Lump of Clay


Ever held a lump of clay and dropped it on the table or on the floor and hear the loud “thump” it makes? That’s how I feel this morning. Like a lump of clay that went “thump.”

Part of that is just the feeling that in the last 24 hours I feel like I’ve been pummeled from all sides. There was a disagreement at work yesterday, battling with Finn over homework and then responding selfishly with jealousy this morning to good news from David. And while those things in and of themselves certainly took their toll, it’s the negativity that resounds in my head as a result of those things that is doing the worst damage.

I took the work disagreement personal, partly because it was personal. The hurtful words were directed at me. But also because I make mountains out of mole hills and when hurt and offended I puff up and withdraw and get mad.

I lost my temper over Finn’s homework struggles. The issue isn’t the homework itself. He can do the work. The issue is his attitude toward the homework. The issue is his rudeness when I try to help him by asking him a question and he responds with a curt answer. The issue is he’s crying and saying he doesn’t know how to do something or that something is hard but yet when I try to help him he’s disrespectful toward me, which frustrates me. No matter how many times I tell him that if he stopped crying and controlled his frustration we’d be done by now, he still doesn’t stop.

David had good news today and while a part of me was happy for him the part that came out was my jealous side. Instead of being proud of him I responded like a whiny toddler stomping their foot and saying “not fair.” I realized that too late and apologized for making my response “all about me,” telling him that I really was happy for him and I need to not make things “all about me.” David says that OK, he’s come to expect that and other not-so-pleasant responses from me when he talks to me about that topic. Great. (sarcasm) I want him to come to me with his happy moments and joys yet when he does I make it unpleasant. That’s not what I intended or who I want to be. Breaks my heart at the damage done there.

So I feel like a lump of clay.

I feel like a lump of clay because I’m so imperfect. I know I can’t be perfect, but I don’t have to be this imperfect, do I? Like the story kids are told in church and us adults are told sometimes too — He is the potter and we are the clay. I’m selfish and self-centered and I have a temper. I really hope my Potter is working on those things because I have no hope of ever being a beautiful piece of art for Him if I stay an ugly lump.

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