Posts Tagged ‘the past’

Dear Daughters,


The famous painter Bob Ross said, “Anything we don’t like, we’ll turn into a happy little tree or something, because as you know, we don’t make mistakes, we just have happy little accidents.”


Through my second semester of ceramics, I found this to be true, however, on a deeper level. I took this class because it was something I always wanted to learn. There was something fascinating about making something on a wheel that turns at a high rate of speed and made with one’s hands. The second reason was that in scripture, (Isaiah 64:8 and Jeremiah 18:1-6) God is compared to a potter and I am His clay, and I wanted to understand this concept in a deeper way.


I can’t tell you how much I have learned concerning the relationship between God and us through this class. But the one I do want to share is in your hand. God doesn’t waste anything. What you may find as unfair, failures, mistakes, hardships, aggravating, or even downright a waste of time or energy, God pulls, stretches, smooths, bakes and glazes to make you beautiful.


Collapsed Bowl


This item in your hand was intended to be a bowl. Because it didn’t get centered properly it collapsed. I suddenly saw beauty in it, of what it could be. I placed a rose in the center. At first, I didn’t know why and interestingly enough as I write this, it came to me. It’s important, especially Florida, to have intentional burns. The purpose is to kill invading foliage as well as protect the area around it from devastating fires. But what it also does is clears the way for new growth of certain plants and trees that are getting choked out. The rose is a representation of new growth that comes out of the hard times, mistakes and the past years of your life.


Glazing is the cherry on the cake.


To me, the bowl is one of the those “happy little accidents.” The reality, on the other hand, is altogether different. God knew your life before you were conceived (Psalm 139). Yes, He could have changed things but then you wouldn’t be who you are today.


You are unique. There is no one like you in the world. God molds and shapes you through the hard times, failures, mistakes and what you may feel like an unfair past or struggles. God wastes nothing. He uses every situation, activity, a person you meet to turn the ugliness of life to mold you into the beautiful treasure you are. The hard part is allowing God to push, pull, smooth and place you into the fire. You must be willing for Him to do it, because He is a gentleman He won’t force the beautification process on you. Yes, it hurts at times and fear may creep up along with all the excuses you throw at Him for not wanting to walk the path.  It’s messy. The question is are you willing?


Isaiah 61:3 states:

 “…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planning of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”


He takes the ashes and turns into beauty to show the world of His splendor. You are molded into His likeness to show the glory of what He can do in someone’s life. Isn’t that awesome?





I wish I could give each reader one of the “happy accidents” as a reminder to you that 1. you are not an accident 2. beauty will made out of your hard times, and 3. God will get the glory for it all.


I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and see you in the new year.

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It’s often said that we need to forget the past and move forward. In a sense I think that is right, but even God had the Israelites erect pillars.  When their children saw the pillar of rocks  the parents would be able to  give an account of what God had done for them. By telling the story, it would give hope and build their children’s faith for when the hard times came their trust would be in God. Joshua instructed the pillar to be a memorial for the Israelites (Joshua 4:1-7).

Allow me share one of mine.

A few days ago my mother brought over several of my report cards. Ugh! In elementary school they were curses. As I looked at them the tears welled up. D-, C-, D+ and a B here and there. In most cases they were earned, but in fourth grade they weren’t. Some should have been F’s, but I cheated, blatantly. I’m surprised no one tattled.

Granted it was wrong, but at that time it was survival. You see, I had a learning disability, a form of Dyslexia. In those days Dyslexia wasn’t a “real” issue. Others like me were labeled as rebellious, immature and having an attitude of not wanting to learn. I hated school so much I punched  myself in the stomach, so I wouldn’t have to lie about having tummy aches.

In fifth grade I changed schools and entered a program called the Discovery Center. My teacher, Ms. Lydia, met with me twice a week and helped re-train my brain so I could learn better.  She treated me with respect, love, and patience.  I ended up graduating high school fifteenth in my class, and with high honors.

For Christmas one year I made her a sampler of some of the exercises we use to do on the chalk board.

Cross stitch sampler

 A couple of years ago Lydia sent me the sampler. I framed it and put it on my desk as a pillar of remembrance.  When I sit at my desk I see the sampler it and I’m reminded of two things. First, if God could help me through a learning disability, He could help me through anything.

Secondly, it keeps me humble. There is no way I would be where I am today if God did not provide a teacher who understood what I needed and a program that would help me overcome the challenges I faced.  It would probably still be a great effort to read, or even memorize one verse never mind the whole book of James, which I am in the process of doing.

It doesn’t mean I dwell on the negative aspects of poor grades and special classes, but I can certainly praise Him for them. I have been able to share those times with my children to help them understand God does work in amazing ways.

Are there pillars in your life that once were a negative experience for you, but now can see where God worked in your life?   Thank God for them and share them when the opportunity presents itself. It may draw someone to seek God.

“…These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” Joshua 4: 7 (NIV 1984)

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