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Yesterday, I came home from work to bright red sunflowers from Jonathon.  Another present awaited on the counter.  It sat, wrapped in newspaper, with a sign written in blue Sharpie that said “A present for you Mom – Ruby”.  Of course, I knew it was from Ruby as soon as I saw it.  Jonathon wraps with great finesse.  Zac doesn’t give me presents, as a general rule since he’s 15 and all. The cats give me undying aggravation affection on a daily basis.  No need to bundle that up.

Sunflowers remind me of our 15th anniversary trip to France.  While there, we drove through fields and fields of them, yellow heads waving to us in the summer sunshine.  Ah…

But back to the present, and the present.

I thanked Jonathon for the lovely bouquet.  Then I opened the present.  I found a ceramic bowl inside.

Ruby's bowl

“I made it at school,” Ruby told me.

“Thank you,” I said, and kissed the top of her head.  “It’s wonderful.”

And it is.  Not because it’s got a ton of artistry.  It’s not symmetrical or beautifully glazed.  The glaze kinda sits on top like powdered sugar glaze on a bundt cake. But she made it.  She put it together with her own hands and gave it to me.

Our lives are like this.  We let God mold us into the shape He has in mind for us.  We make good choices and bad choices.  Sometimes, we might even fall off the potter’s wheel and break. He picks us back up and forms us again, smoothing away the cracks and sharp edges. Minute by minute, day by day, year by year, we keep working on this one thing we can give to God:  our lives. It’s a joint process of surrendering to God’s will and obeying in the big things and the little things.

I will put Ruby’s bowl on the desk at work.  I will tell my coworkers about it and praise her giving heart.  She gave me her best effort.  I am grateful.  Let me do the same, to God and those around me.

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