Learning At The Potter's Wheel is a collection of articles on home, family, marriage, parenting, natural medicine and herbs. . . along with a few other items of interest. Have fun sorting through my junk drawer of assorted thoughts and ramblings.


The Potter has persisted in giving me treasures I don't always understand or appreciate. Patiently, He is teaching me to trust that all I really need to know is that I am in HIS hands. . .


My husband is the king of kidders. When we married, every prank and tease he had been saving up because he missed living at home with his brothers and sisters came back to him. It's been interesting, to say the least.

His humor has meant that I have sons that love to joke and tease as well. They've seen me bubble over with laughter at their dad's antics, and they love to contribute to the fun.

The other thing my husband passed on to his sons is an EXTREME honesty. This means, that sometimes when silence might serve your interests better, you just burst forth with whatever pops into your head . . . Like the time Duke asked a friend (with a new haircut) if she had walked into a buzz saw. Thankfully, she appreciated his humor and thought it was hilarious. :roll: - revised -

I am hoping that my middle child will gain the social graces and skills necessary to not scare of all future prospects for a spouse. . . I may need to shift those prayers to more in the area of protection after this past week. . .

We went to run errands. All of us piled into the car and had a good time walking through the store. We look a lot. Shopping Cart Revamp :smile:

As we went through the checkout, I opened my bag to pull out my wallet. Duke stopped me, and said he wanted to break a $100. I knew he needed a haircut, but it struck me as humorous when the young girl took the bill and held it up to the light, squinting at it. I couldn't help myself. I burst into laughter.

Next in line was the middle son. He handed her his $20 which received NO extra checking.

This tickled me even more and had me laughing as we walked out to the car.

In the parking lot, the child in question said, "Hey Mom."
"What?" I asked as I stopped and turned in his direction.
"Look," he was gesturing at his legs (he was wearing long shorts). "You know, with this breeze, it sorta tickles my legs."
I looked at the very thin legs extending below the bony knees. "Really?"
"Yeah," he continued. "That's because of the hair."
I squinted to see.
Soot sprite try
"You see," he explained, "That's what happens when you get to be a man. I'm getting hair on my legs."

Now you try walking to the car without laughing and not hurt yourself after that statement.

Next, we pulled into the gas station to fill the tank. This meant that Duke was doing some creative maneuvering around the other cars and pumps. While he was in the store paying for the gas, I slipped into the drivers' seat, buckled the belt and adjusted the mirrors.

When Duke returned, he asked what I was doing in HIS seat.
"I know it's not as exciting when I drive," I smiled sweetly up at him, "But you deserve a rest. I'll wake you when we get to the next stop."

Trying to help, the middle son interjected:

"Yeah, Dad, your driving is more . . . . ADVENTURESOME!" :convertable:

Duke growled, muttered something I couldn’t quite make out, and climbed into the passenger seat.

Yeah, I need to pray more for that boy. Talk. Ear. See


I'm a mix of emotions as I post this entry. . . . and that's fitting as parenting is just that, a mixture of so many things.

I'm excited for my youngest, Z-man. He's been potty-trained now for two years, but the nights haven't all been dry. Yet, in the last couple of weeks, the dry nights have moved into the majority. My writing brought me a few pennies, so the last time we were out running errands, we stopped into one of those box stores.

This was during the tax-free weekend, so all kinds of stuff was placed for prominent display. One of those items were the draw-string twin sheet sets that you buy for kids going to camp or college. They were on sale. We didn't NEED any sheets, mind you. The ones we have are fine, but they are old.

I looked down at Z-man and told him how proud I was of him that he wasn't wetting the bed any more (mostly) and that I thought he deserved to have brand new sheets. He was thrilled and picked out a bright apple-green color to have on his bed.

That night, we put his sheets on and tossed the others in the wash. His brother had also gotten a set. They were both quite proud of their selections and couldn't wait to hop into bed.

Would you believe it? Those sheets are worth their weight in gold. Z-man has something HE chose, HE picked out and HE wants to keep nicely on HIS bed. So far, the magic sheets have done their work nicely. All dry nights . . . One accident happened en route to the restroom, but the green sheets? Dry as a bone. Thank you very much!

So, why the mix of emotions?

Because tonight, there is a family making arrangements to have their their son released from the hospital to come home. There aren't any magic sheets for this young man. The cancer has done its worst, and the end looms. Hospice has been called, and prayers are being said. They've taken their last vacation.

These parents who have kissed the boo-boos and soothed the hurts are now facing an unimaginable loss, but there is no time to process all of that. For now, they must keep track of pain meds, care schedules and the endless telephone calls. They will not sleep much during the next while. Someone will always need to be awake. The one that should be resting likely won't be able to. They will make arrangements that no parent ever dreams of making.

They aren't just running out of time, they are losing time they thought they had. . . The holidays yet to come . . . The milestones not yet met. In an almost cruel twist, weddings, births, deaths, graduations, and new friendships will all continue to occur . . . time will march on . . . oblivious to this crushing blow.

For now, I live in a world where green sheets can work magic. But I have also known the sorrow that comes when nothing I could do would fix it. I know what it is to go on living when one I love did not . . . and I grieve for this mother and this father and the task that is before them.

Tonight, I'll tuck Z-man into his still-new green sheets, and I'll pray for this family as they settle in for the night. I'll be thankful that when these times come I know there IS comfort and peace because the Potter holds me firmly within His skilled hands.

Isaiah 49:21-23

Then shalt thou say in thine heart,
Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children,
and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro?
and who hath brought up these?
Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?
Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles,
and set up my standard to the people:
and they shall bring thy sons in their arms,
and thy daughters shall be carried upon
their shoulders.
And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers:
they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth,
and lick up the dust of thy feet;

and thou shalt know that I am the LORD:
for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.


This morning before breakfast, I had one of those moments that just leave me a bit awestruck.

I know that boys need men to teach them how to be men. I understand that. So, it should have come as no surprise to me that my efforts to teach manners were not always well received. In reality, a female demonstrating to a boy how he should conduct himself in public is . . . well . . . a FEMALE telling a boy how to be a MALE. At best, such an endeavor would result in a facsimile of maleness. My boys weren't interested.

The difficulty for me was that I grew up in a home that emphasized manners. Both of my parents taught manners from before I could speak. It is part of my DNA somehow. It was just something I endeavored to teach my boys as a matter of course.

From time to time I've been called upon to attend some formal events (not often, and long ago). So, you can imagine how I'd look at my children and sometimes think , "If you do that in front of dignitaries one day, I'll just faint!"

My boys would just respond with giggles and laughter.

Before I tell you what happened at breakfast, I have to backtrack a bit. We've been going over events that led up to the founding of our country. In that process, we've started learning about the challenges presented to the defenders of the colonies when they decided to revolt against England. Forces of nature were brought into play such that men that should have been decimated lived to fight and win another day.

Learning about the circumstances under which George Washington found himself leading troops (well, eventually, they were troops) was like experiencing an episode of some survival reality television show, and whatever other action-adventure program you can think of all wrapped up into one. Knowing the outcome didn't make it any less amazing. . . . But that was watching it through my adult eyes.

My little guys, on the other hand, were mesmerized. Their grandfather was named after this man. This guy was starting to tower above Davy Crockett and Lewis and Clark -- and that's saying a lot in this house. Not only did this man manage to be successful in war, he was a LEADER of MEN. My guys were more than impressed.

That brings us to this morning.

"Mom, can I read to you?"
"Sure," I replied expecting to see the latest dinosaur book from the library.

Instead, he pulled out a small red volume. One of the books I had collected long ago thinking that ONE day, SOME day, I would share it with my kids. None of them seemed interested, so it had sat on the shelf for years.

That's the book he pulled out.

George Washington's Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation

I was stunned and listened as he began to read over President Washington's list. This was a list made by a man that was humbled by the office of the presidency and the weight of the responsibility of the men and the nation he led. This was a man concerned with not causing unnecessary offense. He knew war. He knew how to fight. He seemed keenly aware of the scrutiny he was under and sought to not cause embarrassment or discomfort. He could have swaggered and preened. Instead, he maintained a humble dignity. This was not a man without passions. This was not a man unfamiliar with hardship. This was a man with considered priorities, and he determined to discipline himself first.

THAT appealed to my young son.

So, I listened as he read from George Washington's book. He read the same things my parents had taught me. He read the same things I had tried to tell him before. But THIS time, it came from a MAN that was a LEADER -- A man of integrity and honor and faith. It wasn't just mama saying not to scratch in public. This was the father of our country saying:

"When in company, put not your hands to any part of the body, not usually discovered."

Thanks George, I couldn't have said it better myself!

I am thankful that the Lord of my heart knew how much this would mean to me and allowed me the privilege to witness it. God is SOOOOOOOO GOOD!


Note: If you are interested in using any of these materials I've mentioned, feel free to use the link I've provided in my Recommended Reads widget below. THANKS!