Tuesday, September 21, 2010

From Clay to Porcelain

A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go through the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain.
-Mildred Struven
I've decided that the examination of the spot that one places her tush would be a good blog topic; actually, it may be a series of posts. I could be way out in left field like way way out but honestly, the locations we park our posteriors tell a whole lot about day and our lives. Some rarely pop-a-squat, while others spend hours in one position. I am usually up and down, rather than in a sitting position. My spot changes by the hour and sometimes by the minute depending on what the chicks' schedule holds. Location isn't always about comfort (it's usually never about this) but generally about view.

My view...early yesterday afternoon

Our eldest is feisty, spirited, and strong willed. She's also graceful and sweet, with a soul as deep as the river is wide. She's a gift. When she's not putting me through the fire...wait, that should read especially when she's putting me through the fire.

Legs is incredible. A girl who always knows what she desires. However, her route to the destination is sometimes laborious. Especially for me and the professor. Balancing patience with the knowledge that she's growing and pushing exploring boundaries. Finding her own path. Setting her limits. Learning to express herself appropriately. That final one? Where we come to a time worn battleground, once again. The girl who is not yet a woman feels she must accept and understand things as an adult. Not realizing that some events in life are not explainable except through faith. Not fully understanding that someone can love you and love God and choose to follow a path that is yet unseen. Not accepting that love means letting go and continuing to care in spite of geographic location. All of this while knowing that she should accept and deal differently but unable to do so because of maturity, age, kidhood. Sigh.

Parenthood is all about the fire.

I'm learning that in life, as she and I walk though these fires, we will not be burned Isaiah 43:2. I, as a mother, am being refined for what is yet to come, what He has before us. While travelling this road albeit rocky with my girl of grace I'm changing...from a clay pot sitting in the sun to a new vessel. I'm not as hardy and strong. I'm a whole lot less coarse. I have some splinters from where leaks may spring. But no longer am I ordinary clay. In the process of all of this growing up via the white hot furnace heat I've become more fragile. My skin is thinner, I break more easily, I've hollowed out a bit. I'm approached differently than I was a decade ago, a mother with a dimpled toddler who looked young and fresh and full of plans. I've come to know that parenthood means being able to lead, let go, trust and hope (not necessarily in that order). I understand that heat brings transformation, maturity, beauty; it converts clay to porcelain.

Which brings us back, in a roundabout way, to parking ourselves. Who we choose to be seated near, and where the seat is located. You can't fully tell from the above shot, but my girl chose to burrow herself in my lap after a particularly long jaunt through fire. With her head on my chest, I held her, stroked her hair, and rocked. When I used the camera on my phone to capture the memory, she asked what I was taking a picture of ...

My reply? What love looks like.

Parenthood. Fire.
Clay. Porcelain.
Growth. Love.


  1. my heart aches for her hurt. and yours. but the lessons she's learning about love and acceptance, unconditional love and following God's call are going to shape so many future moments for her. moments that will make you so proud and make this ache so worth it.

    worth it, even when it comes when you are tired and weak. but maybe that's part of the plan, too. maybe it comes when you have been in the fire so your edges are quieter and smoother against her rough exterior. maybe YOU, just as you are now, is exactly what she needs.

    I love you all.. so much.

  2. You don't know how much I love you and your family. You guys really are such a blessing to my life right now. I know the lord has you guys and me at the studio at this time, for a very special reason. And I hold it so close to my heart. I love H and E and you with a whole lot of my heart. H is going to bloom into a beautiful girl who is sold out for the Lord. Be patient with her and most of all be patient with Jesus while He finishes the work He has begun...