Kintsugi (“golden joinery”), also known as kintsukuroi (“golden repair”), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum… As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. Source
What’s on my mind? Friendships and kintsugi.
My heart is full. I’m so grateful for friends who are willing to walk with me through the long haul! These two ladies have blessed my life so much! It’s been a tradition the last three years or so to purposefully get together whenever we can and just share and learn and laugh and cry and sometimes pray together while our little folk play and have fun. To be able to ask questions and receive new insight. Then there are times we’ve all left pondering with no answers. But the gift of friendship and unconditional relationships makes the ‘no answer’ moments okay.
Yesterday we got together for a little craft and lunch. Kintsugi has always intrigued me. When a small dish from the treasury of my Grandma’s china that had been passed down to me broke the other week, I almost tossed it right into the trash can. But mid toss I stopped and said out loud, ‘No. Verna! She knows how to do kintsugi! I want to do that with this dish.’ At that point I immediately picked up the phone and put in my request for a little help and know-how for the project which turned into a fun morning and lunch together.
There are alllll the lessons that go with kintsugi that one could talk about. But the most outstanding to me yesterday was the beauty of relationship–the beauty that came out of brokenness. There was so much joy and a sense of pride as I worked carefully over those broken pieces. It was totally relational! We sat and chatted as we waited for the glue to dry before being able to add the next broken piece back in with so much care! It made reality of the Father’s love for me so very real! How He sees me in my brokenness. How gentle and careful He is as we go from piece to piece. No rush. No hurry. Only deep relational Fatherly pride as the gold of His love oozes out between the mended broken pieces. I will never stop being amazed at the fact that He sees relationship when He looks at me! He doesn’t see a project to be rushed. He sees gold. Wholeness. Beauty in the pieces.
There have been a lot of places and times in my life I’ve wanted to just toss the pieces–get rid of the past. But God… He is such a Redeemer; a Restorer! My life will never be the same because He has taken the pieces, the brokenness and keeps mending them back together all the while singing over me. It has taken me a long time to be open to this kind of relational love but I’m learning–learning to laugh with Him and embrace the process relationally instead of rushing to try to get the pieces back together quickly. Simultaneously I am learning to allow Him to teach me how to give that kind of love as I relate to the ones around me. How to love well without the pressure of expectations on others to change. How to relax and just enjoy relationships instead of loving for what I can get from them. (Which, by the way, isn’t really loving at all.) That learning curve is a process in and of itself. One that requires deep honesty and ruthlessness with the selfish pieces that surface. But even THAT learning curve is a process to be enjoyed when I’m living and loving from a place of rest tucked tightly under Abba’s arm, right by His side. Letting Him sing over me and love on me and delight in me. Laughing with Him. Crying with Him. Just being with Him as I learn. His goodness, kindness and redemption to me is good. Wildly good. I get to live from that place with quiet expectation of the more that is still to come for me and for my generation and for the generations to follow.
Gah. He has my heart in a puddle over here. Laughing through tears. Because 2-3 years ago, I NEVER would have even begun to think of writing something like this. It was so foreign to me. But God. He knew which pieces I’d need and when, where they belonged, who to bring into my life at the right time. Some pieces I thought I was going to need in order to find wholeness and beauty never showed up. Other pieces I didn’t know about were brought to me without my going on a wild goose chase for them. And most of all the wild realization at the end of the day that Daddy God always saw my heart as beautiful gold, full of relationship potential instead of project pieces to be figured out. Isn’t He just wild? Wow! I’m amazed. Still a work in progress, but I expect that will continue till I set foot into heaven and receive my new name. And that is totally okay. Kintsugi places in my life are a relationship to be enjoyed between Dad and me; not an accomplishment or a place of arrival to reach.
P.S. It took my friend Verna to note that my dish had broken into a perfect ‘V’ shape. ‘V’ with a flourish. Thanks, Verna and Carla, for being friends of the long haul and for teaching me how to do kintsugi.
April 22, 2021
by Vera Smoker
Hi there! I am Vera, blessed wife of one and mom to three wonderful little people who make my world go round. I am an unashamed lover of Jesus, passionate about authentic relationships rooted within the identity that comes first from my relationship with Him. I’m a lover of good books, fat journals, sunsets and sunrises, long quiet country walks, and time with my family around campfires or on our front porch. Growth and mentorship are high on the list of values for me and I always thrill when I get to celebrate the wonderful journey of growth and discovery with others. The Hubs and I both love hosting so come relax with us sometime and we will chat the time away and connect over a good cup of coffee or chai!
God Made All of Me Matching Games
This set includes 16 matching games each featuring 4 vibrant real-life images with life-giving identity statements. As children place each matching card on the corresponding photo, they are speaking out words of truth and life over themselves. For non-verbal children, allow them to match the card as you speak the words over them. This fun and interactive set is perfect for engaging your little ones as they use their brain and their spirit to learn, grow and love life!
In the past, and sometimes still, I can find it difficult to slow down the intake and focus on being established instead of frantically going for more. I’m learning that it’s okay to give myself permission to listen to the same message or read the same chapter over and over again; to learn and re-learn a new habit; to move in peace and let the message or lesson sink deeply into my spirit.
I haven’t always done well with living in touch with the desires inside of me. I haven’t always seen or treated them as gifts. But God is teaching me the beauty of them. The more I learn to lean into and trust the Holy Spirit, the more He’s teaching me the joy and the graceful art of embracing those desires while simultaneously releasing them and going quietly on with what is ‘today’.
I used to think the only things of worth were the big things ‘out there.’ It was difficult, actually, almost impossible for me to find fulfillment and satisfaction in doing the everyday stuff. Now you moms out there realize that so much of mom life is made up of exactly this—normal everyday ordinary stuff. And when I became a mom at 34, I wasn’t prepared for all it would show me. It showed me I hated the normal hidden everyday stuff. It showed me I’d never learned to thrive well in the everyday gears that are so important in the foundation before going out in the bigger world for all the bigger things.