Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ketchup, mustard, and glue

Recently read a book called Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst.  It's about making godly decisions in the midst of raw emotions.  In the two months it took me to read the book, I had lots of opportunities to practice godly decisions in the midst of raw emotion.  God's timing is perfect and I needed the overall message of this book just as I was reading it.  Time to put the principles into action because no wants to see me go to the ketchup and mustard place.  That's right, the ketchup and mustard place.

During the process of moving my grandmother and her husband into our home there were countless physically and emotionally draining moments.   Emotionally, not just because it was a major family adjustment but also because of the nature of the relationship (or lack thereof) with my grandmother.  Physically, because of packing up their house and moving everything around in ours.  We put our big girls in our sunroom and gave Gma and Chuck a bedroom each.  Most of Gma and Chuck's possessions are in storage (or the dump!!) and a few of our things are also in storage.  Deciding what would come to our home and what needed to be stored was exhausting.  Especially exhausting was all of the paperwork.  When I say paperwork I mean drawers and drawers and drawers and cabinets and drawers worth.  Their record keeping (or lack thereof) was maddening to decipher.  Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out what taking care of their affairs, medicines, appointments and being their advocate looks like and requires.  To say that I was overwhelmed with the addition of even the smallest box or piece of paper would be an understatement.  I would laughingly tell my husband and parents that nothing else was to come to our house.  They would laugh, but we all knew that more was coming.  But I meant it.  I was coming unglued.   I told my husband not to bring anything else to our house.  Nothing.  Nothing!  He was so kind and sensitive to me and did his very best to support his crazy wife.  One day,  he innocently mentioned that in Gma's fridge was an extra ketchup and mustard...could he bring them to our fridge when I was ready.

I said, with tears, no.  Nothing meant nothing.  Did I know that I was overreacting?  Yes.  Did it matter that, as a couponer, I can be giddy about cheap or free condiments?  NO.  Too much.  Ketchup and mustard broke the proverbial straw.   I was unglued.  And my sweet husband knew that he did not have the glue to put humpty dumpty back together again.  I needed God.  I need God.  Obviously I was not upset about ketchup and mustard.  I was processing the changes we were making.  I was stressed out and felt like I was drowning and didn't even have time to reach for The Life Preserver. 

Throughout Lysa's book she reminds you that "feelings are indicators, not dictators".   "Holy restraint is the seed that produces the fruit of self-control."  "I'm reminded in the Bible that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.  When my happy gets bumped, what's really going on in my heart is on display.  In those times I will either add to the authenticity of my love for Jesus or, sadly, negate it." 

Wow! But with God, there is always a way to make beauty from ashes.  Lysa says, "He allows the unglued moments to make us aware of the chiseling that needs to be done."

As painful as this growing, chiseling, refining, and pruning from the LORD can be, it brings me closer to Him.  He gives me rest.  He is my refuge.  He is my ever present help in times of trouble, including when ketchup and mustard are just too much! 

I do not have it all together.  You know what? I never will.  And that's okay!  What's important is that I walk through this life together... 

Together with my heavenly Father.
Together with my husband.
Together with my children.
Together with my family.
Together with my friends.
Together with my neighbors.
Together with my enemies.

with the help of a little Heavenly Glue, of course!

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