I did not grow up with tea cups and crystal.
We used big glasses that Dad won
at our local county fair to drink from (hi Dad)
and because my sisters, brother and I were small children,
we could only use those when we were 'older'
for special occasions.
Needless to say, I did not appreciate fine china,
delicate crystal, or shiny silver.
My world was more about 4-H Club,
horses, hard work, sports
and hanging out with my little brother.
I was a certified tom-boy.
People thought that my brother and I were brothers.
I did not own a dress,
didn't frequent hair salons,
and was more interested
in beating all the boys in my class
at the annual Orleans grade school track meet,
which I did. (insert smiley)
Several years later I came across an interesting book
about hospitality and how it speaks value
to guests to offer a beverage in a pretty cup or glass
rather than a paper cup.
This was inspiring to me.
I just didn't get it before.
I thought those finer things were showy and stuffy.
But now I saw there was more to understand.
So, I went to my favorite junk store
and searched what was called the treasure chest
for pretty porcelain.
I saw old vintage lace, beautiful sets of china,
dolls, and antique furniture.
I noticed on an old dusty shelf
a collection of tea cups sitting in a row.
Some were plain but perfectly kept
and some were well worn.
Then I saw a pretty little tea cup
with delicate pink roses all around the top
and covering the saucer that it sat upon.
But then I noticed a crack
down the other side of the cup
The voice of reason said
'it's worthless and broken, it holds no value, it's flawed.'
Then I had other thoughts that sounded like this:
'That's how I see you...
chipped, broken, and flawed,
and a treasure'.
I bought the cup for $1.99
and cherished it as though
it was purchased for $1,000,000,000.
the shelf that my tea cup sat on fell.
More like crashed.
I couldn't throw away the beloved tea cup
that transformed into a 150 piece puzzle.
I picked it up and put it in a storage bag
and put it in a drawer to wait there
until I knew what to do with it.
Several years later,
as I flipped through an interior design magazine,
I gasped at the sight of a mosaic mirror...
Then an idea...
BEAUTY FOR ASHES.
I'll make a beauty for ashes mirror
out of all the broken pieces...
One of my favorite verses
from the Bible is
'He gives beauty for ashes'
When I lay down my broken pieces,
when I let go of my garbage bag
filled with life's pain and disappointments,
and surrender all my brokenness to Him,
He makes something beautiful and valuable out of it.
He's really good at
recycling, upcycling, repurposing, and restoring.
I still love my first tea cup.
It's even more of a treasure now
and you can see it's beauty
in the mirror frame photograph above
surrounding the words 'beauty for ashes'.
So glad I didn't just throw it away...
the pieces of it's brokenness were used
to create something more beautiful
than what was first there...
life CAN be that way.
is that we give everything
to the One who is Love,
who loves best,
and who sees through all the tears and pain,