The Lost Measurement of Measuring Cups and Measuring Up

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Being one in the small percentage of individuals who was part of the experimentation with the metric system in grade school to become acceptable with the rest of the world’s standards, unit laziness caused us into the routine of old habits, I never really learned how to accurately measure.

Why did we not adopt such a simple system based on 10’s instead of the standard measurements of 12’s–was it really out of sheer reluctance to change, even in this case, the change was good?

Unfortunately, I arrived into adulthood without the basic concept of this simple measuring system engrained in my memory bank.

Why do we (me) feel the ongoing difficulty to measure up?  

Measuring my standard against the world’s?  Against others?  Against myself?

I am without a simple answer.

What this two-year desert experience has taught me is to reluctantly accept a better way of measurement.

One not based on measuring myself as 1/2 full because the day went satisfactory and all was well.

One not based on measuring myself as 1/2 empty because disappointment dissipated my value.

One that has my cup full no matter how I feel I measure up.  Because my measurement is not on how I feel, but on His fullness.

Is it really that simple?

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Leftovers

Soggy. Dry. Blah.

Hardly a sight for hungry eyes, with the exception of possibly pizza. I can eat these stale triangles like nobody’s business.

No one in my house eats food in white, foam containers. With the exception of hubby, who happens to be a modern version of the old ‘Life Cereal’ commercial.

“Give it to Billy, he’ll eat anything.”

He even ate my what my girls call “yellow chicken”.

It resembled a Chernobyl accident of poultry.

Yet, he still lives. Remarkable.

And, I get it.  There are starving people in the world; we should be grateful for every bite, but still.

What usually happens is I’ll keep the leftover bites in the fridge to slowly pass time until the guilt of throwing away has passed.  Usually when the leftover takes on a significant smell as it morphs into a moldly concoction similar to a petri-dish at the CDC.

Interestingly enough, Jesus felt leftovers were significant. He picked them up on more than one occasion, and placed them in baskets.

He also felt the same of leftover people.

He stopped while others walked by.  Chatted.  Questioned.

And over a brief period of time, a transformation occurred.

Many of these outcasts became new creations.

I woke up from a dream a few years ago.  Actually it was more of a vision.

Not at all an ordinary sleep-induced,subconscious-overload from pizza, but a message from the Dream-Giver Himself–

All I remember seeing is a basket with a book sitting upright titled, HARVEST.

Until this morning, I couldn’t wrap my mind around the meaning, which intuitively I knew was significant.

Today I wonder, could it be the harvest are individuals–the ones who feel left behind in life?  The ones who sit on the shoulder of society–discarded?

Do you often feel like a leftover? Left out?  Left behind?

Please know this:  You, dear one, are savored by God. You are special. He dreamt of the day, years before you were made. He delights in you. He never tires of you. Every second of your life. You are not a waste.

He will never discard you no matter how awful you think you are.

Is it Sadness, or is it Shame?

I may be dating myself here, but remember the commercial with the catchy saying, “Is it live, or is it Memorex?”

It was a commercial for cassette tapes that were of such high quality you could not tell the difference between the live version, and the recorded one.

A few months ago, a thought surfaced in my mind I was unsure if it was out of my own thought process, or from God Himself, in the form of a question, “Is it sadness, or is it shame?”

Huh?

Is it possible 20+ years of depression is somehow attached to shame, or, the low grade feelings tied to a low-grade feeling of self-worth?

I know a few things about depression, in that it makes one sink low.

I know a few things about shame, in that it makes one feel low.

The million dollar question is this:

Could it be if I tap into the shame factor, it will be the key element to unlock this low-grade depressive state?

When we bury our story, shame metastasizes.  -Brene Brown

Buried for years was the story of a little girl who walked through some dark places one should never visit at any age.  As a result, these consciously-hidden scenes were buried well beneath the surface.  So deep in fact, many were not even recognized by myself until recently.

Whether suppressed, or possibly repressed, the aftermath of damaging debris has affected my wellbeing.  And, more than likely, a portion of my depression is related to this debilitating deficit, called shame.

We will have to delve deeper into this in another post.

Until then, what do you think?  Do you struggle with depression?  Is it possible, an underlying current of negative self-worth is a culprit?  At least in part?

Keeping Up with the Christians

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…

Just do it

Push harder.  Pull harder.  Work harder.  Try harder.

And we wonder why we are worn out.

Maybe we are not so far off from the reality TV show we despise, but secretly watch.

Oh, that’s right, it’s only me who happens to land and linger on the make-believe episodes pretending itself as reality.

For real, I wonder, have I sold my soul to the Enemy of keeping up?  With whom?  Why?  My mind boggles.

No rest because there is another video study to view.

No relaxation because I’m supposed to be at another church function.

No Sabbath because if the stores don’t shut down, why should I?  

Busy, busy, busy, burden, burden, burden–

Why do I try so hard?  Better yet, what would happen if I didn’t?

Have I lost the ability to just be because I’ve been so focused on being a busy bee?

My thoughts hang in the air unfiltered–

I find I am afraid.  I am not sure who I am outside of what I do.  

What am I supposed to do with all this free time here in Dallas for 3 weeks – alone on idle – without transportation – with nothing to do but write.

I feel trepidation take over, causing me to shift focus.  So, I start another pile of laundry – clean the counter again – refold the towels – iron – work out —

Eventually avoidance runs out of things to do.  I need to go inward.  Under the first layer which is clean and wrinkle-free (well, my clothing at least :))

I don’t want time to wonder.

I want to wander aimlessly in good works.  Because if I do so, then I don’t have to discover the real me.

The one who may be in the middle of her own identity crisis.

Still, if I remain still, I know in the stillness of my soul I will find that me that has been hiding out underneath the layers of artificial sanity – the real me.

The one I was created to be.

May I encourage you to use the stillness as a starting point, and not an avoiding point?

Interestingly, Yahweh, in its purest form, means, “To Be”.

Hmmm, now that is something to sit and ponder.

Depression, You Complete Me No More

What is it with depression?  Why does she have the final say–wearing me out with her moodiness until I am no longer in the mood for anything at all?  There has not been a time when melancholy has not accompanied me.  Uninvited, like an unwelcome houseguest.

You think you complete me–you actually deplete me.  

Well, I am tired of you.

If you refuse to leave voluntarily, then I will make you go away.

I will hide you under my smile.

I will deny your existence.

I will work out more.

I will relax more.

I will hang out with happy people.

I will numb you with wine–preferably red.

I will numb you with exercise.

I understand you have accompanied me for so long now, you have become a part of me.

I understand it will take time to familiarize my surroundings without you surrounding me.

I understand it will not be easy.

I know I cannot do it alone.

Neither can you.  


Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.  (Psalm 42:11 ESV)

I Had a Nightmare

I had a dream nightmare–

A nightmare that kept a little girl to remain hidden, even though she was well beyond elementary age.

Hunched low– the handful of children accompanying her huddled close together in a small concrete space.

How did they get there?

Better yet, who were they–these little lost souls?

A small snapshot of the tight quarters reveals slightly-weathered concrete blocks of a grayish-white.  No windows and no exit in sight.

The little ones attempt to keep their cries self-contained.  A difficult attempt if the only dilemma was to find a way out of the concrete cage.

But, the real trouble lingered outside the walls.

We could hear them chip away at the blocks in a rhythmic manner worthy of the scariest of horror flicks.  A quick out-of-body peek has me catch a glimpse of the perpetuators.  Yes, by the look of intense determination I am convinced they are out to kill us.

The rhythmic chipping away of the blocks abruptly stops. In the momentary pause I reach out to console the small children in what I now realize is the basement of my childhood home.

The break is short-lived though. The whimpering resumes in the still silence, which causes the pitchforks on the other side to continue on its deadly task.

“Quiet”, I whisper into the stale air. I attempt to place a hand over the whimperer’s mouth to muffle the whimpers, but it only causes the fear to escalate.

It is only a matter of time before they break through. Rapid breaths attempt to take the remaining oxygen from the crawl space.
Suffocation may beat out the torturous attackers to our imminent death. The thought of dying without air from within is somewhat worse than the tormenters on the outside.

“Somebody help us!” Yells from my mind with hopes someone can hear and rescue us before it is too late.

A crack of light penetrates a small hole in the concrete…

I wonder, was the nightmare actually a dream?  And the mission is not for my death, but for me to experience life?  For the longest time I thought otherwise.  I mean, really, the scene played out seems obvious.

But, looks can be deceiving.

It was a rather ordinary day that this dream resurfaced in my mind replaying the details with vivid intensity of the highest quality.  Yet, it was a small detail I honed in on that I didn’t recognize at first.

It was a small crack of light that penetrated the space.

Is it possible the perpetuators were rescuing me from the darkness of the dungeon that Darkness attempted to keep under a heavy deadbolt?

Yes, I believe so.

You see, HE had a dream.  HE wanted the little girl to stop hiding.  If she would only trust HIM with the pain of the past.

“Don’t you see, I AM rescuing you from the pit of death that has dead-bolted your hurting heart from healing?”