Recently Jolene Philo at DifferentDream.com kindly invited me to guest blog on her site and I shared this story about what I’ve learned about letting go of perfection in a life with special needs. You can read the original post here: http://www.differentdream.com/2014/10/beauty-in-the-broken-places-of-special-needs-parenting/
I have lived with cats my entire married life. They are naughty. Every day as my son leaves the house he calls out, “Coco, don’t set anything on fire.” This has yet to happen, but I tell you she has the potential.
I find that living with cats impacts my home décor. Knick-knacks need to be non-fragile, bottom heavy, or inexpensive. Preferably all three. My mother visited Spain and brought back for me a tall and delicate porcelain figurine. I’ve glued it back together so often that it is more glue than porcelain at this point. Coco just looks at me all innocent, “Who? Me?”
When I was younger imperfections bothered me. Nicks and chips and brokenness have come to matter less. Maybe that has to do with the lessons learned over a decade or two with special needs. We all have brokenness somewhere. Maybe it’s the brokenness that says, “I’ve lived a life. I’ve taken some hard knocks. I’ve come out stronger for it. The chips and nicks mean I’ve been out there trying.”
There is a style of Japanese art work called Kintsugi. It means “beautifully broken.” It is pottery that has been broken and then repaired with seams of pure gold or silver. When I see these amazing creations of beauty from brokenness I see that perfection is over-rated. The real beauty comes from the brokenness.
Sometimes as a special needs parent I feel broken like that porcelain figurine. I’m sure you do too sometimes. Knocked about, nicks and chips out there for everyone to see. I also know we are not alone. God walks with us on good days and bad days alike, pouring his love and grace into the broken places. Where God pours in the gold, we are made all the stronger for the journey.
“But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. (Job 23:10 NLT)
Prayer: Loving God, fill the broken places so that your glory shines in the world for all to see. Amen.
To see the beauty and variety of Kintsugi, search for images with your favorite search engine. It is stunningly beautiful art out of everyday simple things. Also, Keep an eye out for Jolene’s new book Caregiver’s Notebook coming out soon. It’s a great organizational tool for special needs parents. You can read more details here: http://www.differentdream.com/2014/10/caregivers-notebook/
Photo: “Who Me?” by Lorna Bradley