Guest Author: The Gift of Clay Feet

I met Heidi, the author of
Moms, Ministry, and More, when she began leaving insightful comments in response to my posts. When I went to her blog, I found her to be a rather fascinating person. She is a young mom serving as a missionary alongside her husband in Asia. They have four young children including a daughter adopted from China. I know you will enjoy getting to know her and her lovely heart for God, her husband, her kids, and the world.

The busy-ness of parenting (plus the high pack of the holidays on top of that) gives me lots of opportunities to give my children gifts. I’m not talking the kind under the Christmas tree, but the kind that will outlast the “A-B-C Bear” my girls will get this year.

Honestly, I’m just learning about some of these gifts. Parenting doesn’t come easy for me. If I got my Christmas wish, I would visit some of your homes and observe you in action for awhile to learn how to do this thing well!

And if you came to my house, this is what you would have recently seen…

His tears at my unrepentant heart fell on his pillow.
I had hurriedly re-tucked him in saying, “I’ve got things to do. Stay in bed.”

When he came to my room yet again, I was ready with both barrels, barely hearing his soft words and utterly overlooking his heart.

“I’m just wondering… is that a kuai, mom?” He referred to our agreement to give up a “kuai” whenever our spirits grumbled and complained.

But I had given him the barrels, “No, son! That is me needing to get things done. Now good night.” Re-re-tuck.

Yet even before his tears began, I knew I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I reached a hand out to smooth his forehead and softly said, “You’re right son. That is a kuai.”

The value of a kuai is only 3 pennies, yet I felt I gave a precious gift to my boy. To a child who so wants to do right but just struggles sometimes, I modeled what it looks like to embrace our feet of clay.

These clay feet aren’t to be feared.

They may leave muddy tracks wherever they go…but they are nonetheless that which carries us:

To a place of repentance.

Soft hearted-ness.


Back to the Potter.

So back to Him I go, this time with a young child in tow. “Potter, these feet will always be clay. Forgive me for tracking across this heart You have entrusted me with. Thank You that these tracks don’t threaten Your grace or taint Your intentions for goodness and forgiveness.”

Thank You God, for pliable clay in Capable Hands.
So I’m wondering…what gifts are you giving your children?

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Staci
    December 23, 2009

    I will admit, I didn't really understand this post. I get the overall message, but the gift of kuai part and clay feet references aren't very clear to me. I do relate to needing to soften my heart though!

  2. Chris
    December 23, 2009

    Oh my! do I see me! So busy with MY things I forget to listen or observe what was happening, before I open MY mouth.
    Learning with you.

  3. Jillian and Crew
    December 28, 2009

    So guilty of focusing on the "to-do" at times, I forget to hear the heart also…I believe it is a common mommy mistake and I applaud you for being the example to your son of going back to the Potter…One thing I have def learned to embrace is "mommy messed up" is not only OK, it is nec to model to our children.
    Thanks for sharing.


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