Chipping Away

For I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.      Philippians 1:6

2-16-17-with-word-overlayThe headliner for the concert we went to a few weeks ago was Marc Broussard. Unfortunately for me, I desperately needed to use the ladies room right before he went on. The long line there meant I missed most of his opening song.

I have no idea what the song was called, but as I walked back in I caught the line, “There’s a better man inside of me.” It stopped me in my tracks. It was one of those mountain top experiences when you know God wants your attention. I really felt He wanted mine; so I gave it to Him.

I spent the next couple of songs chewing on that line, but making it my own: “There’s a better mom inside of me.”

I couldn’t help but think of a sculptor who says he know there’s a masterpiece inside the slab of marble; his job is just to get it out. He then spends years with a chisel and hammer, chipping away at what is not supposed to be there, in order to expose what is.

That is motherhood in a nutshell. God has created masterpieces in all of us. Our kids, and the day in/day out grind of raising them are the hammer and chisel chipping away at what we’re not supposed to be.

Some days it feels like they’ve gone too far, broken off a piece of our soul, leaving us raw and exposed. Then we heal and realize the painful lessons learned bring beauty. If we can truly embrace those lessons, and change our approach, we find we like ourselves more; and life flows more smoothly.

Unfortunately, with my controlling tendencies, I’m becoming harder and harder with each passing year. That means the blows need to be stronger in order for my jagged edges to fall away. The constant hammering is killing me.

So I’m stepping into a new “surrender” phase, in both my motherhood, and in my faith life. I’m finally accepting that God is in charge. I need to let go of the control, and truly let Him be my Master Sculptor.

Another way of putting it is: I want to be clay, not marble. I want to soften, be more flexible so God can mold me, rather than chip away at my rock hard edges. It certainly would hurt a whole lot less.

Like Mark Broussard’s lyrics say, I know there’s a better mom inside of me. I’ve been trying to find her for years, and have glimpsed her now and then. I’m confident that if I consistently surrender and become clay in God’s hands, He will mold and shape me into her.

Questions For Reflection:

     * Do I believe God created me as a masterpiece?

     * Do I also believe that there is a better mother/father/person inside of me, desperate to get out?

     * Do I feel it’s my job to search for and reveal her/him?

     * Or do I believe it’s necessary for me to surrender, letting the Master Sculptor reveal her/him?

10 thoughts on “Chipping Away

  1. Yes! I, too, am working on this. My controlling ways and “tough love” is not always good. Children need to know that you will be there to be the soft, warm blanket that embraces them and not be a constant judge, professor, lector, etc. (although, sometimes they do need it!) I focus on striving to be a good parent but I need to strive to come from a place of love at all times. My daughter asked me the other day if she “had to” always tell me everything. I said “No. I just want you to know that you CAN always come to me and tell me anything.” (knowing inside my heart it will be hard but that I will need to be ready) and I hope I show in my words and actions that yes, she can come to me with anything and I will be there with love. Thanks, Claire.


    • Great comment, Sandra. It’s like a delicate balancing act, isn’t it? It’s such a challenge to define boundaries and provide consistency, yet still being soft and approachable. As an extremist, I constantly swing from one side to the other (but spend far more time on the boundary side). That’s where my “surrender” comes into play again – surrendering how I want to react to things, to how God wants me to instead. Here’s to being soft clay instead of hard marble!


  2. I think that thought each day I wake and ask for the better me to come out today….ups and downs…but some days it’s the joy of “yes”, the memories of those take you through the lows…thanks for these reminders : ) Liz K


  3. I heard something the other day…”love and fear accomplish the same thing, until you walk out of the room”. Wow! That statement made me stop and think. I too want to be more like clay (although I don’t want to be anything like sillypuddy) 🙂
    Thanks Claire! I always enjoy your words of wisdom!


  4. Love this post Claire. I have had the same realization over the years of parenting, but you just wrap it up so nicely with your words…even with a pretty bow. You have a God-given gift.


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