Saturday, January 8, 2011

Genealogies

Well, I'll admit it, I skim the genealogies when I read the Bible. All those hard to pronounce names just give me a headache. But there is a part of me that is simply wowed by them.

Usually when I come to a genealogy, like I did tonight, I think about the people during that time in history. These people valued their origin so much  that they memorized their genealogies! (What a task!) By doing this, they created a historical, cultural, and religious foundation for generations to come. This meticulous task gave Jesus historical credibility.

My aunt told me she once heard that in knowing where you came from, you better understand yourself. I think there's something to that!

Lately I've been thinking of a name for my future Etsy shop. Never mind what I'm going to sell, I'll figure that out later! ;) So backwards, I know. Throughout this process I've had to ask myself: Why do I create? What first inspired me to create? My first inclination were memories spent on the 3rd floor. My Oma worked on the 3rd floor. I say "worked" but there was a lot of play too. She did upholstery to supplement my Opa's job, but she also sewed and embellished some of my most favorite childhood clothes.



The 3rd floor, as my family and I refer to it, was literally the third floor of a house my Oma and Opa used to lived in. On the second floor you would see a door that, given the location and size of the door, you would think was a linen closet. But open this door and you would find a slightly spiral, narrow, steep staircase. When you reached the top, you would come out in the middle of a U-shaped flat. Long folding tables used for sewing, a piece of furniture waiting to be refurbished, fabric overflowing from the walls, and a window that looked out onto Lake Michigan. That's about all I remember, but it's more than enough. The 3rd floor was the place to be! I created my first sewing project there, first delighted in letter writing, fell in love with the story Ann of Green Gables, and it was while sitting in spiral of the staircase that I tattled to my mom that Oma let me shave my legs! (I was in fourth grade)

Back to my main point... I can't help but think that those treasured times on the 3rd floor spurred me on to my love of art, letter writing, and all things handmade. I know it wasn't just the physical space that had such an impact on me, but the time spent with my Oma. Hard working, creative, unstoppable- that's my Oma. Even with Rheumatoid Arthritis, she still manages to get up on a ladder to paint a shed; build birdhouses from scratch; sew and embroider handbags, pillow, and basket for my wedding; make and decorate hundreds of cookies for the holidays, garden, and make sure the birds have plenty of food.  And she does all this without grumbling or complaining, a true labor of love; thanking God for everything.

It makes me wonder: what if I knew more about where I came from?

7 comments:

  1. I'm glad! Thanks for reading! :)

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  2. What about "Door to the Third Floor"?

    Also, the genealogies are a drag to read (I know it's one of the reasons I never really managed to make it through the bible as a kid), but they are important. Not so much that we need to read and remember that Ahab begat Rapunzel,(or whatever) but that they are there to remind us that we are all important. The first 16 verses of Matthew are the 42 generations spanning Abraham to David to the carrying away to Babylon to the birth of Christ. The only names I recognize out of the list are Abraham, David and Joseph, but that's not the point... the point is that some of these people were leaders, some kings, some carpenters, some beggars, and some thieves. All of them were important to God, and were a part of his plan, and all of them deserved to be remembered.

    I love hearing personal stories about who were and are. Thank you for sharing about your Oma.

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  3. awesome!! Can we create our own third floor and you can teach all of us how to create awesome hand made things!?

    :)) you're amazing.

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  4. You're awesome! I love reading what you write =)

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  5. @Jeff- Well put!! I will certainly think about what you said the next time I come across a genealogy!

    @Maryann- I'm determined for my next apt or house to have a "3rd Floor", whether it's in an attic, basement, or closet :)

    @ Amy-Thanks :) Looking forward to seeing you THIS week!!!!

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  6. I think it's awesome to hear about how Oma has inspired you. And I think it's cool to see how you'll develop into an Oma as well! It's already starting! :o) She's definitely a woman worth looking up to. I'm always astonished as to what she's capable of.

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