Friday, November 7, 2014

What I learned while vacuuming salt

"Moooommy! Mom!"
I went into mini panic mode. Brace yourself  I thought.
"Mommy, J poured sugar on the floor!"
 My eyebrows furrowed into an  I got this- I will not panic expression and I rushed along behind Z as he led me to the scene of the crime.
Oh!No big deal I thought as I surveyed the damage. Two small mounds of white - not sugar - but salt sat strikingly in the center of the living room carpet. J proudly looked on, pointing.
"J!" I exclaimed in my stern mom voice, and I gave a audible huff and furrowed brow ( yes the furrowed brow comes in handy) for good measure. Meanwhile I am mentally breathing a sigh of relief . Shew! This is as easy as  waltzing with a vacuum to a Frank Sinatra tune.
I grab the vac and notice that as I get closer its a little more than two neat mounds. It's two un-neat mounds that underwent a ripple effect. Two mountains, a couple mole hills, a valley, and a plain of salt. It's saltville in the center of the living room. OK maybe I'm stretching the truth a tad, but it made me laugh. Note: I had no salt to cook with this evening. Thanks J.)

But I digress. Let's just say it was more salt than meets the eye. It took more than a few forward, backward and side-ward strokes to get the  salt up. As I vac'd I realized two things: (1) I must need a new vacuum as it seemed to uncover as much salt as it inhaled and (2) salt really gets in there.

I mean, it's tiny folks. Tiny little crystals that just get in there.

Beautiful, unique, small but mighty crystals that get.in.there.
You shake it and it goes deeper.
It gets in, finds  the holes and, in organic material, changes the makeup.
It preserves. It burns, but heals. It makes the unsavory, savory.
And we all possibly know, by experience from salt over-kill, that a little packs a big punch.

Jesus calls us the salt of the earth.
You, us, beautiful, unique, small and mighty salt crystals that can get in there and stir some things up. We can make a difference with our difference. ( Note the emboldened word to the left there.)

Will you
Be the SALT.

-Chantel

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Life is like a bike ride ( and other great analogies)

Life is like a bike ride.
You get bruised before you cruise. (Most times. )
You have to learn the lean- the just enough but not too much lean.
You have to learn to balance, and go forward AT THE SAME TIME.
You have to learn to trust yourself, plus trust the person that's says they're holding the back of the seat, even when they let go.

Yes life is like that.

And it's said that there are two roads to learning- The easy way or the hard way.

The easy way is, well, you get advice, you listen to that advice. Bam. You skate away without the drama.
The hard way is, well, just the opposite. You get advice, you DON'T listen to that advice. You get the complicated thing going on.

May I propose, however, it's not always that simple. See there are things in life that aren't a matter of wrong or right, just a matter of learning.  You just have to learn, not the easy way, and not quite simply the hard way either. It's called trial and error.

For example, it's not wrong to choose Butter Pecan over Cookies and Cream; it's a matter of what you like or don't like. But- you have to learn that, right? It takes, trial and error.

You learn that you can't function the next day if you stay up too far past nine PM, due to a couple mispronounced words in the AM, your face feeling like a brick hit it, and the not so holy thoughts in your head when some little person manages to pour out all the laundry soap on the carpet and give it a taste test. Trial and error.

There are some things in life that you have to learn all by yourself. The advice of another can help, but they're just there to hold your seat a little bit while you learn to balance and lean. Hopefully they're there to pick you up when you fall off the bike. You-  yes you still have to learn how to brake in time, and apply the different speeds if you have 'em, and learn to coast when you need to.

You have to realize that just because Alice went down the hill on her bike in 15 seconds, that you have a different make and model and year , and different physical proportions than Alice.  The results just wont be the same, no matter how many times she insists you just need to do this and that,  no matter how hard  you grit and roll down that hill , you only make it to the bottom -  without the bike. I'm just saying, I just might have a little bit of experience here. Just might.

The point is this. Be patient with yourself.  Be you and love that. Give yourself some credit for being just who you are in Christ, and don't stress out trying to compete with others. Don't be surprised if someone doesnt like your bike, or can't   get with the way you ride it. Don't beat yourself up over mess ups. Get back up. Learn and move on. Trial and error baby. Trial and error.

Now hey! there are some things cut and dry, now. The Word of God for example- very much set in stone. The red light that means stop- set in stone. But the person you are, your character, your likes and dislikes, requires patient learning of you and those around you.  it also requires surrendering to your Maker, allowing him to restore the original design sin  corrupted. That perfect blend results in  the unique person God intended you to be in him. Learn your bike, your lean, your balance, and then you can enjoy the cruise.... ( at least til you hit a crack or bump in the sidewalk but hey that's life, right ?! ). And those that stick around can enjoy the ride too.

Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

-Chantel