My Sticky, Stinky, Oozing Life

I know I've been away for a while, but I'm back with exciting news about our summer. We're remodeling our backyard!


This is actually more of an underground remodeling job courtesy of the man who installed our septic tank, and apparently did quite the horrible job of it. Yes, we were hoping one day we'd get to pour our life savings into cleaning up our poop. It's pretty much the summation of the American Dream, don't you think?

But it's okay, because this stinky hole of sewage in my yard this week has really been about forgiveness, gratitude, trust and humility.

I've realized something. In my thought life, in my inner being, my life oozes Jesus. I don't mean that I look or act just like him (he knows I constantly fall short), but I mean he pervades every aspect of my life. He has ruined me for this world. We have a copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible, and its tag line is "Where every story whispers his name." I've realized that that tag line should characterize not only the story of the Bible, but the story of our lives. And, I think for me, it does.

We have this compartmentalizing thing going on in America. We have the financial aspect of our lives: money - how to get it, what to do with it, how to plan so that we'll never be without it. We have our health and bodies: whole foods, low fat foods, Weight Watchers points, gym memberships, plastic surgery. We have our kids: what teacher did they get, what clothes do they wear, how smart are they, what friends do they have. We have our time: the crazy daily schedule, the vacations we have planned, the extra-curricular activities we must cart our kids to, the date we have scheduled to retire. And then we take pictures of all of it and post it on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter so that it all looks just like we want everyone to think it does.

And in between all this stuff, we stuff Jesus. It's the American way. We have our cake. We want some ice cream. And then we'll top it off with some Jesus just to make it presentable.

But he's ruined that for me. I can't escape him. He's everywhere I look, in everyone I talk to, behind every circumstance and situation that presents itself in my day. He's in the housework, in the checkbook, in my kids' faces, at Wal-mart, in our future plans, in my past, in the giant hole filled with sewage in my backyard.

He wont' leave me alone.

And that's the way it should be. Because " him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."

If we really know him, in the end, every pore of our beings, every thought that crosses our minds, every penny in our bank account, every second of our lives, every muscle we move should ooze him.

He is beginning to consume me.

Shall I give an example?

I don't know about you, but sometimes my kids annoy me. There. I said it. And I'll just say the threshold of my annoyance pretty much bottoms out at the end of a long, tiring day of refereeing fights, folding laundry, cooking three meals and fifteen snacks, running errands, and sweeping up enough crumbs to feed an army (of mice). So, when the point at which I will be able to finally take a shower and sit down is in view and a pocket full of fully laundered and dried gum presents itself to me unexpectedly, the chances of me going ballistic are pretty high.


Okay, so it really happened. I lost it with the culprit (who will remain unnamed...but YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE), declared the month of July to be gumless for said child, and sent the little varmint to bed on a sour note. Yes, rule #345 of Good Mommyhood is: Never send the child to bed on a sour note, to stew on their failures and question your love for them.

Broke it and didn't care.

So, this poor child, whose lot in life is to be used as a tool by God to teach his sinful mommy lesson after lesson, had the misfortune of being the object of bedtime wrath two nights in a row. Same scene: tired mommy just wants to get the hundreds of dishes washed so she can sit down. (Notice how the goals of my life have been lowered. Goal at age 19: Change the world. Goal at age 36: Just sit down.) Just as the last dish is laid on the towel to dry, she moseys over to the table to do one last crumb check and her tired feet find their way into dried, sticky cantaloupe juice.

Perhaps I should have declared him canteloupeless for July as well, but this time I just went on a weak rant. I didn't even have the energy to yell. I did, however, have the strength to mutter this response to his squeeked-out little question (here is where I reveal to you the depth of my wickedness and the surety of this child's future need of a therapist):

Q: Mommy, when you finish that (referring to the hand-scrubbing of the entire kitchen floor I was doing), will you come tell me goodnight in my room?

A: No! I will not come into your room because I'm so stinkin' tired that when I get done with this, I'm going take my shower and SIT DOWN.

So he hangs his head and heads to bed, and I keep scrubbing. While I'm questioning why I have been plagued with the messiest, most thoughtless children to ever walk the face of the earth and why this has happened two nights in a row, that terribly annoying, quiet whisper says to me:

"Maybe it's because, in my grace, I've given you another chance."

Another chance? To scrub my floor and hit the bed dead tired?

"Another chance with your kid. A chance to get it right this time"

Dang it. See? He's consumed me to the point that everything in my life is really about Jesus. Even sticky floors and pockets.

I had enough sense to listen and take the hand he'd mercifully extended me. And, that night, I got it right. The day closed with hugs, kisses, and assurances of love rather than rage.

There was an apology for juice-dripping in there, too.

And I am realizing that what I'm most thankful for in life (a life in which I have lots to be thankful for) is the all-consuming nature of Christ...who is taking all things (sticky floors and botched septic tanks included) and making it about Him...which just also happens to be for my good.

Is he making a mess of your life yet? If you know him, he should be. It's what he does.


  1. Oh Amy, just beautiful. Truth spoken in love. And I'm right behind you with septic tank work. We get to add another and get new field lines. And we don't have any life savings. Fun times. :)


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