Tag Archives: life

Of washing machines and a better tomorrow

Look familiar?

I don’t think it is any coincidence that I found this quote in my Facebook feed today: “Problems are like washing machines, they twist us, spin us, and knock us around, but in the end, we come out cleaner, brighter, and better than before” (Author Unknown).

If we are really (and I mean brutally, fist-in-your-face) honest with ourselves, this is a very true statement.

And now, I will say something bold:  Problems just are, whether we like it or not.  Stuff happens.  Life sucks. Often, circumstances suck.  Sometimes, people suck )(I admittedly suck sometimes).  And more importantly, we have a choice (Wait, did you know that?).  We can respond well to these problems, or not.  We can overcome the problem, or not.  It’s. All. Up. To. You.  It’s up to you how to respond.  It’s up to you to make a change in how you deal with the things that come your way.  You are not forever doomed to be a victim of your circumstances, your childhood, your bad relationship, your anger problem, or your “whatever”.  That’s right darlin’, you CAN change.  Yes, you heard me right.

You may ask me, “How do YOU know?”.  And I would respond with, “Cuz  I been there done that.”  I am changed-from-the-inside-out person.  I used to be shy, I’m not anymore.  I used to have multiple personalities, now I don’t.  I used to lack confidence, now I am a fairly confident person.  I used to totally suck at relationships, now I suck less (hey, nobody’s perfect).  I  used to respond to everything with anger and fear, now I take the time to really try to think through the reality of the situation, check my resources, and respond as appropriately as I can.  I used to be bossy know-it-all, well I…ahem…I guess I still am that way.  (If my sister reads this, she can verify what kind of person I used to be, and what kind of person I am today.  Right sis?  *clears throat* RIGHT, sis? Come on, be nice!)

This blog is about the process in between getting in the washing machine and coming out cleaner and brighter and better than you were before.  You, and I (and the kid down the street whose mom MAKES him wash his own clothes.  The nerve!) both know that when you put clothes in the washing machine it takes time for the clothes to come out clean.  First you have to put in the soap, then you have to choose the right settings (you know, “Normal”, “Perm Press”, “Hot/Cold” “Cold/Cold”, and etc.), start the water, and wait for the machine to agitate, spin, rinse, and spin again.  Like I said, it’s a process.  Changing behavior and thinking patterns is a process, you start with Step A, then move to Step B…I think you get the picture.

More than anything, I want you to succeed in life.  I want you to be who you are meant to be (Haven’t got a clue?  Contact this guy, he’ll help you figure it out).  But, you have to be willing to see some things differently, you have to be willing to knock down the walls of your little self-imposed prison.  You have to be willing to work at it.  And, it ain’t gonna be easy.  But, if getting knocked about a bit means you will be cleaner and brighter and better able to handle life’s problems, then the pain of the process is worth it, right?  Right?  I’m sorry, I can’t hear you.  RIGHT?!

I thought so.

Okay, so let’s get started:  Choose one thing you want to work on…I’ll give you a minute to think about.

Go ahead, it’s okay.

Just one thing, however small it may be.  It’s worth changing for a better tomorrow.

So, tell me, what would you like to change, starting today?

Looking forward to the journey with you,

Stephanie

Apples of Gold in Settings of Silver

Proverbs 25:11 Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances.

Proverbs 25:12 Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear.

 

Everyone should have someone in their  life that is a truth-speaker.  A wise truth-speaker.  Anyone can point out the bad stuff in our humanity, but a wise truth-speaker will bring life.  Truth spoken is like a fresh breeze flowing into the dark, dank corners of the mind and spirit.  Conversely, truth spoken can bring death to that which should be dead.

To be sure, truth spoken can be difficult to hear, particularly when we cannot admit to ourselves our wrong-doings.  We want to hate the truth-speaker for bringing light into the dark caves in our lives.  Light exposes the pile of dry bones, the festering wounds on our flesh, the seriousness of our defeat.  We feel embarrassed, ashamed, and sometimes, attached to the pain in our lives.  We don’t want to let go.

But God in His great mercy doesn’t leave us at the mercy of our flesh.  He sends us people that will lovingly uncover the wounds in our life.  Exposing a wound can be painful.  But once uncovered healing water, light, air, and salve can be applied.  Healing and wholeness can begin.

 

Do you have a truth-speaker in your life?

How does this person bring light into your life?

 

The Garden of You

This post
is dedicated to a precious person, Jessica who has a beautiful blog.
Reading her blog is a delight, like visiting a garden.

Dear Precious Friend, I came by your garden today for a visit. I
saw you in the distance with the wind playfully attempting to
displace the little straw hat (You know, the yellow one. With the
polka dots) sitting prettily upon your head. You seemed engrossed
in your work as you hummed gently to yourself. Knowing you, you
were probably composing a song. Then you saw me. You turned and
laughed, then waved at me to come on over for a spell. On my way
over, I noticed a little pond you had put in. There were flashes of
red, gold and white making ripples in the water as if to welcome me
here, to your garden. In another little nook I noticed that some
fairies had been busy building a little home for themselves,
knowing in their hearts that you wouldn’t mind. You looked warm and
a little tired from your work, but happy. There may have been a
little stick or two in your hair, it was hard to tell amongst that
deep brown hair. Little clods of dirt had stuck themselves to your
legs. Honestly, the dried mud didn’t look very comfortable, causing
your skin to wrinkle and pucker. However, you barely seemed to
noticed the dirt clods because you knew they would meet with their
ultimate demise; to be washed away. You squatted down by some
recently disturbed earth. I noticed a multitude of hardworking
earthworms busily making their way back into the soft, moist earth.
Those little guys are a definite sign of good soil. They are always
working to soften the hard ground, just below the surface where you
can’t see them. You asked me to come closer and take a look at what
you had been doing. You explained to me that this little plot of
land had almost been swept away by a flood recently. But, you had
managed to keep it safe. You said your gardening teacher had been
by and helped you protect this area from the swift, unforgiving
waters. You told me he had said that this was a special little
place, destined for greatness and beauty. “And see,” you said,
“I’ve already planted the seeds.” Having come to visit your garden
a few times recently, I feel I understand that making this place
special has not been easy. Blights seem to pop up out of nowhere
ravaging your precious plants. Or, crazy weather comes screaming
into this place bringing darkness and flooding that attempts to
desecrate and destroy the life here. By no small miracle, every
little petal, blade of grass, and leaf survives, and, in spite of
the storms, thrives. Whenever I come to visit, you take me on a
tour of delights. The sweet, soft scent of those perky red roses
reach up and tickle my nose, daring me to smile. The gentle sway of
the weeping willow by the water allows me, for a moment, to safely
feel some sadness, which is a balm to my soul. Sometimes the little
rabbits come out to peek at us and twitch their noses as if they
know something we do not. We stopped at your new pond. You showed
me the little fish that you put there. “My friends” you said, with a slight tilt to your head.
They come to visit when you arrive, even when you have nothing to
give. Sometimes you sing them a song, sad or otherwise. Sometimes
you tell them a story. They absorb every morsel you give them then
radiate back love to you for your gentle gifts. Eventually, we
arrive at the heart of your garden, that most sacred place. Here is
where you sit, hours upon hours, with your gardening teacher.
Listening, learning, asking tons of questions. Sometimes, I come in
to visit, sometimes I don’t. And, that’s ok. Because that is your
special place. On the way out, we always pass the little patch of
earth that you intentionally leave untended. It serves as a
reminder of what this garden used to look like. You have
worked so hard ,my friend, to put your land back together. And it is
amazing. Even more amazing than before the hurricane that nearly
wiped this place of rest and beauty from existence. Thank you,
Precious Friend, for allowing me to visit your garden from time to
time. Stephanie