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The Potter, The Clay, and The Grog

Raise your hand if you’ve never made a mistake. Raise your hand if you’ve never made a mistake as a mom. (Crickets…right?)

One thing all moms have in common is that we are far from perfect. Even our best intentions fall short of the “perfect mom” we desire to be for our kids. As humans we can never achieve the ideal picture of what we hope to be because we are broken. 

We all come to God in a state of brokenness. All of us do because of what happened with Adam and Eve in the garden. Without God’s help, this is how we are bound to live. We are left to our own devices with nothing but our broken pieces, for scripture tells us that even our best, our “righteous acts are like filthy rags.” 

What are we to do, then?

Luckily, we are not left to our own devices. The Bible often uses the example of clay in the hands of a potter when it describes our relationship with God. Isaiah 64:8 says, Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” So first of all, we need to remember we are held in God’s hands. 

potter and clay

I’ve always been intrigued by artists who can make pottery on a wheel, or shape any piece of clay into something that actually looks good. Because I am not an artist (like, not at all), but because I do like words, I was really intrigued when I heard that potters sometimes use something called Grog.

Grog is basically a pot that has already been fired in the kiln. For whatever reason, the end result was not satisfactory, so the pot got broken down and ground up. A potter then can use the now granular material, or the grog, to add to a new pot. When grog is added to new clay, it adds texture, strength, and reduces cracks when the new pot is finished and fired. 

So, a potter takes the broken, messed up pieces of an imperfect pot, grinds it down, and turns it into something stronger and more beautiful.

Enter God as our potter. God, the most expert potter there ever was or ever will be, holds our lives in his hands, just like a potter holds clay. He is constantly working on us, taking our broken pieces, grinding them down, and re-forming them into something newer and stronger. More crack resistant. Nothing, no broken part of our lives, is wasted. Just like an artist uses grog, something that others may see as garbage, and incorporates it into something new and wonderful, our God takes the mistakes, imperfections, and failures and shapes us into a stronger, new version of who He wants us to be. 

This, in turn, makes us better moms, wives, friends, and people. He makes all things work together for our futures and for our good, and for the Glory of his wonderful name. 

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” – Romans 8:28, NLT.

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Kristen Johnson

Kristen is an "accidental farmer's wife" and stay-at-home mom of 3. Accidental, because it was never in her plan to "just" be a mom. But it was God's. Former English teacher now turned MOPS Coordinator and Speaker, Kristen now writes at nap-time, blogging about her silly kids and her farming adventures, as a mom Called by God. She lives in Minnesota on a farm with her family, dog and 5 cats.