why did I have to be broken?

Ever been confronted with a big mound of clay and it’s your job to make something useful out of it? the teacher says “today’s project is to make something useful, not merely decorative. Your object can be pretty, but it will have a purpose”

So now you sit and think of all the different objects you can make with this blob of dirt. Okay it’s a specific type of dirt – clay – but it’s still dirt. what can you make? what need exists in your life? or is the vessel for someone else?

If you need to wash someone’s face, you might make a basin that will allow for splashing, and maybe one to pour the water from.

If you need to bathe a baby you would make one even wider, a very shallow basin.

If you are looking to store wine to keep it cool and pour it at need, you would want to make something with thick walls and a narrow neck.

If you need to serve food, the vessel might be a small bowl, or plate. Or if you know you will be serving lots of people, you would of course want to make a bigger bowl.

If thirst quenching water is needed, a cup, or even a dipper will do, but if you want to retain warmth, a thick walled mug might be better.

The possibilities are endless.

Now lets approach the problem from another angle. What if you had a wine vessel? Already made and fired. Firm. Strong. Very set in it’s form and function. One with a narrow neck and thick walls and it is the one vessel available, but you KNOW you are going to need to wash a baby. Would you consider breaking the wine vessel and glueing the pieces back together in a different configuration so that you could wash the baby?

This is assuming of course that you had some kind of divine power and you could fill in the gaps and smooth out the rough edges.

Not too long ago, Angie Smith posted about a time in her life when she (as a form of therapy) deliberately broke a vase and put it back together. She draws some very interesting conclusions from that exercise. Go read it and then come back here.

Now I’m going to add to her analogy:

What if every time God breaks me it is because he needs not just to shine through the cracks in my life, but to make a new vessel in a whole different shape than it was before?

What if the shape of what I was is not going to fill the need God has for my future?

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flashback

first off I have a question.

How the blazes did my sweet little niece go from this

Ivey at age 3

to this:

Ivey at 15

What on earth happened? did I sleep for a dozen years? Help!

for the record she doesn’t normally wear that much makeup. This was for a 60s party for her best bud Carly.

Martin and I were invited too. Actually mother and I made the cake, so she sorta HAD to invite us, but she also made a point of saying that she adores us and wanted us there with or without the cake. Sweet kid.

To be honest I wasn’t expecting much.  I mean it’s a theme party for teenagers.  Some of the most selfconcious beings on the planet, right?   and it’s the 60s.  a VERY SILLY season in the fashion world.   But my word these kids got INTO it, therefore we did too. Martin went all out:

Including jeans with hand drawn art by yours truly. I’ve never really drawn on jeans before, but wow it was fun! Look out world, I think I’ve found my new calling. Wearable ART!

Here are some samples:

the Mermayde one got better later as I colored it in and added shading. I’ll post a photo of it in more detail some other time.

The birthday girl is in a band and she got to rock out for all her friends. Child’s got skilz ya’ll. Look out Joan Jet this little bit of a thang can wail.

So here we were, in full Peace-Time party gear

I know, I know. I really needed a flower in my hair. Sorry. I’ll do better next time.

front page news

Ever had a day when you feel like your life really should have been front page news?

It’s not that I want the whole world to know the mess my life is right now, but I’m almost afraid to check the paper this morning for fear that someone may have splashed it all over the front page.

Each piece is not that big a deal, but in the aggregate, it is almost overwhelming. It has been one of those weeks where if someone asks you the simple question “hey, how’s it going?” you just stare blankly at them. You don’t know where to start. You know they can’t possibly be interested in all of it…..

But you dear reader are here because you are interested, so get ready.  Here’s the story of the last five days:

First we visited the hospital room of a very dear old friend. My teacher from 4th and 6th grades. She just had a major surgery and the prognosis isn’t great. It’s not total doomsday, but it’s not great either. I’ve always needed approval from this lovely lady and it finally came. After Martin and I left the room, she told her daughter (who is one of my dearest friends) “Wow, that is one very different girl” given her previous known opinion of me, this was a compliment of the highest order. Janna told me this over a pitcher of Sangria later that night. We had to get Janna out of the stress filled hospital environment for just a little while. And of course that involved a fairly fun trip down memory lane. that was Wednesday evening.

On Thursday we spoke to our birth-parents (the parents of the still gestating infant we hope to adopt in late October) and they have invited us to come out and meet them over the 4th of July weekend. We’ve also been invited to stay for a doctors’ appointment that will hopefully include a sonogram!!!!!!! Talk about overwhelming news. My brain and heart are still reeling.

Then we had to put Toni (Martin’s dog companion of 16+ years) down on Friday morning. That was almost over whelming. Especially for poor Martin.

Then Friday night I did the cake for a “sweet 16 in the Sixties” party which was a huge success. The highlight of the night for me though was the jeans art I did. Neither Martin nor I have any sixties attire, so we had to fake it. Loose shirts, beads, headband and the requisite faded jeans with peace symbols, mermaydes and various other Aquarian symbols drawn on them. My triumph for the evening was a large mermayde I did on the back of Martin’s jeans, with him in them, during the party. I had teenagers asking me if I could do that on their jeans as well. YEAH!! I’m popular! okay, it’s 20 plus years too late, but hey. Better late than never!….right?

The next morning we woke to the news that Martin’s one remaining Aunt had died.

ah perspective is restored.

So now I’m at work today planning a whirlwind trip to Dallas tomorrow for a funeral that wasn’t supposed to be in the plan.

I’m trying to find God in all this. But my head is just too full. I’m actually looking forward to the flight as Martin and I will have time to just reflect, sit still. Maybe even do Bible study.

There is something so restful to me about being on a plane in the air. The schedule of the plane is so completely out of my hands that I don’t have to think for a while.   Planning, scheduling, and being in control is a MAJOR “false god” for me and I sometimes think God takes delight in putting me in situations where I am utterly unable to control things just so I can learn to depend on Him.

I guess I REALLY need to learn this lesson thoroughly BEFORE we come home with a baby, eh?