I have a really cool blender.
I have turned in to one of those people who can and will accept cool kitchen gadgets and the like as a gift. But this one I got for myself when I had to change my eating habits all around to take better care of myself. It rocks.
Because it’s easy to clean. That’s how I rate things in my life these days. How easy is it to clean? It’s possible I even like my children more right now because they can bathe themselves.
Okay, just kidding on that one. Ahem.
So I’ve been enjoying smoothies every other day or so. I’ve worked on perfecting my recipe. Those things make me forget I can’t eat just anything I want–one of the reasons I love them so much.
Today I was getting ready to make my smoothie (“it’s smoothie day” are joyful words around here), and I realized I needed to wash the blender first. The blade comes out of the bowl completely, so those two things were a breeze to clean. Then I tackled the lid. It has a lot of grooves and crevices. I am good about rinsing it right away so it has never been hard to clean.
But today I noticed something didn’t feel right. I dug around and started trying to get into those crevices. The more I scrubbed, the ickier it got, until…..this happened.
The gasket came away from the lid. I had no idea it would even do that.
And suddenly, the ick and grime were so much easier to see. And to get rid of. I had it cleaned and ready to go in no time.
I find this to be true in matters of my heart and soul as well. I go through my daytodailies thinking I’ve got this. I’m smiling at strangers, I’m kind to animals, I speak softly to children (okay, most of the time), and I try to return library books on time. I tell the baggers at the grocery store and the clerks at the drive thru I appreciate them and I wave to my neighbors. I’m doing all right, right? By the standards of many, it might could even be said, “she’s a good person.” (There are always some who would argue, and a few have lived or do live in the same house with me.)
But when I get down deep, and I do some real soul searching–something that I try not to let happen much anymore, I realize that I have some ick and gunk in there. Some attitudes and thoughts and grudges that need to come out. And unfortunately, like with my blender, something usually has to break before I can get to the really bad stuff and work it out. I mean, the blender worked fine even with the ick in the lid. On the outside, I never noticed it. Same with me–from the outside, it all looks okay.
Tonight at Evening Prayer we talked about some words from the Good Book that talk about just this sort of thing. The breaking down, clearing away, like with a bunch of trees, leaving only the stump. But in this story in the book of Isaiah, there is promise and hope–the seed that will later become a shoot that begins a long line leading to Goodness is left in that stump.
A seed of hope.
When the gasket came out, it looked like the blender lid was broken. As I pondered whether it was or not, I cleaned it anyway. Carefully and slowly and diligently, not scrubbing all haphazardly as I had been before. Methodically. Round and round until I was sure it was clean. And when it was, it went back together as before, only better. Cleaner.
It’s the same with me. There are times I have felt broken. Overwhelmed by the ick and the chaos. There have been times I’ve been so wrapped up in what was going on around me, I didn’t realize all the brokenness I had going on inside. But when I sat down and really listened to my own heart, my thoughts, my soul–I realized it was there. And it took breaking down to be able to see it, and only then did it become easier to make the changes I needed to.
And then things fit right back together as they did before. Only better.
Because there was a seed of hope tucked within.
Tonight I give thanks for hope in the brokenness and for friends who walk alongside, helping plant that seed in what is left after the breaking down. I give thanks for those who listen and those who share and for finding myself today in the ick of the lid of my blender. Sometimes this living life thing can be just that messy. And it takes falling apart to get it all cleaned up.
Wishing you friends with pockets full of seeds.
Love to all.