Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Cross Bottle Knock Off and A Story of Genuine Grace

There is a tony shop on Montana Ave. in Brentwood that sells Greyfreth Cross Bottles. I have long admired them and thought, " I couldn't make that."  At hundreds of dollars a bottle, I couldn't buy one either.

Oh yee of little vision!

Of course I could make that... sorta.

Here is the Neiman Marcus version:

Just $375 a bottle.

Here is the Dollar Store Version.
Altered Frapuccino Bottle

 The Starbucks Frapuccino was $1.99 and enjoyed by Cliff.
 The dollar store cross Christmas ornament was silver and quite cheesy. I broke off the loop for hanging and Gorilla glued it to a bamboo skewer. The whole thing got a coat of ivory paint and a bit of distressing.

The lid also got a coat of ivory paint and a hole drilled in the middle.
Peace, Faith, Joy
Just because etching creme is my latest craze, I used letter stickers to add  the words "faith, peace, joy" and then covered the whole bottle with tons of etching creme.  The bottle is filled with Epsom salt which inspired the tag and also helps hold up the cross nice and straight.

The ribbon, salt, cardstock, skewer, and spray paint were all part of my stash- free in the moment, but we all know that accumulating that stash costs over time.

I am super pleased with how it turned out. It's so perfect for my friend Ms. M who is truly a God send to me.  Below I am re-publishing a story from my old teaching blog. It is about being present and open to do God's work in the most unlikely places. And since Christmas is all about God doing his work in unlikely places I thought I would reprint it here. I hope you enjoy!

A few years ago, Ms. M arrived at school and learned that one of her resource students had suffered a death in his family. To be honest, I don't know for sure who died, but I think it was a sibling.

Ms. M saw that the child was grieving and went to the Vice Principal to see about getting him some grief counseling. She was given a pretty extensive song and dance about parental consent. She was told there was the possibility of signing him up for an outside counseling program, but the mom wasn't returning phone calls, blah, blah, blah.

Ms. M didn't think the child needed a major program, just a chance to talk to a professional right then, that day. The law is that children
can see the school psychologist once without parental consent, but for a whole bunch of excuses Ms. M was told her student could not see the school psychologist.

Undeterred, she asked to talk to the attendance counselor, who has a degree in social work. No luck there. She was busy in meetings.

Later during his lunch, this grieving, ten year old boy came to Ms. M's classroom. Ms. M and her aide, Mrs. C sat down with the child and asked him how he was doing. They talked for a while. Then, from out of the blue, Ms. M asked the boy if he would like her to pray for his family. The boy said yes and held up his hands together. Startled by his actions, she said, "Do you want me to pray with you now?"

"Yes." said the boy.

So Ms. M and Mrs. C joined hands and prayed with the boy for his family. ( Even as I re-write this a few years after the fact, I am choked up by the love of these two women. And the honor it is to know them.)

Ms. M had really only meant that she would include the boy's family in her prayers that evening. She was actually surprised to hear herself make that offer. (I was not. Ms. M is one of the most loving people I have the good fortune to know.) She was shocked that the boy wanted to pray with her. This was truly a spontaneous outpouring of love and support. 

Now I am sure that a preacher could come up with dozens of great sermons with this story. In my reflection, there is one thing that stands out. We don't need to be experts to ease someone's pain. It wasn't the highly educated school psychologist, nor the trained social worker who helped this boy. It was a regular teacher and her assistant. They were the ones who were sensitive to his suffering and he sought them out. They surprised themselves with just the right words. I believe God worked through them simply because they were the two people who saw this child's pain.

I hope this lesson sticks with me. I would like to be the kind of teacher, friend, neighbor who really sees people. And, I would like to be able to offer some words, a hug, a high five, or when needed, a prayer. 

Have a great day! 


Jeanette said...

You did a great job! I just am speechless at how good it turned out.

Nutsy Coco said...

I have no doubt that you are loving and caring teacher, friend and neighbor.

Anonymous said...

oh my goodness! that's beautiful and so is the story. i was afraid at the end you were going to tell us the ms. m was subsequently sued for praying at school.

Shelly K said...

First the bottle is beautiful, I love that version, definitely stunning.
Secondly, when a child requests to pray with you I definitely think the Holy Spirit takes over. Mrs M probably was shocked and maybe even nervous at what the correct response is, but thank God, he uses us ordinary people in situations like this and she was obedient enough to let the Holy Spirit in :)
Thank you for sharing, that is beautiful.

Jenny @ Words on Wendhurst said...

Great knockoff. If you make another, it would look really great with some dark brown rubbed over the details to really highlight them.

Angie @ The Shabby Chic Cottage said...

Great project and I love the story...