In the early days of quarantine, I spent a lot of time on Amazon.
I looked for school supplies for my oldest and art supplies to keep my twins entertained. One of my impulse buys was a bead melting kit. I knew my nephews had loved it when they were young and moms on instagram hd occupied their kids for hours with it. So, I put a starter kit in my cart along with a bucket of 1,000 beads for good measure.
I pulled out the kit over Easter. I showed my boys how to put the beads onto the form and copy the curated designs. Almost immediately I was greeted with “It’s too hard, mama. I can’t do this. I give up.”
It’s too hard.
I can’t do this.
I give up.
Oh man how many times have we felt or said these words! We pick up the tiny beads of our lives and try with our big clumsy fingers to place them on our carefully designed plan only to have the beads pop off and go sailing onto the floor.
We had plans! We had designs! But the beads of life refused to stay where we put them!
Yesterday, I sat down to work for a few hours. And just as I was finishing up, one of my twins came to me and asked “Mom, can you iron my creation now?” I looked at him in confusion “your what?” Exacerbated, he looked back at me and said “My creation! I made a star!”
He grabbed my hand and dragged me to the other room to show me his star. All by himself he had carefully placed bead after bead onto the blank canvas. He didn’t use a set pattern. He put the beads down where they felt like they belonged, one layer after another until it was done.
“This is beautiful!” I told him. “You did this all by yourself?” I asked. “Yes,” he replied. “I just put down the colors I liked in a pattern that seemed nice. One bead at a time…”
Wow. What a perfect prayer…
May we all start this week with a blank slate and place one bead at a time in a pattern that feels right for us and our family. And if one bead pops off, let us calmly pick it up and put it back… but first, before we do, let us make sure it didn’t pop off to give us a hint to go in a new direction.
And may God guide our hearts and our hands so we may create something beautiful and unexpected out of this mess of 2020.