Monthly Archives: October 2016

Waste Management

dog-scooper

 

Waste management. I know what you are thinking! Why in the world would she write about such a disgusting thing?

Let me tell you why … I’m not talking about changing diapers or having diarrhea.

My favorite word in the entire English language is a synonym for the word “poop.” 3 years ago, during one of the most difficult things I have ever faced, I had a very close friend give me permission to say said word. (Please don’t judge, you know I’m right).

I just know there are times when no other word comes remotely close to how I feel. (You secretly know this to be true!) It’s completely 100%  ok to admit it! Sometimes, our expressive feelings must be said out loud to get them off our chest!

At the time, it was all I could say, and I was apologizing every other word! Literally. I didn’t know what else to say! A couple of days after the incident, I received a text from my friend. I will spare you the details of all she listed out.  She lists everything in numerical order. 1. Say ____ as often as you need!

There! Permission granted! My grown children were shocked! My pastor was shocked as well. Heck, maybe even Jesus was shocked, but I had to vent somehow.

Looking back at it now, I needed a release. Trust me when I say, I could have done so much worse!

Which brings me back to the subject at hand: poop. You thought maybe I wasn’t going to tie this together in a neat little package for you?

Most mornings, you can find me, before the sun comes up, walking my dog, Andy. (Named after Andy Stanley). It’s my worship time! I’ve got my headphones on and because it is so early in the morning, you might hear me sing just a bit…Which is fine, except the only one who appreciates my completely off-key worship is Jesus himself! (I’m sure now He wishes HE had given me a better voice). Anyway, I’m always walking, singing and praying.

And, then, you know … the reason you’re out for the walk in the first place … so your dog can do his thing. So, Andy does his thing and I use my little poop bag to pick it up. Of course, where he decides to go is never anywhere near a doggie poop drop-off station. So, I’m left carrying this bag of poop.

Before long, I’m immersed in worship, singing and raising my one hand (not both, because it would choke him), and I have a bag of poop in my hand lifted high in worship. Can you just imagine what this must look like! Thank the good Lord it’s dark and no one can see this!!!!!

Here’s my point: We all have our own, uniquely gross bag full of poop we carry around with us.

Maybe you have been hurt by a loved one, maybe your job is awful, or just maybe lies have been spoken about you. You are ashamed of some of the ____ you did in your past, and you cannot find the waste bin to get rid of it for good. Does this resonate? You’re not the only one who feels this way.

At some point, we have to get rid of the debris or it starts to smell really bad. There’s no other place better than to surrender it to Jesus. High in the air and then tossed in the garbage where it belongs. You see, He’s the Master of Waste Management. He will never let your waste go to waste.

He’s going to use it to fertilize the growth journey of someone walking a similar path. A friend betrayed you? Jesus understands this. Someone has slandered you? Yep, He gets this too. He passes this understanding to you so you can relate to others who are walking this same rocky road.

There is a lesson to be learned with every bag of poop.

Are you tired of carrying it around? I bet you are… Listen, you have my permission to say it… then dump it. Do not go back to it and pick it up…

Give it to Him, tell Him what you want and need and let Him do His clean up in you! The best thing is, once the clean up is done, you are forgiven, forever. There is no sin or past that Jesus cannot forgive … you just have to learn to let go of the bag. Put it in the trash. It’s gone forever.

And NO, as much as you think I should say said word, I’m just going to leave it right here.

Just stop carrying what wasn’t yours to carry in the first place.


STILL

calm-lake

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago about quitting, I snuck a couple of things in there, apparently, I still need help on. I told you about the conversation in which “my body and mind are screaming for still and quiet.” Then, I told you about how much trouble I was having trying to nail down a daily schedule that would give me time to write and accomplish the other top priorities in my life.

I’m only sharing this because, not only do I need this hammered home, but I have a feeling you need it too.  (And why would I deny you the pleasure of needing it hammered home?)

There is so much noise going on in the world that we get so preoccupied with stuff that has no value. I haven’t turned my tv on in two days (NO, I did not watch the debate). I turned my phone off at 9p.m.

I’m struggling in this area SO much! But, God has given me two different confirmations since then.

The first is this:

Last week, a friend went to see Beth Moore in Plano. She sent me a quote that has sent me into hiding…(almost).

She just said, ”I fear we are losing the ability to be ALONE!! She said if you have a writer in you…then you will never be successful! Because you must be alone to get out the words the Father gives you as part of your calling!”

I wasn’t prepared for this comment. At all.  I would just leave that right there. However, if I needed to hear it, I can’t imagine not giving you the same opportunity to feel ,it just like I did.

Can we just stop right there? Feel that statement….

The Second:

Lysa Terkeurst, in her new book, “Univited”, shares the story in a way as if she is reading my mind!

She starts with this story in Mark about Jesus walking on water to meet the disciples: Here, just read it:

Mark 6: 47-52

Late that night, the disciples were in their boat in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on land. 48 He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He intended to go past them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the water, they cried out in terror, thinking he was a ghost. 50 They were all terrified when they saw him.

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage! I am here!” 51 Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were totally amazed, 52 for they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in.

Terrified: Think back on a time when you were simply terrified. What did this look like for you? Emotions? Racing thoughts? Sweaty palms? Heart racing? 

The word terrified in verse 50 is translated: tarasso and it simply means to set in motion what needs to remain still!  You’ve felt terrified; I know i cannot be the only one!  What does this set in motion that you need to remain still?

You’re terrified… you have this raging voice in your head of FOMO!! (fear of missing out). What exactly are you missing out on? Someone else’s dreams? Don’t for one second think they don’t have that same raging voice screaming the same thing in their head too!

You’re not missing out if you are doing what God has called you to do. Heck, even if you aren’t sure yet and you’re “in a meantime place”, God longs for you to be quiet, still.

I’m working hard on this right now. If I am honest, right here, I will tell you, my fear of being alone causes me to remember what “alone” looked like right after I got my own apartment. I was newly divorced and an empty nester all at the same time. OMG!  You see, I can do alone, but when that aloneness turns in to lonely, let’s face it, I don’t do loneliness well. (I know I’m not the only one!)

I am terrified I will go back there and it’s really not a place I want to go back to..  Terrified sets into motion a wild imagination, a sense of worthlessness, and a host of other negative things that, well, don’t need to be unleashed!

So, this is why I’ve been terrified of being alone, to write, to pray, to study. Or, just have a few moments of my day where I can unwind and clear my head of all the cluttered thoughts I’ve been dealing with of late.

I’m sitting on my patio as I write this morning and I’m thinking of you, and wondering if you might just need some encouragement to not set in motion anything today that needs to remain still.

Who knows what God will reveal to you in the stillness? Who knows what He’s been prepping you for?

Psalm 46.10 Be still and know that He is God!

I’m learning, I’m practicing and you know, it’s not that terrifying! I am actually looking forward to my alone time!  I’m accomplishing more writing than I have in months.

Let God do the setting in motion!  And, for the love, don’t be terrified when you see Him answer!!