Victoria Advocate, A Different Perspective
After a long dry spell, my two oldest granddaughters came for a sleepover at Mamaw’s house. Once we arrived home, we ate lunch and settled in for a bit of TV time. Several snacks later—it seemed we all wanted to make up for not being together by constant snacking. So much so that one child had an ongoing stuffy nose from too much sugar, and Mamaw is drinking lots of smoothies this week.
Aside from way too much junk food, the weekend’s big event was Scrapping 101. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed putting together scrapbooks. Anticipating this visit, I hauled several boxes of scrapbook-making supplies downstairs. I also had a stack of pictures ready to go. Our long dining table, empty of jigsaw puzzles, became Scrapbooking Central. I’d planned a prayer page for their first project, but it turned into a fun page of people (and animals) they know and love.
Since this was the inauguration of what I hope will be many scrapbooking projects with my grandchildren, I emphasized the fun angle. Nothing has to be perfect. Mistakes are no big deal. And above all, there are no rules.
Right away, the girls fell in love with the tub of scissors—clunky, blunt blades with different edges to make decorative cuts—scallops, rick-rack, waves, the list goes on. When I showed them how to cut photos and choose colorful paper, they were all in.
At one point, when Ria looked confused about what was supposed to happen, I reminded her there were no rules. Then her big sister smiled at me and said, “Yes, there is Mamaw. There’s one rule.” After that, it was my turn to look confused because her grin widened, and she crowed, “The only rule is to have fun!”
I loved it. Clear. Concise. Annabelle managed to put her tiny eight-year-old finger on what I wanted to accomplish most.
They cut to their heart’s content. I helped them spell out captions, and they practiced their printing skills with names to go with the photos. My massive album of stickers rounded out the project. When their attention wandered, we left the table, which was a huge mess by this time, and did other things. I knew the scrapbooking was a hit when they made a foray back to the table later that evening and completed their projects. When I helped put their completed pages into clear plastic sleeves, they packed them without prompting, intent on taking their handiwork home.
Once they were gone, my husband, usually not the OCD one, swept the floor around the table and chairs—lots of picture trash, shreds of paper, and candy wrappers. Later, I boxed up the supplies but left them on the buffet. Soon, I’ll see if my grandsons like the art of scrapping as much as their cousins.
As delighted as I was with the project’s overall success, Annabelle’s comment about only one rule stuck. It brought to mind the gospel story when an expert in the law tried to trap Jesus with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus simply said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important. ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-39)
These Scriptures can be whittled into one phrase.“Love God, love people.” In these troubled times, when there are new rules around every corner, here’s what we need to remember most—always and forever, the most essential rule is love. Because when we put love first, all the other rules fall into place.