For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
Sometimes working with glass, things don’t happen the way I plan. When the temperature in the kiln gets to the degree that a piece should be done, I have a split second to look into the kiln and decide whether to lower the heat. It is hard to tell not only because of the urgency, but also because the bright light of the kiln’s elements make it hard to see. Sometimes, I stop the kiln too soon, thinking the piece is finished or afraid to leave it in any longer. A heart pendant stays thin and sharp instead of rolling up smooth and shapely. Two circular pieces designed to someday be a bowl don’t completely fuse together creating a ridge along the edges. Sometimes, I leave the kiln on too long and the glass warps or gets bubbles. A perfectly shaped circle becomes misshapen. A painstakingly created design is marred by a bulge. Even if I think I have made the right choices, there is always a chance that I will be disappointed the next day when the kiln completely cools and I open it for the first time. Two of those things happened recently. Over a translucent circle of turquoise I placed some clear stars and a mermaid. I planned to leave the clear pieces slightly elevated, not completely fused to the colored disc so that the design stood out against the blue. But, I left it in too long so that the clear glass melted down into the turquoise. The design was still there, but not as striking. On top of that, a large ugly wart appeared near the mermaids back. Actually, it looked like she had eaten a large plate of baked beans for dinner. You could almost imagine, the “toot, toot” emerging from her behind. I thought when I slumped the disc into a bowl that the bubble would disappear, but it didn’t. She needed another dose of Beano. So, I put the whole mess into the kiln for a third time, draping it over a vase. Finally, the bubble disappeared, but unless you look carefully, so did the mermaid. I am glad that glass is so flexible and forgiving. I can usually fix whatever is wrong with another firing, but when I do, I have to give up on what I had planned for the piece and accept a different direction. Motherhood is a similar situation. We have hopes and dreams for our children, but often, they go a different way than we have planned. Sometimes, we make mistakes that impact our children, but just as many times, the choices that they make have nothing to do with us. As with glass, there is always hope for the future. Even a broken piece can be mended in the kiln. As moms, we never give up on our kids. No matter what they do, we always love them. Thankfully, God feels the same way about us and nothing separates us from His love. Happy Mother’s Day!