My dearest husband and I are subscribed Datebox (follow the link for $10 off your first box! We get $10 off a box if you buy one, too.) We’ve enjoyed the dates we’ve done, but in all honesty, we’ve been subscribed for a year and we set our boxes aside far too often.
A couple of nights ago, we decided to break one out late one evening. It was an older one, from when we first subscribed – a kit to make clay pots for a herb garden, and a tasty snack to enjoy while creating.
If you know me, this is right up my alley. The excitement I felt at first glance bubbled out and I was giddy. And if you know my husband, then you know he will do anything to make me happy. (But clay pot making might not have been the first on this list of his things to try.)
We spread everything out on the table, and since it was an older box, we didn’t even try to find the Spotify playlist. We just listened to basketball in the background. We busted out the clay and it was….crumbling. It was too dry to make in to clay pots.
Well, I’ve brought various modeling compounds back to life with a little water, so I got the water bowl and we set to trying to revive the clay. And, with some persistence, we were able to soften it and mush it together and start attempting to shape it.
Knowing we had never made clay pots before, we started slowly, tentatively. Trying to turn round balls of revived clay in to pots. No matter what we did, the sides kept caving in. Thick sides, thin sides, round pots, square-ish pots, it didn’t matter. The sides caved, over and over again. We worked at it for an hour, laughing, smashing collapsing pots and starting over, staring at each other wondering what we got ourselves in to.
I got the clay too wet, I think. We got out the flour, and spread it over our surface and let our lumps of clay soak in a little flour, and then tried some more. Still, we couldn’t keep the sides from falling. We talked about using thread around them, but then we figured they would fall in. What about toothpicks? We continued trying with our hands while discussing the possibilities.
I was finally able to form a small, square-ish, short pot. It wasn’t pretty, but it was holding steady. My hubs was giving up, so I took his lump and worked it into a thick, round, shallow dish. And I proceeded to bake them both.
I’ve thought a lot about those poor pots since then. I’ve thought a lot about how the bible refers to us as being clay in the Potter’s hands. You know, often, I think I am difficult clay. Too dry, too wet, too stiff, too soft. Our good Father keeps at it, keeps working on getting those sides up, keeps working on shaping me into a proper dish. Yet, I resist, I ignore, I flop, I fold, I try to anticipate His next move and get it all wrong.
I can’t help but think that I need to stop being an insolent lump of clay and give the reins of my life more fully over to my Creator. Creator God is the facet of our Father in Heaven that I love most to read of. To think of His tender care, and maybe even deep frustrations, as He works with each us.
I had the best time with my precious husband trying to form these pots. I cannot wait to try another Datebox with him. Our shenanigans together, while they are obviously a huge part of relationship care, I think they are also deeply connected to the fine art of self-care – because I can’t be my best self without my partner in life and my other half.