Someone Else’s Dirt

This morning when I woke up (yes, on time), I walked through the living room only to feel dirt stuck to the bottom of my bare feet. I was irritated immediately. I looked at the floor to see a trail of dirt from where my husband sits to put his work boots on, all the way to the kitchen. I’m certain this was the result of his last trip to the coffee maker for his second cup of coffee to enjoy on the ride to work. Monday mornings are not usually a friend to anyone, including him. I quickly forgot about the mess as I scurried to get my daughter up and get us out the door.

When I arrived back home, I grabbed the broom and swept the mess up. I relived our many conversations in my mind about how he wished we had carpet in the living room and why I pushed to have laminate hardwood flooring. Although something soft beneath our feet would be wonderful, it’s easier to sweep and mop than to shampoo carpet every time you turn around.

Once I got past the thought of how I’m always right (haha just kidding), I began to think about how this pertains to life- the dirt people have walked, or are walking through. Maybe it’s by choice, but a lot of times it’s not. Situations that we go through have a strong impact on us. It molds us in to who we are. Sometimes it makes us bitter, sometimes it makes us better. It’s up to us as to how we respond. Then there’s the other side- walking through someone else’s dirt. Coming face to face with those that are impacted from their walk in life.

How do we handle walking through someone else’s dirt? Are we willing to see through God’s eyes instead of our own? It takes inner strength to walk through someone else’s dirt and not let it affect us in a negative way. It takes strength to pray for those that lash out at us because of what they’re going through, or have gone through. How do we find that strength? From the Lord, of course. It’s necessary to stay in God’s Word, to pray and to remember the truth: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV)

What does that mean? Do we ever stop to think that maybe the ole devil is trying to get in to our lives and ruin us? Even though he has a lot of power, he is not stronger than Jesus Christ. The devil wants to defeat us. He wants a reaction and he wants us to act out in sin. He desires that we become so overcome with our problems, or the result of someone else’s, that we fail to see the hope, peace, patience and joy that we can so freely have with Christ. He’s miserable and wants us to be miserable too.

That dirt is the debris from those dirty chains of bondage we so often can find our own selves entangled in. I don’t believe that any one of us are better than anyone else. If we have our own dirt, and I can guarantee we do, we can ask the Lord to help us rise up above all that. We can ask Him, in faith, to break those chains we’re wrapped up in. If it’s someone else’s dirt we’re trampling through, ask God to help us to see it for what it really is. We need to pray for them. It’s not the easiest thing to do, however, it is the right thing to do.

It’s important to not allow someone else’s dirt to have power over us. As my stepson will jokingly ask me from time to time, “Is she getting in to her feelings?” Truth is, I can’t let those negative feelings dictate my life or I’ll be miserable, hopeless and even angry. Luke 9:23 (NKJV) says “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (He and Me referring to Jesus.)

I could have easily called Jason or sent him a message griping about the dirt on my feet and the floor but instead I am choosing to walk an inch in his dirty old work boots. What does he go through at work so that I can sleep later than he can? What is it like to get up in the morning at the crack of dawn, not knowing what you’re going to walk in to? I’m guessing a lot more dirt than what was left on my floor. We know work is called work because it’s not called play. If I love him, I can bear it. God loves me and puts up with me and all my shenanigans. It’s called mercy and I have to show mercy to be shown mercy by my Father above. (Matthew 5:7 KJV  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.)

So now maybe we’re thinking about those that leave that trail behind for us to walk through that don’t do a thing for us? We still have to sweep it up and remember that word- mercy. When it boils down to it, it’s all between God and us, not us and them. He will give us the strength to endure if we only ask.

Keep in mind, I’m easily prone to become aggravated. Probably even more so than others. It’s just piece of my cross to bear, but if I keep my focus on the Lord, I can walk through the dirt- mine and anyone else’s, clean up my feet, clean up the floor and go on with my life as if it were never there. It’s all about the choice I choose to make. Something that has been proven to me time and time again is that I can’t make the right choice without Him.

I just saw some grass I tracked in with that one foot I used to step inside the house so it’s time for me to get to cleaning. That one foot is all it takes! Now let’s grab a hold of that broom and have a great Monday!

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Late Again

If anyone knows me, they know I’m notorious for being late. (I wonder how many are nodding their heads in agreement right now.) Whether I show up for a family gathering on time or minutes behind, someone will comment on my punctuality- or lack thereof. Some things I just can’t live down because some things I just can’t get right.

Let’s rewind to the my daughter’s 3rd day of 8th grade, which would be the day before yesterday. I should’ve been on the road and halfway to the school. Instead, I was waking up to giant numbers inches beside my head- 7:38. My daughter got up around 5:45, got dressed, sat around, then came and asked if she could lie down with me for a few minutes. Some time later, I awoke to the sound of my alarm. I continued to hit the snooze button until the last possible minute. Being the morning person that I am, I told Leah to get up as I planned to hit snooze button “just one more time”. She said, “Can I have 5 more minutes?” Too tired to argue, I replied with a groggy, “I guess”, and we both went back to sleep.

I’m not exactly sure how my alarm works. How many times in an hour, over the course of almost two hours, I can hit snooze. How much time goes by before the alarm sounds again? There must be a limit, or else I knocked the clock on it’s top again and didn’t know it. Whatever the case, the scene from Home Alone 2 comes to mind. You know, the one where they jump up out of bed and yell, “We did it again!” That was me. I said, “You gotta get up! We’re late! We have no time!”

My poor daughter. We were so late I didn’t even have time to try to blame someone else. (Having done quite a bit of self-examination the past year, I’ve realized I rebel against accountability. I’m sure that will come up later if I can figure this blogging thing out.) No time to waste, I ran in the kitchen, grabbed the biggest cup I saw, filled it up with coffee and didn’t look back. We headed towards the school, arrived like a whirlwind and had her signed in 5 minutes late. The office staff were nice. We all joked about being late and blaming others. I told them my husband and I were late for our wedding. We overslept, waking to a call from my future mother-in-law from the church building. “Cilla, are you kids coming to get married?” Twenty years and you’d think I’d get tired of that feeling. Instead, it seems I’m just tired.

As I hopped back in the car, I still had no time to waste. I had to go home and get ready to go to work. (I clean houses.) I thought about how my oversleeping had affected Leah. Someone I love deeply. My child, the one who doesn’t want to be in the spotlight, had to walk into class late on the 3rd day of school. I felt terrible. As I thought about it, back in high school I had my share of late days because of me. My friend that rode with me also had her late days because of me. My family had to wait on us to arrive to our wedding. My family does without the side dishes I bring to meals because of my “habit”. I could go on and on about who I affect because of my tardiness.

As the wheels in my mind continued to turn, I thought about other things that affect others, such as sin. How it doesn’t just affect me; it affects many. In the Bible, you read of those that had consequences of their sin, and how the domino effect takes place. From the very first man and woman- Adam and Eve. Their sin affected the whole human race. What a heavy burden to carry. Thankfully, God gives grace. He loves us, yet Jesus tells us to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11 [b] NKJV). The ones we love, the ones that love us- they’re affected whether we realize it or not. When we “mess up” it creates the domino effect- just as my tardiness continues to cause trouble for me, as well as others.

Now is the time to find a solution to being late. If I affect others, I want to do so in a positive way. The same with my Christian walk. I want to be tired of sin in my life because it affects others in a negative way, not to be tired in life, hit snooze and cause more problems. I know with the Lord’s help, I can overcome.

What are your thoughts on this? Feel free to comment. God bless and thanks for reading!

Let the Journey Begin

Thanks for joining me on my blogging journey. As my desire to become a full-time writer grows stronger, I remain hopeful. Psalm 37:3 NKJV  Delight yourself also in the LORD; And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

My hope is that you’ll walk with me on this journey and that our hearts and minds will be forever changed together as we walk hand in hand with Jesus.

Cleaning one house at a time as the Lord keeps cleaning up mine!