Each quarter, our friend Clare McCallan (a talented poet and writer) interviews each of the creators featured in the box. Here is her conversation with Elayne:
“If a little flower could speak, it would tell us all that God has done for it.” - St. Therese of Lisieux
Those are the words carved into the handmade pottery vases, courtesy of Annunciation Designs, that each of you received in this quarter’s box. Elayne, the creator of Annunciation Designs, told me that she chose this quote with a particular vision in mind.
“I designed it with the idea of little kids bringing their mom tiny flowers in this child-sized vase”, she told me. “There’s just something about those tiny little flowers that kids bring to their moms...even if some of them are secretly just weeds.”
Elayne is the frequent recipient of backyard bouquets, with two little boys, ages two and five, who love to bring their mom flowers. Which is great, because before she had kids, Elayne had run a cut-flower stand at a local Farmer’s market. Back then, her favorite flower was the majestic and romantic ranunculus, but these days her kitchen table is more likely to be adorned with the equally sweet, and arguably more meaningful, soccer field dandelions.
She explained to me: “It says so much when your kids bring you flowers. These tiny flowers show us God through our children.” Elayne’s thoughts fit perfectly with St. Therese’s own words in the popular collection of her writings entitled “Story of a Soul”.
St. Therese writes: “Jesus points out to me the only way which leads to Love’s furnace – that way is self-surrender – it is the confidence of the little child who sleeps without fear in its father’s arms…How shall I show my love is proved by deeds? Well – the little child will strew flowers…she will embalm the Divine Throne with their fragrance, will sing with silvery voice the canticle of love”. St. Therese saw herself in relation to Jesus in the same way that children view their parents: with awe and the desire to somehow, though their means are humble, demonstrate their love with any little flowers they can find.
Elayne and I giggled about how children can also offer us a glimpse into how God must see us. I asked Elayne how motherhood has given her perspective on His paternity and she laughed: “Oh yeah, my kids relate to me exactly how I related to God. Screwing up again and again, afraid to tell him stuff…”
We both agreed that we’re lucky to have such a merciful Father, who loves whatever funny little flowers (or weeds) we bring Him. And I think Elayne’s kids are pretty lucky to have her too.
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