The Thing About Pottery


Life has been a little complicated around our house these past few months.

Sure, it’s the end of Summer. The time of year when every Mom wants to pull her hair out, no matter how much she loves her kids. The time of year when going certifiably insane actually sounds like the sane option.

But it’s more than that.

Life has just been hard. And I’m sure we’re not the only ones in that proverbial boat. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned these past few years, it’s that life. is. hard.

Good. But hard.

There’s just no way around it, no matter how hard you try.

These past few weeks I’ve been focused on changing my morning schedule. Call it a desperate attempt to gain some much needed structure in my life (because that’s exactly what it is) but it’s been blessing me beyond measure.

Each morning I wake just as the sun begins to rise. I spend the first hour of my day in silence, watching the sky as it changes hues. I do my own form of meditation, read a passage from my Bible, practice gratitude and generally spend my time setting my intention for the day.

It’s not just changing my morning, or my day…it’s slowly changing me. Especially the silence.

If you live in a house with little ones, you know that silence is hard to come by.

For once, I get to listen. To the morning, to nature, to my soul, and to God.

This morning my mind kept wandering. I usually spend my time trying to focus my thoughts and energy. But today, the wandering felt healthy. As if I was being led…

I sat in my chair, wrapped up in my blanket (don’t laugh, it’s comforting) thinking about where life has been taking me. Wondering where it will be taking me. Feeling the oddest range of emotions (sadness, gratitude, fear, joy). Feeling, I’ll be honest, like life is a mess.

One, big, fat, complicated mess.

It’s exhausting trying so hard to make sense of it. Trying to know the plan, figure out the plan, or trust the plan. And for a type A personality, like mine, trying to clean up the mess. I honestly get antsy just thinking about it.

Then suddenly, this verse popped into my head. Which at the time, seemed a bit out of place…

“I am the clay, and you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8

Over and over it repeated in my head.

“I am the clay, and you are the potter.”

“I am the clay, and you are the potter.”

I sat there, trying to connect the dots until it came to me.


The thing about pottery is that it’s messy. Really messy. I don’t know if you’ve ever thrown a pot on a potter’s wheel (but we’ve all seen Ghost, right?) or molded real clay with your hands…but it’s virtually impossible to keep yourself clean.

You will get dirty.

There’s just no way around it, no matter how hard you try.

But to the potter that’s understood. It natural to make a mess. Because it’s all just a part of the process. And sometimes, the bigger the mess…the more beautiful the results.

The mess is essential to the masterpiece.

And aren’t our lives the same way?

Think about it. There’s no failure without the mess. There’s no learning without the mess. There’s no growth, or strength without the mess. And no beauty, without the mess.

I wonder what would happen if we stopped trying so hard to keep everything neat?

What if we embraced the mess? Sat with it for a while, and *gasp* enjoyed it like we did when we were kids?

What if we lived every day knowing that the mess is part of the plan? Heck, that it is the plan. And most importantly, that it’s not ours to make sense of?

We don’t need to know how to clean it all up.

It’s hard to remember, in the thick of it, that I’m in the middle of my own process. I’m becoming who I was meant to be. And it’s messy, that’s for sure.

But it’s supposed to be.

I’m a work in progress. And I’m proud of that. Because God makes beautiful things, doesn’t he?

Beautiful, messy, perfect things.

2 Responses to “The Thing About Pottery”

  1. Mary Beth Gallemore

    Thank you so much for sharing your life. Your use of metaphor helps me connect with you. Isn’t fun, really, actually, fun, to see God at work in our lives?!

    • Alli Aars

      Thanks for your comment, Mary Beth. It truly is! Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s fun, and sometimes it’s flat out awe inspiring!!!