January 1

New Again.

It wasn’t quite finished yet in this picture, but the roof is painted in Duck Egg.

One of the colors in the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint palette, a color that says, it is well. I’m happy and calm. Neither of those words would accurately describe the mood of the moment when Saydee Grace accidentally knocked her mom’s brand new coffee cup on my tile floor, breaking it to smithereens.

But, life happens.

It’s messy and sometimes miserably inconvenient, but more often miraculous, at least when we are looking for it I’ve noticed.

Chels doesn’t drink coffee but bought the cup because of the chic black and white stripes and colorful vintage flowers that circled the scripted words, hello lovely.

At 27, a broken coffee cup is still monumental and her reaction was less than that. She responded the same way I did after discovering someone snapped a leg off my cherished starfish. Why. Would. Anyone. Do. That?

A few months later, testing the truth of my words and gravity, Saydee dropped one of my new World Market Felicity Plates on the unforgiving, however lovely gray tile.

At 50 and overweight, my greatest grief was realizing I’d have to bend over and pick up the pieces. And get out the dustpan and broom. Oh, the labor.

By the time Christmas rolled around and my creativity was bigger than my budget, I decided to go the sentimental, homemade gift giving route.

When Chelsea was pregnant with Saydee, she had a bird themed baby shower. I always get her some kind of bird to hang on their tree every year. All five of them now.

So I grabbed a wooden birdhouse from Hobby Lobby, pre-mixed grout, and sealer at Home Depot and then Saydee, Natalie and I got busy making Chelsea’s gift.

Safety glasses would have been smart, but I’m more enthusiastic than intelligent at times and we set her up with a hammer and the remnants of the broken pieces of 2017.

She had so much fun hammering them into tinier, usable pieces for our project with the helpful assistance of Aunt Nattie who mostly supervised, protecting her cornea from flying ceramics.

It didn’t occur to me until afterward to check Pinterest or a YouTube channel for the proper way to do this, but I winged it. Ha.

Winged it. It’s a birdhouse. See what I did there?

Anyway, the more I slowed down, moving the grout around and staring at our creation, the more the sweet spirit of God moved and reminded me of this special season and what he’s done in our lives.

The bending.

The sweeping.

The picking up.

Taking those smashed and shattered pieces, re-purposing them for something useful, something beautiful. This divine up-cycling. A mosaic of the messes.

When she opened her gift and realized what the birdhouse was made of, understanding the origination of every broken piece, happy tears rolled down her cheeks. She smiled and wiped her eyes the way she used to when she was five.

Hello lovely. 

“I love it! I’m going to keep it in the house,” she said smiling.

This kind of chaotic creation demands a place of honor. The best place to find rest from the broken parts of us. Displayed above the fire, on the mantle of grace,

Happy New Year.