Plastic Cup in a Garbage Truck

Do you ever feel like a plastic cup in a garbage truck?


You know, those days when the pressures and demands of daily life are so overwhelming you feel like you will be crushed by them? Like you just want to run away? Or go back to bed and then try to start the day over? Well, today was one of those days.

It’s a bit crazy over here.

Our dishwasher stopped working a few weeks ago. Not an essential appliance. But such a handy one. Then our washing machine broke. A bit more important. So this weekend we replaced them both. We found some good deals on Craigslist, but later realized they needed a bit of work before they were really “good deals.”

Yesterday I went to do my first load of laundry in the new washing machine. Why on earth does this front-load washing machine stink, I wondered? And what’s that black stuff I hadn’t noticed before...yep, mildew. Not cool. After a few cycles of bleach water, still no improvement. This may take a while to get clean.

Then last night, as hubby was installing the new dishwasher, he realized it needed a different supply line. And…the stores were closing in five minutes. That’s okay, I thought, staying calm. The water was turned off to the house, thanks to a defective shut-off valve spewing water all over the kitchen. But we don’t really need water through the night.

Everything’s fine. This is an adventure we will laugh about later. 

So this morning, we faced the day with two dishwashers laying sideways on the dirty kitchen floor, a smelly washing machine and lots of nasty towels. Sweet hubby got up at 5:30 am to be at Lowes when they opened. He got the supply line, came home and installed the new dishwasher. (I love having a handy husband!)

Then the toilet, the one we couldn’t flush through the night, that toilet – it overflowed. And I was still trying to figure out how to clean the washing machine so I could wash all these dirty towels. Guess we’ll be going to the laundromat today. And the kids will just have to use yesterday’s towels for swimming lessons.

Oh, and did I mention that I thought yesterday would be a good day to start stripping wallpaper from the dining room wall? Of course, it’s not coming down without a fight. We are switching rooms up over here, a move that involves five different spaces. But before it can be completed, the dining room wallpaper must come down and the walls must be painted. So on top of the appliances adventure, furniture is out of place and clutter is winning the battle for order.

So, it was just one of those days…when I feel like a plastic cup being crushed in a garbage truck.

One of those days when I need God to be my refuge.


“O Lord my God, in You do I take refuge…” (Ps 7:1a). I read that verse a few days ago, and pondered the idea of “taking refuge.” It means to flee, to trust, to hope in. It involves “precipitate action.”* Google defines precipitate as, “acting suddenly or without careful consideration.”

I like that. Because on days like today, I don’t have any eloquent prayers or well-planned petitions. I just need help – suddenly, quickly, right now. I need more strength than I have. I need a guard over my tongue so I don’t hurt my little people who aren’t responsible for the craziness. I need Jesus – I need Him to produce His fruit in me (Gal 5:22-23). I certainly can’t produce it myself.

“…In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength…” (Is 30:15).

Quiet confidence. Settle that in my heart today, Lord.

Life is chaotic. But You are undisturbed. I am uptight and stressed out. But You are my unchanging God of peace. Carry me through the craziness, and let Your love control my words and actions. Let the people around me see a very active, very present God alive in me. One who cares about the details of life and gives strength in weakness. Make this mess beautiful, Lord.

How have you seen God be your refuge? What do you do when you feel like a plastic cup in a garbage truck?

*Lexical Aids to the Old Testament, Key Word Study Bible

When the Silence Speaks

Today was a rare occasion – I was silent for most of the day.

I can’t remember the last time I sat in quiet meditation as I soaked in my surroundings. I had forgotten how much the soul needs silence. The noise of daily life, it gets so deafening. Oh, how we need to make room for rest!

I’m in the mountains, sitting in a prayer garden right now – a meandering stream bubbling behind me, birds chirping out their Creator’s praise from the trees, a light breeze tickling the leaves above me. It’s beautiful. Cool and fresh and revitalizing. Not so hard to be silent here.


Do you ever feel like you’re not…enough? There’s not enough you to accomplish all that should be done? You haven’t done enough? You aren’t good enough? You just don’t measure up?

I do. I think I carry that sense, that label I’ve given myself, everywhere I go. It’s always there, subtle and often unrecognizable, but constant nonetheless. Even now, as I’m coming out of perfectionism and into a deeper realization of grace, it’s still there.

Today as I’ve sat in silence, worshipped without speaking, and communed with God in my heart, I have heard His still small voice.


He reminded me that I don’t have to be enough. I am loved.
  Infinitely loved. Passionately loved. Emotionally loved. Unconditionally loved. Relentlessly loved. Joyfully loved. Graciously loved. I am fully accepted by God on the grounds of Jesus’ righteousness. He is enough. I am in Him, and that is enough.

He needs nothing from me. Or you. Does that strike a blow to pride, or what! He doesn’t need my worship, as if He were insecurely egocentrical. He doesn’t need my service, as if He were incompetent on His own. He doesn’t need my witness, as if He doesn’t testify of Himself contstantly through His Word and in all of creation.  He doesn’t need me to be better, as if I could improve myself for Him. He doesn’t need my fellowship, as if He were not fully satisfied within His Triune Self. He doesn’t need me.

Oh, but He wants me. And He wants you. Not for what we can do for Him, but “that He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:7).

He wants to make examples of us – examples of people who are recipients of unheard of grace.

He wants to relate to us – that is the crux of Christianity, after all. Not doing, but relating. All our doing should be a mere overflow of our relating to Him. Walking with Him, communing with Him, responding to Him. That is genuine Christianity.

I found this prayer garden while on a walk with God this afternoon.



I had thought maybe God would say something profound, something new, during my alone time with Him. But He didn’t. He just reminded me that sometimes I don’t need something more or something new. I just need to be near Him. Walking in silence, aware of His presence, seeing His grace reflected everywhere around me – that is good.

He is not concerned about productivity. He is involved in transformation. And that takes place in His presence – during cultivated, set aside time with Him, and in walking through the dailyness of life with Him. Transforming Christianity is all about Jesus – by Him, for Him, through Him and to Him.

How do you make room for silence in your “everydayness”? What whisperings of God’s Spirit have you heard in times of quiet with Him?