Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Lump of Clay

I often say I am fascinated by creativity. I know that each of us is creative but I am rather partial to that type of creativity that I am not. I am not an artist. I don't even hang pictures up in my house or pick colors of paint except when forced. It amazes me how we all have the same hands and brains and mouths and yet some can draw anything; others can sing with beauty; and still others can design. I can't even decide how to arrange my furniture. I love the story about how we are clay in the hands of a potter even though it is hard for me to relate to creating something beautiful and artistic. The first reason I like it is because it uses something incredibly ordinary to create beauty. Clay is simply dirt taken from the ground. In Genesis God says that we were essentially formed by dirt and in the verse about the potter God says that He is still forming us as though we are dirt. Clay also has no power at all. It is a lump of dirt waiting to be dealt with. This reminds me that God holds the power of the universe and that, no matter how much I want to be in control, I am in God's hands. Clay does not have its own plans; it has no aspirations and gives itself wholly to the artist. Clay is most pliable when mixed with water and I am at my best when I yield to the Spirit of God and when I am in fellowship with other lumps of clay. I also like that clay is most often made into something useful. I have a deep desire to be both used and useful. Clay cannot mold itself, but needs the direct contact of the potter’s hands to mold it into what he wants, and what he determines will be most useful. It is shaped by his hands. When a potter begins to make an object, he wraps his hands around the clay as it spins, and then squeezes the clay so it will begin to take shape. The same holds true of us. We are squeezed and molded until we become what He desires. And then comes the  part I would want to skip entirely. Clay must be put through the fire to be of lasting value. I have felt the fire lately; actually for a long time. I have to remember that the fire does good; that I am being worked on by a master creator. The process is painful--but good.  I ask myself, Do I trust the potter with this life I have? Do I trust Him when all is falling down and apart? Do I believe that the finished product will be worth this pain. Some days those questions are harder to answer than others.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday Thoughts

I am not sure why this week started out with me in such a foul state of mind but I decided that today had to be the end of it. I mean I guess I know why it did but I also know that I gave into the mood far too easily and I need to fight back against it. The problem is that I struggle to resolve things. Which is terrible because I get offended very easily. Thankfully if you offend me you will seldom know it. I won't tell you and I rarely will act the part. I will just hurt deep inside and be convinced that the problem is me (which is a good guess because often it is). I don't know if I am making any sense or not. Needless to say, this week started out with a convergance of badness. It was Father's Day and I missed my dad more than I had allowed myself to in years. I am still struggling with making sense out of my husband's passing. I allowed myself to be worried about all sorts of things that will never happen (most worries, statistically speaking, never do), and I managed to get offended. All of this converged on a Monday along with extreme fatigue. But today I fought back. Thankfully God sent me two of my favorite helpers to work and we played and cleaned out the refrigerators and freezer at work and I remembered that accomplishing a task makes everything feel better and young children bring me joy more than the sunshine. Hopefully...just will last.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

Today was Father's Day...and we didn't have any least my girls and I didn't. And it felt harder than most years for some reason. I missed my daddy today. For so many years I would rarely allow myself to think about him. He was gone so suddenly and I was not okay with that. If I didn't think about it then I didn't feel the pain. Today was different somehow. When I went to the store yesterday I was reminded that little Elijah's dad was having his first Father's Day and that I wanted to encourage him to be a good father. One of the reasons it was so hard to lose my dad is that he was such a good father...and I am so incredibly thankful that I had a great dad.  So I got Juan a card and a small gift and I told him how glad I was that he was being a good dad. We made a plan to take him to lunch and on an outing with his son...and that was good. It was a bittersweet day...and like a lot of days I am tired and fighting off the temptation to say poor me and instead to say thank you Jesus...I can always think of what I have lost...we all can...but I know God well enough to trust He has always known what is best for me...and while I may no longer have my dad, I have my heavenly Father and that will always be more than enough.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Of Rats and Toilets and Fear

Tonight I felt done. I just wanted everyone to be saved so I could go home, my home. I have felt a little close to the edge but was managing to stay on the ledge. Sometimes it is a small thing that sends you over. And tonight that small thing happened. I went into my bathroom to brush my teeth and finish getting ready for bed. And it was then I noticed that someone had forgotten to flush the toilet. No, that was not the small thing. So I flushed it, mildly annoyed. And then I noticed that it had not flushed. So I flushed it again. And it was then I noticed. Two paws and a little head. Thankfully dead...but still staring up at me. I am deathly afraid of all things rodent. To the point of paralyzed. And I realized I am alone. (Believe me, in this situation my girls are useless). And I just wanted to give up. I felt beaten. And I know it's a small and silly thing. I went to bed and all I could think of was that I have a car that doesn't work, a broken dishwasher, and a rat in the toilet...and it's the rat that is doing me in. The rest doesn't bother me so much, but that rat. It's enough to make me want to throw it all in. I went to bed and talked to Jesus and remembered a song I learned when I was a young Christian. Part of it goes like this, "One day in your presence is far better to me than gold or to live my whole life somewhere else. And I would rather be a doorkeeper in your house, than to take my fate upon myself. You are my sun and my shield. You're my lover from the start. And the highway to your city runs through my heart."....I still have a rat in my toilet and will until I find someone to take pity on me. And I had to get up. Because when I shut my eyes all I see are rats. So I wrote you this story so you can all laugh at me. But I am comforting myself by remembering that I don't mind spiders and snakes. And I am ready to meet Jesus any time. And there are no rats in heaven.