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.
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).