Monday, February 29, 2016

Kintsugi

Have you ever heard of Kintsugi?  Kintsugi is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with gold. Instead of disguising the broken pieces, the Japanese embrace the blemishes and highlight them by using Resin speckled with gold powder to mend the pieces and make a new piece of art.  The result is absolutely beautiful.

Today the boys and our nephew John, who is visiting, had a lesson on Kintsugi.  We compared the broken pieces to our lives.  Sometimes it seems like everything is falling apart and that we are broken and unable to be fixed.  Sometimes fear grips our hearts and we feel unable to move forward.  I have experienced times in my life when I honestly thought things would never get better and that my life was a shattered mess.  Often, I feel discouraged by my imperfections and my inability to become better.  I am unable to see a different perspective and unable to see how those weaknesses can become strengths.

Ether 12:27 tells us that the Lord can make our weakness become strengths.

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
Not only does Kintsugi restore functionality to the the broken piece, but it turns the damage into the most valuable part of the pottery.  What I love most about this type of art is that instead of hiding the blemishes, it actually transforms them into a different level of perfection.

I know that the trials I've experienced have left scars and sometimes I imagine that they are perfectly obvious for all to see but as I think about Kintsugi, it changes my perspective.  It makes me proud of those scars and instead of seeing them as ugly I begin to see them as beautiful.  I know that is only possible through the Atonement of the Savior.

Our lesson on Kintsugi today was short.  The boys are still young and mostly unscathed.  One day though, they will experience trials that will break them into pieces and when that happens, I hope this lesson will have left an impression on their lives.  I hope they will remember that God can make them whole and make them more beautiful than they originally started.

Here are some pictures of the boys artwork.  I had considered buying a Kintsugi kit but they were pretty expensive so instead we looked at pictures and then we make our own artwork with gold foil and construction paper.  The boys struggled at first to figure out how to fit their pieces back together and got frustrated when they needed me to help them piece it together.  I felt like it was the perfect opportunity for me to explain how we need help from the Lord to fit our broken lives back together and that we can't do it on our own.

This was my favorite lesson of the year so far.  We don't always have gospel filled lessons in our homeschool.  Usually it is quite secular but I love the opportunity the Lord is giving me this year to have lessons like this with the boys.






 You can find other beautiful examples of Kintsugi here.

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