Beauty in the Broken

Kintsuji. I had to look up the word–but I remembered the concept. This was something that I heard about recently, found intriguing, and filed in my mind for such a time as this. The Japanese have an art that is formed through the repair of broken pottery. The damaged pieces are not hidden, but are accentuated with gold. I found this humbling and a fascinating image of God’s love for us. So…I remembered it.

My Morgan. My Baby. He fell in love with a seashell. There were a couple of hundred shells that were collected on our trip to St. Augustine over Thanksgiving break, but his heart was set on this one special shell. Tonight, Mont stepped on Morgan’s shell and broke it. The three broken shards lay on the rug and Morgan wept. Never mind that there was a bag of hundreds more beside him; nothing would fix that one that was lost.

In my moment of mommy-genius, I recalled the Japanese pottery story. I retold the story of making broken things beautiful again. After I finished my story of redemption, he looked at me and said, “But, Mama…I wanted to give that one to YOU!” I just lost it. Now, we were both crying. I gathered my four-year-old, highly-sensitive son into my arms. We sat on the floor and I rocked him like he was a baby–both of us mourning the loss of this broken seashell. I absorbed his pain and brokenness at the loss and made the decision to feel it with him instead of brushing it aside as insignificant.

Meanwhile, my Lillian…my dear six-year-old daughter, was inspired by my broken-pottery story. She swept up the three little broken pieces and took them to her bedroom. What she came back with mere minutes later brought a fresh well of tears. She had painted the shells with rainbows, put Morgan’s name and his initials…and a heart. Added glitter. Y’all, it was one of the sweetest things ever. I hugged her and told her how much I love her.

I learned so much about my youngest babies tonight. I deeply felt the emotional churn that can fuel Morgan’s temper and his love. He lives life more passionately than most of us. He has Big anger. Big fear. Big love. He actually got so upset tonight that he made himself sick. How do I help him? How do I channel it? How do I love him through it? He can be so intense. I asked him tonight if he could feel my love for him. He assured me that he could.

My daughter. Our princess. She wants to fix everything and make it better. Lillie found the first aid kit on our trip last week. She doctored bug bites, a bee sting, and nearly-invisible cuts. Tonight, Morgan’s heart was broken and she wanted to fix that too. I felt her heart deeply tonight, as well.

I am so thankful for moments like these. Moments that I take the time to stop and note. Lean in a little more. I don’t do it nearly enough. You have to be really close to listen to their little heartbeats. This week was challenging for us on multiple fronts, but I am so thankful that God gave me the opportunity to find this bit of wonder tonight. This Christmas season, I have promised to be kind to myself. We are going to consciously slow down the end of this year instead of speeding toward 2021. I am going to live with gratitude and peace. I will remember the beauty in this broken year.

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