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Lovely mother and daughter looking at camera

Finding Beauty in Brokenness

I like plants. Well, more like I have a slight obsession with houseplants. I like to propagate them and give them as gifts. I call them my babies.

Part of the fun of growing plants is picking out the perfect pot to hold them. I recently purchased a clear window shelf to display my mini plants in their cute mini pots. I added a little vase that Ryan and I brought back from our honeymoon in Jamaica over 15 years ago. It was handmade with a hummingbird etched into the pottery.

One day, I was watering my babies when the shelf collapsed. All of my plants and their respective pots came tumbling down leaving mud, broken pottery, and snapped leaves all over my floor. Amongst the mess was my little vase from our honeymoon, cracked and broken. My heart sank. I salvaged the shattered pieces and placed them aside.

A few years ago, our daughter did a school project about an ancient Japanese art form called Kinstugi. I fell in love with its philosophy. It is the art of repairing broken pieces of pottery with gold. It symbolizes that even in our brokenness, we can embrace flaws and see the beauty. Ryan reminded me about it and suggested I glue the honeymoon pot back together.

That was exactly what I did. I glued the pieces of my honeymoon memorabilia into place. I added gold ink into the cracks highlighting the beautiful jagged edges of the pottery. Each area once broken now shone.

This made me think about the precious babies and children in our lives. Whether you are a parent, educator, or caregiver, have you taken time to notice that baby, child, or teen in your world who may appear troubled? Many children are living with trauma and feel unworthy. They have fallen off the shelf and found themselves in dirt and brokenness.

As adults, we have the ability to repair their esteem with the glue of safety and consistency. We can seal the cracked areas with love and acceptance. Children can learn to embrace their experiences and understand even the hardest of falls can be the very thing that allows them to find their sparkle and shine. Let us not throw away or discard what we think is broken; give our children new life by recognizing their beauty.

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About Adrianna and Ryan Walden

About Adrianna and Ryan  Walden Ryan and Adrianna Walden have been married for 14 years. The two met when she was working for an arena football team in Norfolk where he was playing football. Ryan is a service coordinator with the Chesapeake Early Intervention Program and Adrianna is a Licensing Specialist for Children's Programs. Both have enjoyed teaching CHKD’s "Happiest Baby" class together for the past eight years. Together they have one daughter, who despite early health issues, is now a thriving and happy school-age child. The Walden's also lead a weekly community group through their church for married couples and their children.