RESTORING BEAUTY {the story of a teacup}

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is just how perfectly our Father can trade beauty for ashes. Tragic circumstances, pain, disappointment, heartache, loss, grief, financial circumstances, divorce and I could go on and on and on. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Pain seems to be all around me. We all face difficult situations in our lives. We have our own Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego moment. We all walk through some sort of hot furnace. The question is, when we do, how will we handle it? Will we hold on to what we believe? Will we hold  our Father’s  hand? Will we come out on the other side unscathed? Or will we harbor bitterness and anger towards God for allowing us to be put in these circumstances in the first place.
For those who have been around here a while, you know I lost a child. That was and still is the most defining moment of my life. Please, oh, PLEASE, don’t take this as a “please come pat me on the back” moment when I say this. But let me tell you, I was not about to let this situation defeat me. I knew who brought this on and it was NOT my God. Yes, He allowed it, but no, I don’t believe for a second he was the cause of it. That is a whole other post in itself. We chose as a family to accept whatever God was going to allow. We stood, we prayed for healing, we stood tall on every single word in scripture regarding healing. And to be honest, in the end, we may not have gotten the physical healing, but we did get healing. Elijah got a perfect body and we had our wounds bound up and healed by the ONE who loves us so much. We have a choice. We ALL have a choice.

Several years ago I did a Bible Study with my 12 year old who was then 10. I can’t remember the name of it to be honest but the author gave an extraordinary illustration of how a lady is much like a fine porcelain tea cup. They were using it to teach girls to respect themselves and their bodies, but I couldn’t help but think about how it relates to so much more than that.

This is my Grandmother’s tea cup. It’s beautiful isn’t it?

Tea cup

It hasn’t always been that way. It started out looking like this. A square, ordinary, plain, clump of clay. Talk about beauty for ashes! Did you know that to make a soft-porcelain, actual ashes are made from dry animal bones to form the clay? That is an amazing analogy of how we feel during and after a major trial. I felt like dried up dead bones, no kidding. But then the Father gave LIFE to those bones.

Clay block porcelain 500x500


If you were this ball of clay, consider this. The potter has to continually knead the clay to soften it up. I would think that might cause a little pain. I am sure if this potter had big strong muscles the kneading would be just like torcher. And that piece of clay is thinking, “Oh my word, WHAT are you doing to me?! Why are you doing this to me, don’t you love me?” You see where I’m going with this, right? And then the potter must put the clay on the wheel. Oh, the spinning! The burning sensation of the wheel is painful and she is dizzy from going around and around and around and around. “Oh this MUST be the end of this”, the clay is thinking. “I cannot take any more. I am done. Please stop, you are hurting me!” But the clay TRUSTS anyway. The potter gently lifts the clay onto a stand and gets out his brushes. He strokes the clay with beautiful colors of pink and blue and high kerrats of gold. It’s not painful, just uncomfortable. Then the clay sees the potter heating up a furnace that is so hot she can feel the flames from the outside. And the potter opens the door. “NO, NO, NO!! You must be joking, you are NOT going to put me in there!! Are you? Really? Don’t you love me?” And the clay can see the potter from the inside of the furnace, watching and waiting until it’s time to open the door. FINALLY, the door opens and the potter removes the tea cup from the furnace. She is alive, unscathed, she doesn’t smell like smoke and she is STUNNING. The potter sits the tea cup on a very important stand and gives it a mirror. “Oh, I see now, all of this time you were creating me. You were shaping me into something of value, something of worth. You had a purpose for the pain. You had a purpose for me. You were forming me into a usable and desirable thing of beauty and you DO, love me.

Isaiah 64:8

But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

I say this to myself just as I say this to each of you. I pray that each time we walk through something difficult that we remember the tea cup. I pray that we make the choice to be molded and that our circumstances only make us stronger and draw us closer to the Father.  I pray that we have the wisdom and discernment to realize that we are his workmanship. I pray that we stick to the Father like glue, clinging on for dear life as we walk through trials and hard situations so that when we are on the other side we can say, no matter what the outcome, God’s got our back, and he LOVES us. We must settle it in our hearts that He knows what He is doing. He sees the BIG picture.

I love you dear sisters!!


  1. Beautiful!

  2. susan allen says:

    kelli it never ceases to amaze me everytime I need these little inspirational posts you do they always and I mean always match up with where i am in my walk with The Lord thanks for your obedience to what He is asking you to write about you may not understand it at the time but it always speak directly to me up here in guntersville Thanks my sister,

  3. “Do not weary to doing good” So many Words administer to us…give us life and wholeness. We serve a mighty God

  4. I just found your blog for the first time today. Of all the posts I saw, this is the one I read – I feel like it is a sign! It would mean so much to know of the bible study book you read with your daughter. I have an 11 year old daughter and this would be the perfect thing for us to do together. I know you said you couldn’t remember the author, but is there any way to find out? I love the analogy of the tea cup. It is poignant and perfect. Thank you Kelli!

  5. Hi Kelli, this is my first time reading your blog, and I know in my heart, soul, and mind, that the Holy Spirit lead me here to your heart touching story. He works in mysterious ways that we don’t always understand, and that is why we have faith. He knows what we need, “His Healing Powers”, and when we need it. My analogy. He lead me to read your blog tonight; to help me to heal, and to know God does not cause us pain of the heart. He is with us, to love us when we don’t understand the trials and tribulations put upon us. He wants us to know when we are faced with adversities and tragedies that is devastating in our lives, He is there to hold us, comfort us, give us courage, strength, and wisdom to carry us through when we don’t understand. My niece, Amanda Marie, one of the sweetest young ladies I have ever known was married Saturday night. Sunday morning about 3:00am she suffered cardiac arrest, and left this Earth for about twenty minutes. It was not her time to stay with Jesus so He sent her back to us. Reading your bible study, I realized she too is like a “fine porcelain tea cup” still being molded for His glory. I know God’s hand will continue to mold her life, and continue to share her with us because she has many more lives to touch so they too will see His beautiful work in her, His “fine porcelain tea cup”.
    I also have many other “special nieces, great nieces, “a special daughter”, and “three special sisters” still here with me He continues to mold into “fine porcelain tea cups”. I have been blessed! My sister, Nora, at a young age of 17, He felt had completed her transition to a “fine porcelain tea cup”, and went home to be with Him. He has truly blessed me, and my family!!! I pray He continues to bless you and your family too. Thank you! Martha

Speak Your Mind