Tag: messy kitchen

Winning or Losing: Are we even in the game?

“If you’re not smashing Brussels sprouts, you’re doing it wrong.” Seriously. That’s what it said on Facebook, so it must be true; so another thing I have been losing at all these years.

We see the blog posts and memes all the time… if you aren’t cleaning house this way, if you aren’t raising kids this way, if you aren’t blowing your nose this way… you’re doing it wrong.

If you don’t support this party you’re an imbecile, if you don’t vote this way you’re a hater, if you agree with that you’re a racist, if you disagree with the other thing you’re a sexist.

Honestly, is there anything we’re doing right? Who made up the rules, and where can we find the rulebook? Is there one? How can we win if we don’t know the game? Why do we always seem to be losing? Does anyone win? Can anyone? Is there a prize? Are we all losers? Who decides?

Clearly, these types of rules are arbitrary. There’s more than one way to make Brussels sprouts that are delicious (or maybe some of you might say there’s no way to make Brussels sprouts delicious). What about the guidelines we use to judge ourselves? Can we win then? I’m not sure.

I think that we are not above establishing make-believe sets of measures, then using those imaginary standards to compare ourselves to others, and then – by the very benchmarks we have created ourselves –we declare ourselves the loser.

I’m not making this up! For example, when did you last compare yourself to someone else and feel like you were the winner? Have you ever? Who established the standard by which you judged yourself a failure, incomplete, unsatisfactory, unworthy, missing out, unsuccessful, a poor spouse, a terrible parent, a bad _____ (you fill in the blank); a loser?

When we feel like we’re failures, is it because we’re looking at ourselves as less, or is it that we look at other people  through the lens of our own imperfection and we think that they are more? If we only had what they have, we’d be happy. Clearly, everyone else is happier than we are, so it must be because of what they have.

When we look at other people, we can only see their circumstances, and most of us only share the positive circumstances. And how is it that we judge our own lives and hearts by other people’s circumstances? Circumstances are nothing but temporal conditions in which we find ourselves living – and circumstances can change on a dime.

Who decided which circumstances are win-worthy, covetous-worthy, envy-worthy, or loser-worthy? What body shape is enviable? How much education wins? How many followers or likes is covetable? How strong is strong enough? How small is too small? How much happiness is sufficient? How sad is too sad?

When we compare ourselves to other people, we will usually compare unfavorably because we imagine standards in which we fall short. However, there is one area where we almost always win! Our righteousness!

According to our arbitrary scales of rightness, of goodness, of holiness, we typically find something in everybody else that is a little less than what we think we see in ourselves. It is easy to say that we are not as bad as that one – whoever that one might be.

However, the one Person who sets the standard for righteousness is Jesus, and we will never be as good as him. Imagine being his friend on Social Media – or his sibling! Well, we are his friend, and his sibling, if we are Christians, and yes, we will never be as good as him.

But, we don’t have to worry – God knew that we would never be able to live up to his standard of holiness, of perfection – and since only perfect people get into heaven – God made a way for us. Jesus, the only perfectly holy and righteous one, died in our place on the cross. It was at the cross where our sin was exchanged for his righteousness, where our sin was punished. Jesus was made sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Amazingly, when God looks at those of us who are Christians, he does not see our short-comings, he sees Jesus’s perfect righteousness imputed to us. God forever thinks of Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us.

Taking this into a broader realm – if God thinks of me as righteous which is the criteria for spending an eternity with him, then he surely must not think of me as a failure if my house sometimes looks like a toddler tornado blew through, or my thighs are wrinkled, or my friend list is small. I don’t think he counts my “likes”, but I do know he records all my tears.

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 A Word For Moms

*Spoiler: This is not a “Mother’s Day reminder for young moms to cherish these brief days” blog post!

Why not? Because you can look at photos of your babies and see how quickly time is flying and because I remember what it was like being a young mom, and some of those days were brutal.

There was the continue reading here

Contentment Tool # 4: Compare Wisely”

post156graphic1Do you want to know how your friends are doing? Just pick up your phone and check their Facebook status updates. Within seconds, you can see photos of their amazingly behaved children, read about their romantic date nights, view their relaxing and luxurious vacation photos and eavesdrop on their most recent political/religious discussion/argument.

Believe it or not, there was a time when we didn’t know the daily details of our friends’ lives and we only had to deal with our envious, covetous, jealous or angry selves just once a year – when we received the  continue here

Running On Empty!


Empty. Exhausted. Frustrated. Burned out. Worn out. Helpless. Hopeless. Joyless. Passionless. Ready to quit. Except you can’t.

You can’t quit your job. Or your marriage. Or your parenting. Or your ministry. You can’t quit, but you can’t continue when you have nothing left to give.

Maybe if you just dig a little deeper you’ll find the drive, the motivation, the passion that you used to have. Surely it’s there; it’s just a little beyond reach. So you dig, but the hole just gets wider, deeper and find more here

Polar Vortex? It’s My Fault!

The temperature is -3 on its way to -18 and I have to apologize to everyone because the cold is my fault.

You see, I’ve been putting off organizing the cabinet under my bathroom sink for months. It’s easy to pretend the mess isn’t there when it’s hidden. And, it’s so easy to hide: just close the door and it’s gone! Outa sight. Outa mind. Life is good.

Until the temps hover below zero for days on end, and the cabinet doors have to stay open so the pipes on the exterior walls don’t freeze.


UGH! There it is, staring at me, daring me to dig deep. What will I uncover? Garish lipsticks, old eye shadow, and duplicate purchases because I forgot what was in there. Bottles of nail polish used just once. Waste and disorder.

It shouldn’t surprise me that God is going to this length to get me to clean, purge and organize the impulse purchases and hidden mistakes in my cabinet. He goes to even greater lengths to get me to look deep into my heart and purge the mistakes (sins) that are hidden there.

He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. – 1 Corinthians 4:5 NIV

God does this. He reveals hidden sin so that I might confess, purge, repent and be cleansed. God causes me to look at the hidden sin in my heart because sin is a barrier that separates me from intimacy with God and God wants a relationship that is free of barriers.

God knows the deepest darkest caverns of your heart and mine. He knows the impulse purchases we try to forget. He knows the garish mistakes. He knows the reality of what is hidden there.

For the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought – 1 Chronicles 28:9 NIV

We may try to hide our sins, but nothing is hidden from God. God won’t let us hide. He loves us and wants us cleansed.

O God, you know how foolish I am; my sins cannot be hidden from you. – Psalm 69:5

We may try to close the door and pretend the mess isn’t there, but God won’t let the door stay closed. He allows circumstances or events in our lives that force us to open the door and confront the reality of sin.

When we acknowledge the mess, confess, and repent, God’s cleansing light of forgiveness floods every deep corner of our hearts.

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.  – 1 John 1:9 NLT

God cornered me. He does frequently, and when He does, I cleanse, purge and organize. My heart is good and my cabinet is too. You can expect the temps to start rising any moment!