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).
I’ve mentioned before I don’t get why marriage is so import and why it is the ultimate end game. Mariage is honorable. The marriage bed is undefiled. It’s better to mary than to burn. Marriage enables the world to be populated.
I get all that. It’s one of the first things that existed in the Bible. But Paul never married. Paul talked about being single. He advised that being single allows one to devote more time to service to God. The Bible tells us that some won’t ever marry.
So why do we only focus on one thing in “the church”? “The world” seems to value marriage to a certain degree. Companionship period is important to the world. So human nature as a whole places a premium on being with somebody.
It is important for humans to have interaction. It helps us to be us and to be great. But why is my sexuality questioned when I am single and not looking? Why are people incredulous, indignant even, when I don’t want a man or want to be a member of an online dating service or don’t want to go speed dating?
I know my past. Even though I’m not her anymore, I am still vulnerable where relationships are concerned. It is easy to be distracted and lose yourself when you are looking and/or are in a relationship. I have other things, school, personal goals, spiritual goals, to focus on and worry about.
The Bible says he who finds a wife finds a good thing. I heard a preacher say a woman can help herself be found. Some people think a woman can find a man. I don’t know which I agree with. I do know I’ve ended up in a world of trouble trying to find him myself.
I finally know who I am. Or am getting to fully know me. I would like a relationship. But at this moment I know better. There are certain things I feel one needs to bring to a marriage and I’m not there yet. God takes two to create one. He doesn’t take a piece and a piece. That’s just pieces. I think it takes more wholeness for a marriage than a relationship. Perfection isn’t required, but I think you should accomplish yourself what you seek in others.
I think I’m whole enough for a relationship. But at 27 who is dating to date? I don’t know where I’ll land when I’m done with school. Is it fair to put somebody in limbo? I know people do things for love, but is it fair?
I can honestly say I know I’ll be alright if I never marry. I don’t know too many people who only want to adopt kids. I want to adopt a toddler IF I even have kids and…TMI for a blog. I have male friends and at the moment that is good enough 99.9% of the time.
I know God grants you the desires of your heart. But you also have to ask according to His will. I want His will. I want joy. I want peace. I want to be and do what I was not just called to be and do but what I was chosen, created to be and do. That may or may not include a family. I am almost completely content in the state I’m in. And with his help I will, and as long as I’m in His will, forever be content in the state I find myself in.
I guess I’m in a mood to share. The last blog, inspired by tweets, inspired by facebook trolling that led to sadness and reflection, made me want to write another. Divorce destroys. That is pretty much factual. No psychologist here, but people always talk about the affects of divorce on children. As a child reared by parents who took me to church, I did not escape the destruction. At the end of the day everybody is human. People operate off of human emotions.
My parents relationship, for as long as I can remember, has been riddled with strife. It got worse the older I got, when he remarried. I fell victim to one side of the story. At times, I hated my father. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized some of my transferred feelings were without merit, some were validated. There are always multiple sides to stories.
Based on my own interactions with my parents, as well as observations, I can see why things didn’t work. I also believe religion, not relationship, caused, and still cause, issues today. The relationships I have with my mother, father, and step father are illusions sewn together by my forgiveness and decision to erect a mental and emotional wall. I don’t doubt I could find justification.
The sadness part. Ok. I looked at the profile of somebody I was so in love with. I just knew he would be mine. He wasn’t the first and he wasn’t the last. The “church” (again, my experience. I’ll attempt to place quotes around my history) places a premium on getting married and finding a spouse. Society does too. I don’t understand why education, service to God and others, holistic ministry aren’t given a premium. The Bible even says some won’t marry. Why the “church” and society make people who cannot, choose not, or will not marry feel like failures is beyond me.
I paid attention in church and knew that should be a goal. I dreamed up lists. I had notions of fancy. Everything was a sign. Any attention was love. I was a mess. There are only so many guys in church, guys in the world period. I dunno why God created a shortage…lol. I was eventually attracted to only one type of guy, though I didn’t see it. Not to disparage anybody, because I still care about at least two of them :), but they were unavailable then and will probably always be unavailable.
The reason I latched on whenever anybody gave me any attention is because I felt ignored. I felt unloved. I knew Jesus loved me. I believed he died on the cross for little ol’ me. But I didn’t see much of his love shown towards me by my parents, friends, and the “church.” Now, people told me they loved me. Again, humans convolute and distort love. I didn’t feel or see what I read in the pages of the Bible.
I realize now that I couldn’t stay in bondage. I couldn’t stay in Egypt. I couldn’t languish to die. The three that were unavailable left the most impact on my life. They were like guides and beacons on the way to who I should be, where I should go.
Number 1, I’ve known the longest, since 97 in the sixth grade, though we went our separate ways. We had the most issues. We fought the most. I don’t curse but you best believe I cursed him out in a text. You had to be there. We were off and on as friends. Never labelled more than that but definitely acted like more. It was the worst relationship, outside of familial, that I have ever had. He is one of my best friends. I would dang near lay my life down for this dude. He had issues. I had issues. We were a lot alike. Hurting people hurt others. The same may be true for family. I think both of my parents have/had issues, it’s pretty much proven in my father’s case. He’s still struggling. It isn’t my job to fix him. He thinks he’s okay. One day he will be healed and whole. One day he will be who I know God created him to be. Until then, I’ll love him, pray for him and support him. I’ve dropped a friend over him and don’t regret it. I don’t need that friend. I HAVE TO BLOG ABOUT THAT…hopefully the caps will remind me to write THROWAWAY…
Number 2. That was a mess all the way around. I wasn’t as obsessed. I found out it wasn’t as well hidden as I thought. We didn’t really have issues. I tried to tell him what somebody said behind his back. It backfired. Whatever. We may have been a lot alike. I remember some rumblings of some stuff. Not from him. We didn’t talk that much. Craziness. We are still cool. If I would try to talk to him.
Number 3. This was just bad. I don’t think it was the worst. It got me home, where I have thrived and been freed from bondage. It blew up my life. I lost friends. Shoot, I lost his friendship. But he holds the most special place in my heart. His middle initial is tattooed on my wrist. Before you judge, let me explain. He assisted in my freedom. I believe he loved me as a friend. He couldn’t give me what I wanted. I don’t believe he knows what he wants. He has issues. Our only true fight happened because I thought about his behavior and him, while he was ignoring me i might add, and asked a mutual friend a question. She went and told him. This is what destroyed a few friendships. I think I may have talked to him since then. Nothing major. We don’t speak. I haven’t attempted to speak to him in a while. I think the people we love the most have the power to hurt us the most. No matter how he has made me feel I’m grateful. If he came around today I wouldn’t hesitate to include him in my life. He needs help. He needs to be free.
Oh yeah. The tattoo. Let the “church” folk tell it, I’m not saved. I love what my first and middle names mean (endeared, consecrated to God, gracious, merciful. I gotta talk about this in THROWAWAY-especially endeared. Don’t mind my notes. I don’t want to forget) so I tatted the initials. I was pissed at my dad. Again, THROWAWAY. His middle name means the new house. I want to do something different. I want to be something different. It didn’t hurt that it’s an X…lol. I think I’m well on my way to erecting a new house.