Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Glasses

I woke up this morning excited about going to the moms' group at my church. It's not MOPS, but it's sorta like it I guess. Actually, scratch that. It's nothing like MOPS at all. It's basically just a fun time of sharing and fellowship. Our pastor usually leads the time and he's a creative guy so we usually end up doing something...creative.

I walked into our meeting room to find a display similar to this one. A huge grouping of glasses.
Hmmmmm... I like creative. I like thinking outside of the box. It stretches me a LOT because I'm very left-brained, but the more I do it, the more surprised I am by how much I like being stretched. I was curious about all the glasses...

Big. Little. Short. Tall. Wide. Narrow. Stemmed. Unstemmed. Plain. Functional. Decorative. Fun. Ordinary. Shot glasses. Wine glasses. Juice glasses. Water glasses. Beer glasses. Martini glasses. Champagne flutes. Frosted glasses. Glasses with handles. Glasses with polka dots (pink polka dots). Margarita glasses. Souvenir glasses. Lots and lots of glasses. (I'm hoping you get the picture.)

After a little chit-chat, he asked each of us to look carefully at all the glasses, then pick one that symbolized our summer. 

I picked one that looked a lot like this. In case you can't tell, it's a shot glass. Now before you get all Prohibitionist on me, let me tell you why I chose this.
Before the summer began, our family made a list of all the fun things we wanted to do. It was a GREAT list. Summer is my favorite season of the year and I try very hard to make everything about it feel markedly different than the rest of the year. 

This summer was nothing like I envisioned. One week after school let out my dad got really, really sick, and a few days before school started, my dad died. Most of my summer was spent shuttling back and forth from Colorado to Arkansas. A lot of time was spent apart from my family, and when I was with them, I felt distracted. Instead of summer feeling full and spacious, it felt squeezed (see the shape of the glass above). Instead of summer spilling over with fun, I feel like I only managed a few small drops of fun for my kids. 





Next, he asked us to select a (different) glass to symbolize what we hoped for the season of fall. I chose this wine glass. 
A good wine is to be sipped and savored. A proper glass allows the wine to "breathe". I know that fall hasn't "officially" arrived, but so far this season has been pretty mellow--like a good wine. I've literally scraped my plate of responsibility clean. I'm enjoying a slow pace. I'm resting and taking care of myself. I'm feeling myself settling into a good routine at home and with my family. A couple of times I have found myself a little overwhelmed, but I've been able to step back and remind myself, "Not right now". 

I'm sipping and savoring this new season that is upon me. It feels spacious.





Lastly, he asked us to choose a glass that represents what our spiritual life is like right now, or what we wish our spiritual life would look like. 

I chose this frosted mug because honestly, I feel sorta frosty towards God these days. Cold, aloof, and a bit apathetic. 
It's honest. 

I don't expect myself to stay there, and I don't really need people telling me why I shouldn't stay there either. God is a big God. He can handle my emotions. Every single one of them. I'm offering Him the truest things I've got these days and I think it's okay to wrestle with Him a bit. I think it grieves him more when we're not honest with ourselves about what we're feeling, or when we try to cover it up because it somehow feels "wrong". 

I will tell you though, that just like a frosted mug loses it's frostiness when we hold it in our warm hands, I've felt my icy edges soften as I've allowed God to love me. And I'm confident that my heart won't stay this way forever...I just need some time to examine what I'm feeling and take it all to Him.

I loved my time this morning. Loved listening to what other's shared. We're all in different places and we all bring different things into a group like that. I left feeling loved, encouraged, and dare I say hopeful? 

Once again, credit for the creative exercise goes to my pastor(s).

23 comments:

Jeanie said...

What a great object lesson! You pastor sounds like a VERY creative guy. I loved your choices and understood each before you even explained. Great visuals and it made me very conscious of what glasses I would have chosen and what glass I WISH I could choose for Fall. Thank you for taking the time to post this. It was a wonderful way to start Fall. With a glass empty...waiting to be filled with good things. :)

Melissa Stover said...

that's a neat lesson. i'm glad you shared that with us.

Mary @ Simple Things said...

I love when someone can illustrate a lesson that way. It's left me sitting here thinking about which three glasses I'd pick. Very interesting.

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

You know I had a little giggle over your prohibitionist comment.

That IS a great illustration.

Will be praying for a wonderful Fall for you.

Angie said...

What a great way to examine your life.

You are right.....God is a a big God and He can totally handle our emotions. Thanks for that reminder.

Trish said...

I LOVE this!

and I love your honesty.

Thanks for sharing this lesson.

The Bowden's said...

Wow! What a lesson! Thanks for sharing.

*carrie* said...

A very insightful activity. I'm not sure which glass I'd pick. Were there any that looked tired?!

Maybe you can extend your list of summer goals into the fall? Getting a new lamp, for example, doesn't seem season-specific. Ha! =)

*carrie* said...

Just realized today's the one-month mark. Thinking of you!

Lauren Kelly said...

Man, I am not a mother but can I join your group, haha!!!! :)

Loved what he had to share!!

Holly said...

Yes. Yes!

I'm in a season of listening, I think. I hear what you are saying, friend. I love that you are letting yourself be exactly where you are and in season, you are finding some valuable truths.

Love you!

whimzie said...

Good stuff, Mer.

Thanks for sharing it with us.

Amber said...

Oh, Mer...

I love this post. I love that illustration, and I love what you got from it.

We've talked about authenticity before....and I love that you are doing just that. Being real and honest.

stephanie@{Olive Tree} said...

What a neat illustration and picture! Thanks for sharing it and where you are ... praying for you still. :)

carpoolqueen said...

Praying for lots of breathing room for you this fall....

Barb said...

First of all, congratulations to John on his book. I know how proud you are. I knew he was trying to get a book published but somehow I didn't know it was about my favorite time of the year, Christmas.

I love the honesty in this post. Your pastor is a genius for coming up with this idea with the glasses. I love your frosty mug. And I understand.

Rosey Pollen said...

Hi Meredith,
Thanks for sharing this! And thanks for making a comment on my blog. I have tried to figure out how to follow you on blogger. Otherwise, I would have visited more often, as I love your blog and your way of writing.
Rosey

Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

Very good illustration. I enjoyed reading what each one meant to you and why. So happy that you're going through a more peaceful period. I agree wholeheartedly that God can handle our emotions and exactly what we feel!

Gretchen said...

Wow...talk about great timing for this "glass" lesson. Lurved it. And you. But not in that order or anything.

His Girl said...

fantastic excercise... you know how I love when people make illustrations... totally speaks my language.

I know you're 'defrosting' already... and you're right. God is totally big enough to carry you through to the next point in His timing.

xo

sara said...

I loved this post and this idea!

mimi said...

This is a great post!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

What a great illustration. I think I might have to steal it for a MOPS Steering Meeting.

And thanks for your vulnerability, Mer. I hope you know that God uses that.