So I’ve had my big, fancy camera, as the girls call it, for a few years now. I’m still trying to learn all it can do.
I’m also still taking pictures like a house afire.
It’s now two days before Thanksgiving. I suppose it’s time for my yearly cleaning of the oven. No, I don’t do it just once a year, sometimes it’s less often. Right now I’m sitting here steeped in shame and humiliation to say, I honestly have no idea the last time I cleaned my oven.
If only it was at least once a year.
It used to be more. Every time something spilled in it I’d clean it overnight. Oh the joys of a self-cleaning oven. Push the clean button and walk away. A few hours later come and find a miraculously clean oven. Just like magic.
But the locking feature of my oven is not working properly. It will lock when it’s cleaning just fine. It just won’t unlock and will instead just keep beeping at you to tell you, “Hey! I can’t unlock.” If only it was a regular oven and I could just pull it from the wall to unplug it to reset. But alas and alack. It’s a wall oven so no go.
I made birthday cake last week and because sometimes I have trouble following simple directions the cake spilled all over the bottom of the oven. And it was already a mess.
So since Thanksgiving is coming I thought I should clean it. Not because I’m cooking dinner. Or that I’ll even be home. But you know. It should be clean for the holidays. Just in case someone breaks in and decides to cook something I don’t want to be embarrassed by a dirty oven.
As I was scrubbing the oven I so clearly heard the Spirit speak to my soul, “You know this mess didn’t happen over night or all at once. It took time. And it’s going to take time to clean it. You’re going to get tired and you’ll want to quit before the job is done. Do you think cleaning your soul will be any different? It will take time for you to heal. You’ll get tired of the constant-ness of it. But you didn’t get broken over night and you won’t heal overnight. You’ll want to quit before the job is done.”
And I wanted to stop my ears from hearing His words because I knew they were true. I’m approaching this whole healing journey like the drive thru lane of McDonald’s.
And yes, I want fries with that.
But it’s not like that. It’s not a fast process. It’s a slow, painfully slow at times. Like scouring the oven. Like growing.
It’s not even a sprint as opposed to a marathon. It’s like a slow walk through the wilderness in the dark.
I’m already so weary and tired of all the scrubbing. My muscles are sore and screaming at me to just quit already.
Just Quit already. When I’ve only just begun.
When Jesus didn’t quit. Surely the healing journey I’m on, that painful road to my own cross, my own death is no less painful than the road He took to secure my very life. The very life that I’m living now in His strength.
His strength. That’s the chemotherapy for my cancer-ridden soul. His strength is my lifeline and is my life.
I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20 (nasb)
for growing things.
I feel myself waking up slowly. Much like the tulips and irises I love so much. Their bulbs lie dormant all Fall and winter, coming to life again in the Spring.
Plants that are kept inside are placed outside in a sunny spot. I think they are as happy as I am to be outside in the sunshine.
I think this time of year awakens in all of us the realization that we first birthed in a garden. Our fingers itch to get out and dig in the dirt.
It’s too early by a few weeks for me to dig in dirt and plant anything. So I contented myself yesterday with transplanting some plants I’d gotten over Christmas.
They looked much better when I first brought them home. But it was obvious to everyone that they had outgrown their pot and needed a new home. Their leaves had fallen off, some were curling. Some of them looked like they had been through the war and had barely escaped with their very lives.
Most of them have been rescued and really should all be named Lazarus, as I’ve brought them back from the dead. The girls have named all of them, and alas none of them have yet to be named Lazarus.
I’m anxious to get my garden planted, more than anxious for the flowers to bud and bloom. I’m actually looking forward to learning how to prune the roses I planted last May. Talk about looking sad, those are the saddest looking sticks with golden brown leaves.
I’m finding myself always awakening more and more to God’ pruning. I read Kathi Lipp’s book, Clutter Free, a few months ago. I’ve dreamed of a simpler life, a minimalist lifestyle. I’ve gone through piles and stashes, I’ve cleared out belongings. I’ve gotten rid of things that in previous purges I’d held on to like a drunken man holds on to his last beer.
One thing that has been hitting home more and more as Spring comes closer and closer is that more than I need a clutter-free material life, I need a clutter-free heart. I need to get rid of old hurts, hang-ups, and opinions.
I need desperately to allow the soil of my heart to be prepared. I’m totally forlorn if God doesn’t meet me here and prune away the dead parts of my life.
I need new growth. I need to grow and change to be the woman, not that I want to be, but that God created me to be. I need to change my heart of stone into a heart of flesh. I need to prepare the soil of my soul to meet with the God who created the world. Who created me.
Yesterday was so much fun and everyone was so incredibly helpful with my unknown veggie, I thought we could play “Manna?” again today.
Only not with veggies. I have more that I’m curious about but if all we do is play that with veggies, how much fun is it really?
This past August Mr. FullCup’s step-mother passed away. Our girls (and I) were given a lot of her mother’s yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks and etc. There were some things I either don’t know what it is or I know what it is but no idea how to use it. So if you all could help a sister out, that’d be great!
I’m confident this is a needle threader, but how do you use it? I love it because it looks rather vintagey to me.
This…I don’t know what it is or what it does. I do know it is something to do with knitting. I know that much because I can read.
This is what I know about this tool, if I poke my finger with it, it really really hurts.
A little of this, a lot of that, and don’t forget the other thing.
I’ll start with the house. The short of it is….we’re still in limbo. The long of it is…I don’t much like that. Here is what I do know. Our current mortgage (through USDA) could sound the death knell to our hopes. But we’re hoping not, we’re praying not. But we won’t know for sure until we have a signed contract to sell the house. Which makes negotiations a little more than a little difficult. We’re debating the wisdom of working a deal with the acreage owners or just putting our house on the market.
I remember being young…I think less than 10, but I’m not sure and seeing my grandmother use a fancy camera. She had a 35 millimeter with lenses you had to focus. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I wanted one. I remember asking for a camera as a child and eventually I did get one. But it wasn’t the coveted 35 millimeter, it was a 110 Instamatic. It worked, so no real harm.
As I grew my desire for a “fancy” camera did too. I never really forgot about my longing. The fact that I had no knowledge of how to use one didn’t deter me. In my 20s, I bought my first 35mm camera, a point and shoot with no lens to focus. In the years since then I’ve had a few, all of them point and shoot, not a one with a lens I had to focus.
Then we moved to the digital age with digital cameras. I bought my first one in 2007. Again, a 35mm point and shoot with no lens to focus. On this one, I could use the aperture and shutter settings, but I had no idea how to do that. It worked quite well for a number of years. My 12-year old started saving her money for a camera. She had big dreams like I did when I was her age. She liked to use my digital camera to practice.
You know there comes a time in your life when you just need to say, “Look, self, you’ve wanted one of these for more than half your life. Just do it already.”
I did. And I did. I splurged a few weeks ago and used a portion of our tax refund to fund my new toy.
So there it is.
The pictures it takes in point and shoot mode (I’m still teaching myself how to use the aperture and shutter functions) are amazing!
Aren’t they good?!
"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15:5
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