other.

{“…so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;  if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach…” Romans 12:5-7 (NIV)}

Not only to do we belong to each other but we are each uniquely equipped to fulfill our role in the body, in the family of humanity. Some of us are givers, some of us are doers, some of us are warriors, some of us are speakers, some of us are carers,  some of us are listeners, some of us are teachers, some of us are artists, builders, writers, musicians, healers, or creators. Each of us has a gift, a talent, a thing that we do that is indispensable to our people and to our impact upon the world. You, your gift, your thing, your grace matters. It matters a whole lot, because (if I may borrow the admonition of a little orange tree guardian), without you, this world isn’t going to get better. It’s not.

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Keeping My Eye on the Ball…Er, Box


Not long ago, I was worried about having too few Christmas gifts for our daughter. More accurately, I was worried about her receiving too much for her birthday and Christmas from other family members and felt that the hubby’s and my hands were tied as to how many gifts we could/should get her for Christmas ourselves. However, today, as I wrapped said presents with my mother, I realized how dangerously close I had come to falling away from the reason for the Christmas season. No, I’m not just talking about the story of Jesus’ birth. What I mean is the spirit of giving, of generosity, compassion, and care for others rather than self. I desperately DO NOT want Christmas to become about what or how many gifts Elizabeth receives. I knew too many people who that was ALL they cared about with Christmas and it broke my heart. I do NOT want that for my daughter.

So, yeah, for a hot minute I fell into that trap and let it stress me out. But, no, Elizabeth has everything she needs and more than enough of her potential ‘wants’. She will have her first big birthday party this Saturday (which is stress enough for me); her family and friends are all around. She is smart and strong, clever and healthy. She is loved and cared for, with food in her belly, a roof over her head, and clothes on her back. She has all she needs. The gifts are icing.

Now, I love giving gifts. I love surprising people and making them smile. What I give them might not always be exactly what they want, but I do enjoy trying to find gifts that might mean something to them or, at least, give a grin and/or a chuckle, even if it is accompanied by a shake of the head. Buying gifts for family is often difficult as it is hard to know what they might want or need. For some reason, I feel a bit more freedom with buying and putting together gifts for friends. So, in addition to getting gifts for my family, I have done my best to get gifts for my closest friends, though I know that I couldn’t get everyone something. I honestly don’t expect anything, not really, though I didn’t really realize it until I said it aloud to my husband. I know that these seasons are hard enough on others, and they already have given me a great gift in their friendship and time. This is just another way for me to say thank you for that particular gift of theirs.

So while it might be stressful and tiring, crazy and hectic. I really do hope that we are able to find the happy moments in the midst of the rush of this season. I had to agree with a family friend today in that, yes, it finally was feeling like Christmas as I wrapped and stacked presents for these friends and loved ones. Your smiles (hopefully) are on their way, dear ones.

NaBloPoMo Day 8: Shopping Blues


I started my Christmas shopping today, and in the past I have found a joy in it. But not today, not really. I felt worse the longer I went on with it, though I did make a good dent in my list. But I felt depressed; I always do at Christmas time. And I think I know why.

I feel depressed because I always want to do more. I want to give my family more. More than just mere things. I want to give them trips, new experiences, chances to learn new things, see sights they have only dreamt of. I want to give them the world, but I don’t have it.

When I was in college, a friend of mine who couldn’t afford presents for her friends did something incredibly sweet. She gave each of us a letter and, in that letter, she told what she would have given us if she could give what she truly wanted. For me, she gave me the role of Lucy in Jekyll & Hyde on Broadway. It’s my favorite musical. That meant a lot – the thought, the gesture, all of it. And all without a physical gift.

I want to do great things for those I love. I want to give them the world, even if I can’t give them the world.