Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pottery and Hedges

Anywhere and everywhere we may dwell "with the King for His work." We may be in a very unlikely or unfavorable place for this; it may be in a literal country life, with little enough to be seen of the "goings" of the King around us; it may be among hedges of all sorts, hindrances in all directions; it may be furthermore, with our hands full of all manner of pottery for our daily task. No matter! The King who placed us "there" will come and dwell there with us; the hedges are all right, or He would soon do away with them; and it does not follow that what seems to hinder our way may not be for its very protection; and as for the pottery, why, that is just exactly what he has seen fit to put into our hands, and therefore it is, for the present, "His work."
~Frances Ridley Havergal

These were the potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work. I Chronicles 4:21

After I painted, I was moving a cupboard back and I went through the "pottery" on the shelves. Jeff took a pottery class in college and we received sweet handmade pieces for Christmas that year. When we got married, it was the late seventies and many people were choosing earthy dishes for their homes. I chose flowery stuff, but I did like all the homemade looking pots and cups. I remember the big iron sink in our tiny rented house, right next door to the high school where we built relationships with teenagers. I washed all my wedding gifts and looked out the window at the school parking lot. Many of those dishes are long since broken or given away, but I still handle a good amount of "pottery" as I go about my days. The hedges? One gigantic hedge was going back to college at forty-five. I felt so alone there and more academically challenged than ever before. I found answers and direction, small but important. When I tell people I teach middle school, they often comment, "Wow, I admire you. That's a hard age." It's definitely hedge work. They are so wobbly, so fearful, so quick to make inappropriate comments. But, I'm thankful to have a little opportunity to "mold the clay" even if it is just one year in a lifetime of travel years, in a lifetime that may hold more pain and difficulty than victories and encouragement. I like to think that in heaven, we'll feel very satisfied as we handle pottery or busy ourselves in the hedges. We will be free from the pressures to "stand out" or "produce more" and we'll linger in the warmth of our Creator and that will be enough.


The dB family said...

Some day you will be blessed by one of your students who returns for a visit and says to you, you were my favorite teacher. You were the one who taught me to love literature. You are doing wonderful special work! You are making a difference in your students' lives, My Dear Friend! I'm glad you can see that you are doing some throwing of your own -- even as God continues to mold you!


Gumbo Lily said...

We never know, do we, how our pottery work or hedge work or our unseen work will glorify God? If I believe that the work before me is given from the Lord, it is important work. Thank you for this meditation.


wayside wanderer said...

What a great quote and your thoughts are very touching. You have such a heart for your students and they are blessed to have you. Was Havergal a hymn writer? That is a familiar name and I am trying place it.

"The King who placed us "there" will come and dwell there with us;" Ahhh such comfort in His presence. Thank you for sharing this, PomPom. Hugs from Texas.

Angela said...

Oh - great post PP, thanks for this!! FRH was an amazing lady who wrote lots of good stuff and great hymns, and this was a good quote.

And yes, I too got married in the 70s - my 'wedding china' is heavy beige/brown stoneware. But it has lasted and is still in daily use, strong, durable, practical and lovely [like my husband!]

All things bright and beautiful... said...

You have no idea (mmmmm or maybe you do, dear Pom Pom) just how much I needed to read this post. I know that over the next few days/weeks I shall be returning to it too. It says a lot to calm me right now. Thank you.

Mrs Yappy Dog said...

Lovely post, isn't that where most women spend their time? handling potter (kitchen) or tending hedges (garden)so it made me think about when I am in those places I am doing God's work even in small ways. We don't have to do anything profound, do we, to be servers of Him, except to tend our pottery and hedges and bring up our families to know Him. By the way, I am finding it hard to locate a post office in Florida! but I have not given up. Should be posting to you this week. xxx

Saleslady371 said...

I love your post. I, too, admire your work and know you are making a difference in children's lives. You're a blessing for sure.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Lovely post, Pom Pom. It's my hope that my stories might give comfort to a child or two in need of it. I'll never know, but I like to think there's a reason I'm called to write, and it's not for awards or money. We do what we do, and one day more will be revealed. I think this must be true for you, too, as a teacher.


libbyquilter said...

a beautiful post ~ lots to think about and be comforted by.

i know you are an excellent teacher simply because you really do care~!!!!~


Vicki said...

Dear PomPom,
You are molding more clay than you will ever realize. Thank you so much for the dedication you show to our young people. You have a "teacher's heart", and it shows. Talking about your wedding dishes brought back some memories for me. I had just completed my first year of teaching and was married in May. The sweet ladies at the church gave me a "church shower" we used to call them back then. My mother and daddy gave me a beautiful set of dishes, nothing elaborate, mother probably ordered them from Montgomery Ward catalog. Oh, how I loved those dishes. See, I was a dishaholic even then. I spread them all around my small apartment kitchen and admired them for days. Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend~ Vicki