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Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Bitter-Sweet Moment

Pleasure Alloyed with Pain
Patti Londa Greene
April 3, 2013 (September 14, 2014 story follows!)



When I drove up to the house, I saw “the package” on the doorstep. I knew it was the "long-awaited" Fed-Ex package from my publisher CrossBooks. After months and months of working so hard on my first book 'Awaken Me: A Devotional Prayer Journal' I just wanted to spend time treasuring and savoring the first glance through my first published book. So, I quickly took the groceries out of the car, and put them on the counter.

Then, with a skip in my step, I turned the corner to go to the front door to get my “treasured” package. It was then I encountered a horrific scene – a scene so horrific that instantly I felt a big ‘ol Texas pit right in the middle of my abdomen and I found myself immediately doubled over in pain.

In the hallway, I found that my knick-knack curio shelf had fallen down. And there, shattered in the hallway, was my grandmother’s entire shoe collection, my specially treasured cup and saucer sets given to me by Aunt Mary, and the only treasured gift recently given to me when my Aunt Terry passed away. Along with all those memories were the shoe collection my husband, parents, and children, had given me over the years – cute shoes – gifts I have loved.

Items on this shelf had to be special to make the cut to the shelf. Lovely heirlooms –ALL SHATTERED. I wanted to cry. But, between being shocked and not feeling well, I just found the closest couch and sat down for a few minutes still holding my abdomen.

As I gained composure, I tip-toed over the sacred mess and I opened the door to get the Fed Ex package. The mature, sensible thought that ran briefly through my mind was "out with the old, and in with the new” – basically, the "things happen mentality!"

I stumbled back to the old gray couch with my box in hand. I wasn’t feeling the way I thought I would be when I visualized this moment. It wasn’t even close. After all the hard work on the book, I anticipated a jittery, glow from above, Holy Spirit type moment. Instead, I experienced a dull, flat sensation along with only a slight sliver of anticipation.

When I opened the package, the cover was gorgeous. A smile crossed my face. I browsed though the book, and then decided to take some photos and do a little writing about the conflicting life scenario I just encountered.

On the one hand, I am experiencing sadness, but then on the other hand, I am experiencing happiness. Honestly though - right now I don't think I have the strength to clean up and sift through the memory mess. Maybe one or two or even three memories will make the cut as to remaining an heirloom. I hope so.

I think I am in the midst of what people call a "bittersweet" moment! I am not sure I have had such a vivid, contrasting dichotomy packed in such a short period of time before.

I don’t have a bucket list. But, if I did, I would be crossing off “bittersweet moment” now. But, since no such list exists, I think I should go and put my groceries away, take a nap, and sort through the rubble later.

Who knows maybe GOD just wrote my first blog. He is good, isn't He?

September 14th, 2014

For almost a year and a half, I kept all my broken pieces in a nice, little gift bag. I put the bag on the same bookshelf that I keep my most treasured stack of Shutterfly memory albums. But, one day, I was browsing my neighborhood’s newly created site that post things for sale, and low and behold I saw an ad that intrigued me.
A lady named "Mary" was offering to make designer crosses for people.

I promptly contacted Mary to see if she had ever made crosses using china pieces. She hadn’t, but she said she would try. And try she did. She worked meticulously creating a cross to preserve my family memories. I really had no idea what to expect. And, Mary admitted that she was a little nervous and worried that  I might not like what she had done.

But yesterday, I was working at a craft fair in Cy-Fair where she brought me a box with my cross in it. Mary had wrapped the cross in some beautiful purplish-violet tissue paper. As I contemplated pushing the tissue paper aside, I pre-decided to act excited no matter what because I did not want to hurt Mary’s feelings. I was very apprehensive, but hopeful.
But, WOW! As soon as I saw Mary’s creation, I loved it. I started pointing out things, i.e. “This was my Aunt Mary’s dish.” “This was my grandmother Jess’ shoe. It just brought back so many fond memories of people that the Lord had placed in my life over the years.

While I am only talking about broken china and glass memory pieces, sometimes our lives take an unexpected turn, i.e. a tragic event occurs, our health deteriorates, or our family breaks up. When these things happen, it is time to reflect and discern what to do next. It may mean “sitting on a shelf” for a while; it may mean actively rearranging your spiritual life; or it may mean deciding to do the next best thing.

Mary took my broken memories and eventually turned them into a beautiful mosaic cross. God will take the shattered and sharp pieces of our lives and mold them and us into a beautiful creation if we allow Him to. It may take time, but don't throw away or despise your life experiences. Let God take whatever they are and allow Him to mold you through those experiences into the person He wants you to be.

Now, I can not only look back and be grateful, but I can also  look forward and trust that the next time I feel broken and shattered, like my knick-knack pieces, I can trust that the Lord sees the big picture and that in His time, those pieces can be molded together to make something beautiful for His purpose.

Thanks Mary for letting God use you to bless me!

If you have any jewelry or cross needs, let Mary know. She is awesome. You can contact her below or see some of her wares at her Etsy Store DEJAVU143!


The LORD gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, "Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there." So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over. Then the LORD gave me this message: "O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.
Jeremiah 18:1-6 (New Living Translation) - Join my FB Page!

Author of Awaken Me: A Devotional Prayer Journal by Patti Londa Greene (ISBN 978-1-4627-2578-6)
Author of God, It's Me: 181 Days for Young Adults to Become Passionate about Prayer and Bible Study by Patti Londa Greene (ISBN 978-1-4627-3821-2)

Link to purchase either book on Amazon!