Making Something of It

leb-quiltsquareI don’t think this site has been around long enough for this to be much of a deal, but have you noticed anything new? (go ahead and take a moment to look around) That’s right! I finally settled on a name for this site (other than my own). I figured it would come to me eventually, but never dreamed it would come from one of my sermons.

It’s not uncommon for me to fill a pulpit around the holidays. Even pastors need a vacation now and then, so when I visit my parents for Thanksgiving or Christmas I offer to preach at the church where they worship. My sermon was written long before traveled, but a few days with my sisters inspired some changes, thanks to their gentle teasing.

Sisters notice everything. Period. As adults, their senses are further heightened because we see each other so rarely, so changes or additions to our usual quirks are more obvious. What my sisters pointed out on this visit is how adept I’ve become at redirecting my children. It’s a long story, but the Reader’s Digest version is: my sons wanted to use a ceramic (.e. highly breakable) mug for something and, without missing a beat, I redirected them to the red Solo cup, extolling its virtues and, by the time I was finished, convincing them it was the far superior choice.

Redirection is simply helping someone see what’s already there, but unseen because the person is focused on something else to meet their want/need. It’s not sleight of hand or misleading – it’s directing their attention to the other option(s). My sisters’ observation of something that’s become second nature to me echoed some of what I’ve been sharing here – my desire to find purpose in things I might otherwise overlook or discard. I ended up using part of my sermon to compare human beings to obtainium* – pointing out that while we (or others) all too often give up on ourselves, God always sees more in us.

For my children’s sermon, I gave each child a wooden tongue depressor (large popsicle stick) and asked them what they saw. After giving the obvious answer, we then brainstormed all the other things we could see in it – a diving board for Barbie, a measuring stick, a bridge for ants, a bookmark – such fun! Finding a use for things or people, beyond what’s obvious, is the core of who I am and what I believe. It’s what I do with what I have (recycling, upcycling, crafting, gift-making) and how I make sense of my life (finding symbolism in the pennies in my path). I would have given up long ago if I didn’t believe God saw something new in me every time God looked at me.

One of my favorite forms of makery happens when I’m sitting across from someone who can’t see beyond where they are now or, worse yet, has been told by someone they can’t get where they want to go. That kind of real-life brainstorming is incredibly exciting. There’s a freedom that comes when the future you’re envisioning isn’t your own – suddenly options multiply and ideas flow.

This website is my attempt at doing for myself what I love doing for others – making something. For the first time in a long while, I can’t clearly see the road ahead of me – for my family, for my call to ministry, for myself. After spending way too much time listing the roadblocks I see and bemoaning my lack of options, I desperately needed to move forward – symbolically, if nothing else. Thus, I am Making Something of It.

What do you think?

*Stuff that has been cast aside, then obtained by someone who can see the potential in it to make something new, is called obtainium.

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