There wasn’t much hope for my eight-year-old son, Matthew. Being surrounded by prayer beads, accompanying me to workshops, and hearing endless discussions about beads at the dinner table, he was doomed to either love or hate them. Given that he hasn’t run away yet, I take that as a good sign.
Indeed, he has embraced the beads and become an artisan in his own right. The first set he ever made was a Christmas gift for my husband in 2009. Wanting to be helpful, I laid out several designs I’d made so he could copy the Protestant prayer bead format. He completely ignored them. “I want to make my own design,” he explained. And so he did. Pulling out his children’s Bible, he turned to the book of Genesis and chose beads that represented each of the days of Creation. I was stunned. So was his dad. It was so well done and so meaningful. It has remained with my husband – even traveling with him to Israel – ever since.
This summer Matthew helped me lead a workshop on prayer beads for families during The Upper Room’s SOULfeast. He shared the Creation set and received a very strong, positive response from those present. That must have stuck with him. Recently, I invited him to make a design to sell at one of our craft shows. He chose to recreate his Creation beads, which turned out to be a big hit. Here’s what it looks like:
And here’s what the beads represent:
Day One: light (amber glass) and darkness (black glass)
Day Two: sky (turquoise glass)
Day Three: land (brown wood) and plants (green wood)
Day Four: sun (amber Murano glass) and moon (silver)
Day Five: creatures (red porcelain)
Day Six: humanity (wood bead)
Day Seven: rest (Zzzzzzzz!)
I wanted to share this design with you not just as a shop owner but also as a proud mom. I love that Matthew was confident enough to come up with his own design, believing in his ideas and abilities. I love that he wanted to develop a design with meaning. I love that he did such a great job of illustrating the days of Creation. I love that he even infused some humor into the design. It’s wonderful and original!
Matthew’s Days of Creation prayer strand is available in our Etsy shop for $8. It comes with a gift bag and a card the explains the significant of each of the beads.