Friday, February 1, 2013


Kids are destructive.  It seems my boys cannot not be destroying property at almost every minute of the day.  They bang their toy swords on the edges of the kitchen counters (you know, the part that chips), or on the cherry dining table. They scrape their transformers across the upholstered furniture, or dig their smelly feet into the springs and bore their pointy elbows and chins into the arm padding, or flop down like it's a trampoline. They dent the floor with heavy wooden blocks or sharp metal race cars at every opportunity.  They hang on doors and bash into walls, windows, and pull on curtains...  I probably say, "STOP THAT!!!"  100 times a day, at least.

A long time ago I figured out I would probably never be able to have anything nice. I was the oldest kid of four, and my little siblings had to wreck everything, unless the dog already did.  And then, I actually ruin a lot of my own stuff as well.  I cannot not spill on my shirts.  This is one reason for floral patterns.  I drop things a lot, which is better than throwing them, which I sometimes used to do.  And sometimes things just happen...

Like, I had this beautiful antique vase from my Great Grandmother Raymond.  It was one of the few things I've held on to over the years that had remained intact.  Until one day the shelf just fell off the wall, for no apparent reason.  If you were ever in my house, if you looked carefully at most of my nick-knacks, you would see that they have been painstakingly put back together with Elmer's Glue.  When I saw my precious oriental vase, lying in a zillion shattered orange and white pieces all over the floor, I cried.  But then, I girded myself up, and began piecing it together.  It was my biggest challenge--the shards were tiny--but I did it.  I still have the vase.

Recently I saw a picture of a broken vase that was "glued" together using gold.  This is an actual technique used by the Japanese. The golden cracks then become part of the design, and it is considered even more beautiful than the original piece. I get that concept.

Several years ago our concrete front porch and sidewalk were beginning to shift.  Instead of replacing them we decided to try "mud-jacking."  This is where they drill a hole in the concrete and push clay underneath to raise up the slab.  It worked sort of, but it did crack the porch slab slightly, and left these ugly battleship gray plugs all over the place.  Not a very attractive solution.  Being somewhat artistic and a lot cheap, I pondered the situation and came up with an idea.  I decided to paint the concrete.  Not just a solid gray, but in a colorful tile-like pattern.  I did it, and it worked.  I have to touch it up it every couple of years, but overall, I have to say that I actually like it better than just a plain, "perfect" concrete sidewalk/porch. (Not everybody agrees, but some do.)

Many times I feel like I have been shattered.  Maybe everyone does. Some days I am so fragmented as a person that I can barely function.  Although I have done the best I could to "glue" myself back together, I am not quite right. I need a better solution. This is a good realization, because without it, I might have missed out on the greatest news there has ever been.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men...--Eccl. 3:11