"Thursday, 11 March 2010 00:00
A GLORY BOX PARTY
My eldest granddaughter, Calais, was about to turn 13. I thought back to when I was that age. What were my ambitions in life? You guessed it; I just wanted to be a mother and a wife. Was that wrong? Were these natural instincts unhealthy for me? No one pressured me. I don’t recollect any conversions or any determined actions of my mother to make sure I walked this path. After all, God made us this way. It is the most natural and honest heart’s desire we can have. To deny these maturing feelings, we in fact, embrace a lie.
My heart aches for the precious young ladies of today’s society who are laughed and scoffed at if they should be brave enough to voice their heart’s desire for marriage and motherhood. Instead, they are encouraged into a career with the boon of extra income and to satisfy immediate desires offered by a materialistic and selfish society.
Apart from prayer and example, what can mothers and grandmothers do? The one thing in my life that kept me focused (and I didn’t know the Lord then) was my Glory Box. My very first babysitting job for a neighbour scored me my first tea towel and the beginning of my box. I began work at 15 years of age and, from time to time, I would buy things and put them away. It was amazing how much I accumulated over the years.
Whenever someone came to visit I would eventually get around to asking if they would like to see my Glory Box. I loved pulling everything out, wrapping it up and putting it away again. Americans call it a “Hope Chest” and I showed everyone the hope that was in my heart of one day becoming a wife and a mother. When I married at 23 years old my Glory Box was very much appreciated! I had prepared for this since I was 13 years old and at long last I could empty it and use everything! This was my glory.
Sadly, I did not encourage my own children in this. Now, however, I wanted to resurrect this old custom for my grandchildren. Not only that, I longed to make it a family tradition.
Natalie, Calais’ mother and I spent hours planning what we could do. We agreed that at 13 years Calais was already a woman, albeit a young one. We decided on a surprise dinner with a few selected guests who had already been building into her life. Formal dress, waiters, four-course meal, tables set with a full set of cutlery and so on. For this special occasion we decided HOME was the best place. With six younger siblings ranging down to two years it was going to take a bit of ingenuity which larger families never seem to lack.
The formal homemade invitations were mailed out to ladies only. There was a big SHHHhh! on each one to keep it a secret. The waiters were her father, grandfather, brother, uncle and two younger sisters. Calais’ friend, Lauren, and her parents were in on the conspiracy and helped in the surprise. They invited Calais to go with them to a “flash” restaurant which meant everyone had to dress formally. Her first formal dress! Finding a modest formal dress for her age wasn’t easy but was finally achieved.
On the night Calais was duly blindfolded. They set off in the car with vigorous conversations and loud music playing to confuse her whereabouts; then turned around and headed back home. What a surprise to find herself back home with a room full of ladies seated around beautifully set tables.
Aunty Kay used to be a window dresser and what she achieved with a few balloons and ribbons was amazing. She made the most beautiful topiaries as centrepieces and set the table as beautiful as any wedding. We were waited on hand and foot.
During the evening different ones shared advice and gave items. The highlight was the GLORY BOX. My husband Bill, Calais’ beloved granddad, made it especially for her. In fact, as the guests were arriving he was still putting the final touches on it. Guests brought gifts in keeping with the theme. My Scriptures for Calais were:
1 Corinthians 11:7, “The woman is the glory of the man.”
Proverbs 12:4, “A virtuous woman is the glory of her husband”.
Proverbs 18:22, “Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing”.
“From now on,” I encouraged her: “Keep your focus on preparing for that day when you become the glory of one special man whom God has already chosen for you. There is no need to look for him. God will bring him to you. Remember, ‘No fishing’ for the attentions of young men who will no doubt try to gain your attention. Wait patiently for God’s surprise. If you run ahead of God you will miss out on His special plan for your life.”
Inside the box was an album with encouraging notes, letters and poems to Calais that she can reread at her leisure. She absolutely loves it and we now have many families wanting to do the same for their daughters.
Gold Coast, Australia
P.S. Down Under readers use the word ‘serviettes’ for ‘napkins’."