I don't usually get too upset when something breaks. Whatever... it's just a thing. But recently, two special things in my kitchen were broken.
The first, was a little round bellied chef sitting down stirring a bowl of something. The years of sitting in a kitchen left it stained with what looked like grease, but would not wash off. It was in my mother-in-laws kitchen when I met her, and it was one of the items I chose when her home was consolidated to pay for her care. It reminded me of her and all the memories we made in her kitchen, always open and always something on the table.
During our kitchen remodel, I knocked it off of my own counter with a broom handle. It was broken beyond repair. I scooped the pieces up off the floor and threw them in the trash. My little chef is now just a memory. I was sad.
More recently, the other item that was broken was a Magnolia cake plate lid. I had purchased it for myself- mainly because the top, made of glass, was super tall. I could now store our leftover birthday cakes made by Priceless Cups & Cakes that were always taller than my lids. It was pretty and on my newly renovated kitchen counter, held goodies for my family and grand babies. Like my mother-in-law, I want my kitchen to be welcoming and comfy and always something on the table, or in the cake plate. I had just said to Emily, my Daughter-in-love, that it was my favorite thing. Within an hour it was shattered into a million pieces on my kitchen floor. It took a good while to sweep up all the teeny tiny slivers of glass. I wanted to cry, but we had guests over so I just swept. As I emptied dust pan after dust pan into the trash, I thought about another broken thing in my life.
It was Friday, June 15th. I was sitting in the living room floor and instead of hearing her tell me I was over-reacting and I just needed to relax- it would be okay, this respected professional was telling me things I wasn't expecting to hear; but it was truth. The night before had been my a-ha moment.
I hung up the phone and I broke. Shattered like that crazy glass cake top. And in those minutes, I knew I would never be the same. I couldn't fix my son and I couldn't fix me.
In these years of trauma parenting, I thought my strength was measured in my ability to keep pushing through, stuffing down and not breaking. In caring for my family I had failed to take care of my own self and that just won't work long term.
Do you know what? We are incapable of fixing ourselves. Someone has to come alongside and pick up the pieces. Jesus is the one. He comforts and binds us up- He can take our brokenness, all the tiny pieces and super glues us back together, if you will.
I saw a quote recently on a friend's Instagram:
Strength isn't about how much you can handle before you break, it's about how much you can handle after you break (author unknown).
We all break. We all have our stuff, and our stuff hurts. Some of us break because of the death of a parent, spouse or child. Some because we are caring for a parent with Alzheimers. Some because we've been personally touched by teen suicide. Cancer? Divorce? A child who can't be healed? Some of us because we lost our job. Our dreams were crushed.
Are you the broken thing?
Just know that there is beauty in the breaking.
Nothing is wasted, and nothing is lost.
In my weakness, in my brokenness, He is strong.
I am stronger because I've been broken. And you will be too.
Guess what? Today is my 51st birthday and look what my sweet husband bought me...
I'm thankful to have a new cake plate, but more thankful that God doesn't scoop us into the trash and have to go looking for a replacement when we break. He just makes us better than we were, filling those cracks with His love and mercy binding us together into a better us, because we are more full of Him.
Happy Wednesday y'all,