The little Clay Pot

Lots of things can go in a little Clay Pot

Mountains on the Path March 17, 2013

Filed under: I ain't Proverbs 31...yet.,The forming of a little Clay Pot — littleclaypot @ 10:20 pm

It has been over a year since this little Clay Pot had anything put in it.  Well, that is not entirely true.  many, many things have been going into this little Clay Pot…just none of it has made it to the big world wide web.  Last February I was caught up in the analogy of staying on the path that God has laid out before me and has shown me.  I posted this prayer:

“God you are good.  You have a good path laid out before me.  You are Just and Merciful and you sent your Humble Servant Jesus to cover my Sins. You have shown me the good path.  Help me to stay on it today–to be just, and merciful and humble…because I cannot do it alone.  It is only in your strength that I can stay on the path today.

Today in March of 2013–I appreciate one word in that prayer more than I ever even thought possible.

TODAY

I thought last year that I knew what it meant to turn each day over to the LORD.  I thought I had a pretty good grasp of what Matthew 6:34 means when it says:

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day [is] its own trouble.” -NKJV

I thought that even though I couldn’t see all those nooks and crannies on the path laid out before me…I could see the hills that I was going to climb.  I thought that because I was walking on a path that seemed to be pointing towards one thing…I would surely get there…on my schedule and my terms.

Man, oh man (or shall I say “Flesh Oh, Flesh”) —was I ever wrong. 

Well, I was wrong about the schedule…and the terms…and perhaps I totally misjudged what was going on on those hills that I thought I would be  hiking up like the Von Trapp Family at the end of The Sound of Music.  In fact, some days I am pretty sure I am climbing Everest without an Oxygen tank…or at least it feels that way.  But here is what I was right about:

  • I am still on the path that God has laid out before me.
  • It is only in His strength that I can stay on it.
  • Jesus is ever faithful to continue to mold and conform me to His image in order to teach me to be Just, and Merciful and Humble.

My husband encouraged me in January to keep writing.  Well here it is March and I just suddenly had the urge.  I am not sure where the little Clay Pot will go from here…or how often…but I wanted to put it out there that even when we are climbing mount Everest when we expected to be singing “Edelweiss” –God still knows.  He created the Mountain and placed us on it and He is going to use our time there for His glory.

 

A little bit more about the path. February 6, 2012

Filed under: The forming of a little Clay Pot — littleclaypot @ 7:30 am
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I got to spend a lovely day at the Calvary Chapel of the Finger lakes at a day retreat.  I always try to go when they are hosted because there is just something very special about women studying the Bible together.  Normally these days are just for me.  The lessons I learn are hand crafted just for what God intends for me to hear just at that specific time in my life.  And so normally, I would not put that hand crafted message out there for the whole world to see…but seeing as how last week I was so excited about the “Holy Highway” …well I knew that I just couldn’t keep this little treasure all to myself either.

He has shown you, O man, what is good and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?

This is the cover to the little schedule/notebook that was handed out.

Do you see what the picture is?  Do you see the light coming through the trees to shine on the narrow path?  Ok, well lets be honest that is just cool.  I can even look at the picture and see myself looking off to the left and the right…trying to see if there is anything I should check out off in between any of those nicely planted trees.  (please note my sense of self-depreciating sarcasm in light of last weeks blog about my inability to STAY ON THE PATH!~)

 A little bit more about “The Path.”

First:

Right there on the cover–“You have shown us…”  Last week I wrote about choosing to go off the path that I believe God has set for me.  But right here in Micah 6:8 the Bible reminds me that God has shown me the path that He has laid out for me.   It is not a clairvoyant, magic 8 ball sort of thing, But a “I know the thoughts that I think think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) kind of thing.  It’s a God shows us the path if we are willing to keep our eyes and hearts open so that we can see it~ kind of thing.

Second:

“Those thoughts of peace…and a hope”–they are GOOD things!  The Bible is full (literally) of verses that indicate the goodness of God.  I must confess that on some of those wayside paths I have followed I have doubted Gods goodness.  But here is the thing…God has shown me what is GOOD.  I can Testify that HE is GOOD.   Ask me about it.  I’ll tell you.

Third:

What does God require of me on this path that he has laid out for me?  To be perfect?  No.  But to do these 3 things: 

 

.

  • To do Justly–It doesn’t matter if I am staying at home with my children or working in a hospital, or out buying groceries–In whatever I am doing I am to strive to do the right thing with integrity and to always remember that I am a person in need of a Savior…no better than anyone else and that I deserve no better than anyone else.
  • To Love Mercy–I love my husband.  I love my kids.  God wants me to also love mercy.  This is not always an easy thing, to show compassion to an offender or to someone in distress.  But we love to be on the receiving end of Mercy don’t we?  I will choose to show compassion this week on my path.  Will you?
  • To Walk Humbly with my God–Jesus was humble.  (Philippians2:5-11)  Humility is the opposite of pride.  And here is the point that I will close on.

Pride is what leads us off Gods path.  Pride is the voice that tells me “I know, I want, I think, I will do it my way.”  If I am in the opposite of Pride…if I am humble… I will say to God

“God you are good.  You have a good path laid out before me.  You are Just and Merciful and you sent your Humble Servant Jesus to cover my Sins. You have shown me the good path.  Help me to stay on it today–to be just, and merciful and humble…because I cannot do it alone.  It is only in your strength that I can stay on the path today.”

 

the Little Clay Pot discovers a new purpose February 1, 2012

Filed under: The forming of a little Clay Pot — littleclaypot @ 6:42 am
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When I started this blog, its primary use was to post menus that documented my journey through feeding my family reasonably local, reasonably organic foods on a frugal budget–mixed with a certain amount of random thoughts because, hey…that just how I roll.

In 2011: I started a full-time nursing position working 12 hr nights in a state hospital, graduated with a BS-N, moved to the “city” house, rented out the “country” house, started attending a new fellowship, and still helped maintain our home and homeschooling ways…oh and almost totally fell off the “local/organic bandwagon.”

Now hopefully you see why there wasn’t much activity here in the Little Clay Pot.

I still hope to post menus here…if for no one else than my husband who found it helpful. And we are starting to get back on that bandwagon!

But with all those changes I think this girl is seeing a new dimension taking place as the Potter continues to “complete the good work” that He has started by forming this Little Clay Pot.

If you have ever had a slightly spiritual discussion with me about my testimony you might have heard me use an analogy about God having a plan for my life and it being laid out on a road.  Only…in my “aimless conduct” I often take detours, only to be guided back to the path that is ordained for me by my Gentle Creator.  I will say “If I only would listen and seek the LORD I would be so much further along the path, but I make slow progress because I am always getting of the main road to visit tourist traps.”  Something like this:

My Path. Talk about wandering in the wilderness!

Now don’t misunderstand me, God has used each little detour to show me truths about His Faith, Glory and Love.  Sometimes I just think it would be nice to stay on His path and quit trying to make my own!

So I was so blessed today to find a beautiful truth about Gods kingdom in Isaiah 35:8

A highway shall be there, and a road,And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness.

The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others.

Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray. [emphasis mine]

What?!  One of God’s promises is that there will be a road even I can not veer off of?!  A High way of Holiness that even in my foolish ways I can not stray from?!  To date I think this is one of my favorite aspects of Gods Truth.  And I hope to apply the concept of maintaining a righteous (not perfect) and Holy (not holier than thou) walk on the road that God has laid before me on His Highway of Holiness.

 

$100.00? Really? February 14, 2011

Filed under: Frugal Living,The forming of a little Clay Pot,Weekly Menus — littleclaypot @ 9:59 am

This is for the skeptics, and as a bit of reassurance for myself.  I do, usually, spend right around $100.00 per week on groceries.  That is an average.  This week, I am trying to live out of the pantry and make do with what we have.  Grocery $ spent so far…$0.00.  I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to help make this possible.  Now before you go thinking I’m all back woods mountain woman, feeding my children freshly trapped and skinned rabbit (which may be kinda cool…but we are so not that tricky… yet) read the following and see what you think.

  • Keep powdered milk on hand.  This is great to keep your milk supply going.  I will substitute powdered milk and water in recipes that call for milk and that leaves more milk for drinking.
  • Keep canned fruits & veggies on hand. When they are on sale stock up.  That way if you don’t make it to the grocery store you can still get some vit C in the kiddos.  I try to only get fruit in real fruit juice and not in syrup.  IF I were a real frugal woman, I would have canned my own peaches and pears this summer!
  • Save up, or spend a windfall, and buy 1/2 of a cow and 1/2 of a pig.  For us, it worked out to be right around $3.00 per lb. Not bad for local pasture raised meat!  We filled a large chest freezer.  For illustration purposes, we received about 57 lbs. of hamburger.  That is easily 1 hamburger meal a week, plus a few pot luck dinners and some summer cook outs!  Plus the roasts, ribs, etc.  The hard part is paying up front of course, AND remembering to take it OUT of the freezer to eat it…but I haven’t had to purchase beef since Fall and that is a huge weekly savings.  Now before you go saying “well yeah, but if you spend $100.00/wk and add the cost of the beef then the weekly average is way higher!”  REMEMBER…this week…so far….I’ve spent $0.  SO in the end I think it does about even out.
  • Don’t think that it is going to just pull itself together.  I don’t buy (a lot) of convenience items.  Yes, that means I mix up my own bisquick mix…but big deal, you do a large batch wen you need some, store it in a 1/2 gallon mason jar in the fridge and it’s there for the next 3 times you need it.   Get familiar with basic recipes and when you find things you like, that are easy…keep items on hand to be able to pull it together quickly.
  • Lastly, when plans change and you decide to cut back on grocery items…which means a change in the menu that you made the week before (hmmm not like this is a little close to home today) Do a quick inventory and think simple!  You can almost never go wrong with spaghetti– it may not be a Mediterranean feast with fresh salads…but it will taste good enough and fill your belly.

Now, if you have any ideas for what to do when the schedule change means that your husband begs for a crock pot meal, and you didn’t get to the store to buy cheddar cheese for the macaroni and cheese on the menu…and it’s 10:00am and you need to get something in the crock by 12:00….well then let me know. *GRIN*

 

To Be or Not To Be… February 10, 2010

There are certain advantages to being a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM).  There are also certain advantages to being a Go To Work Mom (GTWM).  The question that lies deep within all of us women is…”Is it better on the other side?”  The answer is “Yes.”  It doesn’t matter which side you are on…it will always be better on the other side.  We are talking about the proverbial grass right?  It’s always greener on the other side.  But I learned a secret to being content on my own side of the fence.

Of course the number one rule here is you must know Jesus.  Philippians 4:7 says: And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (emphasis added.)  We have to know Jesus Christ to have peace. 

The second rule is we must be functioning in the LORD’s will…otherwise we will have no peace.  Ephesians 5:17 tells us not be unwise, but to know the will of the LORD.  (paraphrase)  Isaiah 26:3 tells us that God will keep us in perfect peace, if we stay focused on Him, because we can trust Him. (paraphrase)

My great epiphany?  Remember in Hinds Feet in High Places…when the Shephard took Much-Afraid to Egypt, and showed her the granary?  He showed her how each type of grain had its own method of being threshed and used.  Then He showed Much-Afraid the potter: cutting, and kneading, and shaping the clay.  And this is what the Shephard said to Much-Afraid:

                   “In Egypt, too, I fashion my fairest and finest vessels and bring forth instruments for my work, according as I see fit.” (Jeremiah 18) Then He smiled and added, “Cannot I do with you Much-Afraid, as this potter?  Behold, as the clay is in the hand of the potter so are you in my hand.” (Jeremiah 18:6)

While in Egypt Much-Afraid finds tiny little golden flowers that are called “Acceptance-with-Joy.”

The LORD led me to Egypt.  He took me to work.  I worked long hours and the LORD blessed me and I was respected and paid well for the work I was doing.  He blessed the work of my hands and used me as an instrument.  But, He also took me there to break me, to beat me like grain, and to knead me like clay.  And as He worked…and I became more focused on the things of the flesh–the things of Egypt–my home, my car, my status…I started to break.  My only rest was in the fact that I knew that I was where the LORD had put me…until the LORD chose to take me out. 

The Shephard did not leave Much-Afraid in Egypt.  God did not leave Israel in Egypt.  God did not leave me in Egypt either.   He brought me home, to be a mother, a wife, and even a student.  Honestly, I do not even long for Egypt.  Some of the comforts maybe (the steady pay-check) but the LORD has provided! Proving that what I think of as a comfort is not even necessary.  So I came out of Egypt, a little formed clay pot, and I have learned to be content. 

So maybe I am corn that has to be crushed with a stone.  Maybe you are wheat that can be tossed gently in the wind…But we both need to be willing to go to Egypt if the LORD leads us there, and we need to “Accept-with-Joy” the work that he does on us.  I am still a little clay pot.  But the LORD is forming me into something of beauty that HE can use for His purposes.