The Broken Vase

My sister in law, Liz, and I were having a conversation not too long ago. Actually we have this conversation quite often…getting rid of junk. Literal junk in our homes. We do not want to become “hoarders” or pack rats.

Matthew 6:19-21 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

It’s funny what items have emotional ties though. An old stained t-shirt, a book with the cover torn off, a birthday card signed by someone who is now gone, a onesie your baby wore.

During my teenage and young adult years I hung onto stuff all the time. Concert tickets, movie stubs, random plastic knives from places I’d visit (I’d write where it was from and keep them in a cup). I saved some pretty strange stuff. As I got older those things lost their value to me. I had no problem tossing them out. They were taking up space in my house and space in my mind.

Since becoming a mother I have this awesome thing called anxiety. I have found that mess and disorganization and clutter feed my anxiety and amplify it. If I can stick to a simple routine and follow some rules I’ve set in place my anxiety and my mild OCD will stay in the green level-not the red.

As Liz and I were texting the other day I brought up that I couldn’t let go of this vase. It is a hand painted vase in the shape of a dress. It’s red with a black belt. My mom painted it. I had taken her to one of those ‘paint your own pottery’ studios during a visit home from college. She chose that vase and painted it. After she passed away I took it home with me. One day, a normal day like any other, I accidentally bumped the dresser that the vase was sitting on and it fell. Onto the wood floor. It broke. I sobbed.

John 1:16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.

I didn’t tell Liz all the details of the vase I just told her that it was broken and I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it. She replied with “don’t ever let that go“. There was a long pause, the “…” that always keeps me waiting. Liz tends to send long texts. Her next message popped up and it said this: “-it might be broken but it reminds you of your mom. You don’t know why but you sometimes need to remember that your mom’s vase might be broken because before you her life seemed broken and you are the missing pieces that helped her through her life. Maybe there is infinite symbolism like whenever you struggle you look at that and say what’s missing…forgiveness…grace…”

Colossians 3:13-15 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

My heart melted. There was so much divine truth to that. If you don’t know my adoption story I plan on sharing it soon!

The anthem of my life since becoming a mom has been forgiveness and grace. When I am having a bad day or have a sour attitude I can now look at that broken vase and be reminded that forgiveness and grace play a huge roll in my life. I can continue to pass along forgiveness and grace to others.

When we are broken and shattered we will never be the same. With Gods grace and forgiveness we can heal though. We will forever be different but we will be better for it. Don’t let the little broken pieces of your life define you but let them grow you, remind you of how far you have come and what you have overcome.

That little vase will never be the same, I kept the broken pieces but even if I glue it back together there will be scars. I’m so glad I can have a new outlook on the brokenness instead of dwelling on the negativity and being angry with myself for breaking it.

What an awesome reminder of Gods grace and forgiveness. Thanks Liz.