Creating Gingerbread Houses

December 14, 2009

It  is an annual tradition in my family around Christmas to make gingerbread houses out of milk cartons, graham crackers, frosting, and all sorts of yummy Christmas candy.  My brothers and I used to make gingerbread houses with my grandmother and with my mom. 
Last week, Brady made his gingerbread house.   As many of you may have picked up by now, when Brady is involved in something, he holds nothing back.  Making a gingerbread house was no exception!  He through his whole body into the process.  He had icing all over his hands and of course his face because he kept licking (scratch) eating spoonfuls of icing.  In his excitement to reach candy to decorate his house, he leaned his shirt and somehow his pants into the house.  There was icing all over him, our kitchen table, and even on me (from the hugs I was getting during the process). 
There were so many times I wanted to jump in and help Brady as he decorated his house.  He would put a jelly bean in his mouth, and then take it out and put it on his house.  He would take a chocolate snowman and eat half of it, then put it on his house.  He even amputated dear ole Santa’s legs because “he tastes good!” before nestling him next to his house.  There was a big part of me that wanted to jump in and help him.  I wanted to show him how he could neatly place jelly beans on the house, how he could make perfectly symmetric patterns alternating green and red m &m’s, or how he could shake just a few sprinkles not the entire container on his house.  I held back though and let Brady have fun creating! 
The reality is while there was a bit of chaos and mess something beautiful emerged…
Note the legless Santa in the lower left hand corner of the house!
God trusts us to create.  We make mistakes and it might get messy, much like Brady’s creation, but often something beautiful emerges out of the chaos. 
Where in our lives are we being given permission to create?
Where in our lives do we have a call to create (Examples: to write, to teach, to  start a business, to provide medical care, to help others dream, to provide a service for others, to sing)? 

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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1 Comment

  1. Missy

    I am just realizing that what this blog is all about and am humbled to be able to read your words of wisdom and your ability to pose questions to make be look for deeper meanings! thank you for sharing your thoughts, faith and journey through motherhood and married life!


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