I def didn’t mean to disappear. But life has been life. I think I’m gonna just continue to let life be and get back to it at the beginning of April.
However. I had a concrete, postable (is that even a word?!) thought earlier so I’m heeeeeeere!
There are, at times, cataclysmic events, people, seasons, and/or situations that shake the foundation, core, plates of our lives just like an earthquake.
Like legit. An earthquake is the moving and shifting of the tectonic plates in the earth’s crust. Far from where our eyes see, there is pressure at fault lines (thanks for the refresher Google and wiki) that causes the plates to grind and shift.
Some earthquakes are felt and some are not. Some we see evidence of and some we do not. But no matter what, something happened and left the earth forever changed.
The biggest earthquakes have visible changes, disturbances in roads resulting in cracks and sinkholes. Houses and buildings destroyed from the foundation up. Not to mention destruction of their contents. Water main breaks. Gas lines destroyed. Havoc wreaked on power lines. Death. The list is endless.
The smaller ones exist but, much like the daily rotation of the earth, we don’t necessarily see or feel them at the moment. But, as sure as winter turns to spring, summer, and fall, leaves and flowers, daylight and darkness, nothing stays the same.
Not to mention the aftershocks or shockwaves. Those tend to be worse and far more dangerous than the earthquake itself. Things are already out of whack and perilous. And here comes more shaking to add to the destruction.
For us, cataclysmically, death, loss, life, addition, quakes us. Changes us. Would seemingly destroy us. Or make us better.
If we stay at the quake we miss out on the beauty of it. If we hold on to whatever it is, good or bad, we don’t make room for the goodness that can come of it.
Being stagnant is not always a standstill in grief. Sometimes we think we have arrived at the best we’ve ever had and as good as we think it’s gonna get. So. Out of an abundance of caution, we park there so we don’t risk it or lose it. Never mind the possibility of more or better.
There is something to rebuilding though. Processing the event. Learning from it. Growing from it. Mourning or celebrating. Grieving or rejoicing. Going through what the earthquake brought you and putting it into proper perspective. Learning the lesson and accepting the gift.
All life really is is a collection of moments sewn together to make a well-used, patchwork quilt. It is up to us to determine what we do with the pieces and how we embrace or even use what is sewn together.
Love is a choice. A decision.
It can illuminate
About exactly who we are.
The choice, the decision:
Do I do the hard work
Being the best?
Or stay the same?
Love isn’t worth it,
They aren’t worth it.
Nothing in life is ever permanent.
I’m walking in 41° weather and am warm in the sun. I hit a patch of shade and was a lil cool. I have a sweatshirt but already took it off and just have a long sleeved tshirt on.
It’s temporary. Nothing in life is ever permanent is what the Lord brought to my mind as I got cold.
I’m gonna see more sun, have been in and out of cool, shade spots, on this walk than the cool shade.
There is no need to put the sweatshirt on as long as I keep moving forward and endure the temporary discomfort of shade until I get back to the sun.
Keep moving. Don’t stop. Don’t alter you life based on something that is temporary and not permanent!
Endure hardness like a good soldier (2 Timothy 2:3 King James Version KJV). There is glory after this (1 Corinthians 3:18 KJV). Jesus died and already gave us the victory (1 Corinthians 15:55 KJV). We just have to do something to continue to be victorious. Hes’s got you so you’ve got this!
First off. These are huge. Second. There are pictures of dirt and trash. Look away if you want. It will make sense in the end.
I was at someone’s home who has a dog. But the dog gets sick if it eats random crap. In order to let the dog be free and not get fussed at for eating stuff, I decided to vacuum the floor where the dog is allowed to roam.
As I vacuumed, it seemed like it wasn’t picking up what I was vacuuming. As you can see below, the tank looked empty. I was confused. So, I took it off and looked inside. All of that clumped stuff in the middle was in the hole on the vacuum and in the part that connects one of the hoses.
Since I cleaned the vacuum, I decided to just sweep up what was left after picking up the clumps. No need in dirtying up what I had JUST cleaned with the same dirt.
I put the vacuum back together and swept the carpet. I took the vacuum apart again and this is what I saw.
Now at first, I thought maybe I had missed all of that in the tank. But when I looked at the pictures again, I didn’t think that was the case. I think that is a bunch of dog hair.
That is what the filter looked like. I had a bag less vacuum and when it got dirty I washed off the filter. I decided to do that this time too.
I think I failed to upload a pic. Ion care. I’m not going to. Just know, it looked better when I applied water before applying any soap. This pic is after water and soap.
I told the person I washed it and they questioned me since it was going to get dirty again. They said they never thought to clean it. I let them know that I had before and at least it would be clean.
I have had several thoughts and lessons flit, come through my mind while typing this and intially forever ago when I created the post.
First of all. We may look clean but there is a whole lot of mess and stuff in us. If we don’t clean it out we will not work properly. Huh. Sounds similar to what I just wrote in Still There. This was a draft before that. I guess I had the same thought again though since it got published first.
Second. If there is more than one way to do something, and you have made progress with one way, why not try it another way? Aaaaaand. If you have cleaned up one area, don’t just mess it up again because it is easy to do what you have done.
I could have just vacuumed up the leftover dirt from pulling the packed dirt out. But why? A broom and dust pan is just as effective. I didn’t just do what was easy or what I had done and plug it back in and vacuum it back up.
Third. If we do use the same methods, go the same way, we may just have to clean again. But in a different way. Some different issue or consequence will arise. We don’t necessarily reap the way we sow or reap the same way we have reaped before (Galatians 6:7-8). I used the same vacuum on a different surface in a different area. I thought I missed the dirt. But, upon further inspection, it was different dirt in a different area of the vacuum.
Fourth and finally, just because all looked well and clean, that was NOT the case. In the pic of the trash can, it appears that the filter may just be dirty from the way I dumped the tank. However, upon further inspection when I flipped it, it was FILTHY. It was hidden.
What are we hiding? What have we cleaned some, cleaned one way, given to God some, given to Him one way but left dirty, held on to? He knows it ALL. Just give it ALL to Him. He wants it. He can handle it. Let Him be God! Let Him give us what He has promised us!
Galatians 6:9 (KJV) promises us good news: let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
I did not give up. I kept looking and made sure I found all of the dirt. I didn’t wash or wipe the whole thing. Just the filter. But my diligence, persistence, the fact that I kept going, ensured that the vacuum was cleaner and capable of functioning properly. Unlike the condition I found it.
Fooling with the vacuum wasn’t that hard. Examining myself sometimes is. I don’t always wanna act right. I don’t always wanna say the right thing. I just wanna be in my lil fleshly feelings. I mess up.
However, I am doing the hard work of trying to emulate, be like my friend, my brother, my lord, my savior, my Jesus. It has not been easy. It has hurt. It has been confusing. Like why that thang was dirty but I saw nothing.
But guess what? I see change. I see growth. I am obtaining the fruit of the spirit. I am hearing from God and getting alla this revelation in ways I wasn’t before.
I am cleaning my life, my relationships, my emotions, my mind, what I consume (entertainment, food, and conversation). I am making room and space for my relationship with Jesus.
Like I said the other day, it looks a mess on the outside. But, to me, this is the best life I have lived thus far. I’m content in the state I find myself in (Philippians 4:11).
Hate to break it to us…the change of the year isn’t some magic spell.
I’ve said I was ready for the new year, throw 2020 away. It’s been team too much.
What I’ve come to realize and understand about this year is so simply profound.
Some of us lost some stuff to grow. Some of us won some stuff to grow.
Regardless, the mere fact that we have made it through 2020 en route to 2021 is a miraculous blessing in and of itself.
Of all the things I’ve learned, the one I think matters most is this: miracles aren’t always big, huge, events.
The scale moving in the right direction was a miracle.
Keeping my mouth closed when I wouldn’t have before is a miracle.
Letting people go was a miracle.
Apologizing and welcoming people back was a miracle.
Forgiving was a miracle.
Moving forward in immense pain under stress was a miracle.
So, no, no magic in less than 12 hours. But another opportunity for another miracle.
I am grateful to see the end of the year mostly unscathed.
I lost a family member to the rona.
Four family members definitely recovered. One likely recovered.
A childhood friend’s mom was lost to the rona.
An asthmatic family member lost their life due to a chemical reaction.
I lost an uncle due to a variety of health issues.
An uncle was rushed to the hospital, and though serious, it wasn’t as bad as was thought.
Two coworkers and a boss tested positive for the rona and have recovered.
I am no longer on speaking terms with my father. 21 years of foolishness resulted in my departure-at his prodding-for my peace of mind.
Endured the craziest three point five weeks with a male I have ever experienced in the middle of a pandemic.
Left some friends-acquaintances-alone.
Left some family members alone.
Reconnected with some friends I let go.
Made a new friend.
Made some new connections.
Followed purpose with expectation of fulfilled vision-from years ago. Not a catchy 2020 gimmick.
Realized some things that I needed to work on and change.
Saw some growth.
2020 was wild.
But the BEST thing? Focusing on the best friend I’ll ever have, my big brother, my Lord, my Savior.
I’ve been coasting and on autopilot. When Jesus and I are cool, winds and waves don’t play.
I ended this year forced to look to him.
It’s been wild.
But it’s been worth it.
Here’s to 2021.
A multiple of seven.
Biblical meaning of completion.
I expect Jesus to complete some things.
I expect craziness. It wouldn’t be my life without some tests and trials.
I know who’s got me.
I don’t expect easy.
But I expect peace. I expect joy. I expect good things-no matter how it looks or feels.
Cuz I rock with the one who can speak to whatever I face.
I am never alone or forsaken.
That alone makes it well with my soul.