There is only one Potter

I can count on one hand the books I would want to read more than once. Mere Motherhood by Cindy Rollins is one of those.

“Motherhood is a place of dreamy hopes and crushed fantasy and the hard, hard work of sinners in relationship with one another day by day.” {page 7}

Isn’t that the truth?!?! Just the other night I was exchanging a light-hearted text with a friend about how the toddler years were actually a walk in the park compared to this season of 13 and 14 year olds…and an 11 year old boy that is tired of people always telling him what to do.

They each have strong personalities. They like different things, have different styles, enjoy spending their time doing different things, and none of them hesitate to speak their minds about what they like or dislike or why they think their way is the best way or the only way. And many of their likes don’t line up with my likes. And many times the style of clothing they like does not line up with what I would pick out for them. Their dreams for their life at this point aren’t always what I think might be best for them.

The truth about this season is that it is absolutely putting an exclamation mark on the fact that each of my kids are their own person. I am not them. They are not me. This shouldn’t be so hard to understand except for the fact that during all of those baby and toddler years we met their every need. We dressed them and they wore it. We took them everywhere we went without argument–or much, anyway. We fed them, changed them. We carried their tired butts to bed and knew they would soon be asleep without a worry in the world.

But oh how these little people that very much seem like extensions of ourselves grow up and let us know in not-so-subtle ways that, “Hey, Mom. You don’t own me.” And they’re right.

In Mere Motherhood, Cindy refers to the potter and the clay on page 156:

“I was not the potter. A potter was shaping my children, but it was not me.”

      “…‘Children are born persons.’ Until that moment, I had not heard her with my heart nor truly understood with my mind. My son was not my product. He was the work of a great artist: the Creator of all.

          It was a glorious moment.

          After I got over the insult of it, I began to feel much lighter and happier. You could almost hear me singing, ‘Ding Dong the witch is dead.’ I had misunderstood my role as mother and as a teacher, and it would still take me a while to understand how to go about not being the potter.”

Molly mentioned that an older girl she knew has a matching tattoo with her mom. I was thinking in my head, “It ain’t happening, girl.” But I have also stopped saying NEVER, seeing how I wasn’t a dog person but now Rolo flounces her fluffy self all around this house like she owns the place. I think Molly just likes to say things to see how I will respond. I am learning to be a good listener and let out a “hmmm” or “ok, interesting” from time to time. She also bought some hair dye that washes out over time. It’s red, and we used it on the ends of her hair. I didn’t want her to do it. I held her off from doing it for quite a while, but then when she got her birthday money and came to me for the 50th time about it, I decided to let her. And you know what? I think it is cute. I think it is just like her to want to do that. And I think it’s pretty obvious the people that disapprove. {The rebel in me wants to go back and do her whole head and maybe a pink streak down the middle just to let people have more of a shock! It’s hair, people. Relax.}

So I am learning to let go of my imagined control of each of my kids. That doesn’t mean I don’t have rules. That doesn’t mean I won’t discipline them when necessary. This isn’t about relaxing my moral standards at all. But letting them be their own person in their quirky ways helps me realize that I am not the potter, creating a masterpiece that I can show off one day and display to the world what an awesome mother I was. It helps me realize that all of their convictions and standards won’t always line up with mine. That won’t make me a failure. That won’t make them a failure. It will make us human.

“A wise person once said not to take too much credit or too much blame for your children.  That is comforting.

Part of the sanctification of motherhood is learning to trust God with our children. One day we will come to the end of what we can do for our children. In those early days our children cannot live without us, but slowly they grow up and move away. This is almost always heart-wrenching, but the process also gives us a chance to lean on our Heavenly Father and to trust Him more. God has entrusted us with a great treasure. It is our life lesson to hand it back.” {page 161}

Maybe you are also in this season of realizing how little control you have of these younger people in your home and this encourages you to relax and let them be who they are. I hope so! It is quite freeing. IMG_8379.jpg

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s