Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham (or Mess and Inconvenience)

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Ahh...the word "Useful."  To a type A, get 'er done gal like myself, that word that leapt off the Advent devotional I was reading, and I snatched it up.

I love being useful.  I love doing things for God, being encouraging, uniting women, creating stuff, and checking of the to-do list.  As I reflected on why God would choose a word that so fits my personality, I thought of how it would challenge me.  Because surely, God would not give me a word that wouldn't also stretch me beyond my comfort zone.

"Useful," I decided, would allow me to encompass and grasp hold of all things that are life-giving.   Things that I don't readily pick up.  Things like rest, relaxation, and play.  There is the challenge, I thought.

Challenge, yes.  But stretch?  Not really.  Because He knows that I've learned a good part of that lesson.

Maybe this will just be an easy year?  Not so fast.

There happen to be a lot of things that are useful that I would actually care to dismiss.  Things that fit in the brussel sprouts category.  I don't even think you can make brussel sprouts taste better with bacon.

But just because I don't like them, doesn't mean that couldn't be useful and good for my body.

And so when I read two other people's words for 2013 and I think "thank God that those are not my words"...

...and then I hear God say something like, "Well, that could be useful", I have the same revolted reaction that I have every time I even think about those little cabbages.

What are the words?

Inconvenience and Messy.

Yep, you heard it.  It's me gagging on the other side of your computer.

I don't do mess and I definitely do not like to be inconvenienced and how can this really help me?  I'm still in denial.  And I'm afraid.  Because this is waaayyyy outside my comfort zone.  I do not like them, Sam-I-Am.

But, because I like to think of myself as a confront-your-fear kinda gal, I am going to list the 11 Spiritual Benefits of Letting Inconvenience and Mess into Life (taking the cue from this delightful article about brussel sprouts).

1.  Learning to deal with things (tangible and intangible) out of place helps me to realize that I do not have to be in control.  The more comfortable I am with His arrangement of things, the less I will have to fight His will.

2.  The more I understand that life simply is messy, the more I will reveal how truly messy my heart can be.  In my authenticity, I will be more likely to reach out to others when I need help.  Who offers to help someone whose life seems so put together?

3.  To allow myself to be inconvenienced is to allow myself to show grace to others.

4.  To allow myself to be inconvenienced is to allow me to put the needs of others above the needs of myself.

5.  To allow myself to be inconvenienced is to open myself to new opportunities. (Whether I will like them or not is besides the point.)

6.  The more comfortable I am with mess, the more I will learn to be flexible when my routine gets bent out of shape.

7.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I can't come up with any more reasons on why mess and inconvenience are useful.  I'm still gagging on the first six.

My year-end goal shall be to come up with the full 11 Spiritual Benefits of Letting Inconvenience and Mess into Life.

But, I'm still not eating brussel sprouts. 

Linking today with Tracy.


  1. Oh, girlfriend, I'll just say, AMEN- and can't wait to glean wisdom from you as you discover usefulness in the mess. Thanks for being honest and for leading the way as you seek Him hard this year. Blessings.

  2. Hi Jen!! What a wonderful word! Our father-in-the faith Dr. Mark Barclay has a saying...he calls it his proverb. It reads "Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be broken"! Words, I've learned(well forced) to live by, lol So glad you found me through the "bloggersphere"! Thanks for stopping by and following...following you now. Love your link-up(linked-up to that also). Looking forward to getting to know you better my friend! Have a blessed week! ;-)

  3. oooh, that unfinished list must be good medicine for the type-A, eh? i feel ya, sister.
    here's to a year out of the comfort zone!

  4. Brussel Sprouts are very good with pecans, dried cranberries, and just a touch of balsamic vinegar. ;)

    Seriously, though, I RUN when messy shows up. I don't like messy in my house or my relationships. But relationships are messy, and it can't be scrubbed away by Lysol. I'll be looking forward to your finished list. :)

  5. I am such a Martha that the word "mess" gaggs me up, too! And I hate being inconvenienced, though having a large family has tempered that a bit.


  6. Oh the mess and inconvenience. Love the words and embrace them. Thank you for your honesty. These are both hard to handle and ones that most avoid. Love that you tried to embrace them. I think it will be easier to embrace them than get you to embrace brussel sprouts which I love (and so do 2 out of 3 of my children).

  7. i'm proud of you, really. i've read you enough to know that these words are really going to push you deeper into dependence on christ. excited to read the rest of the journey.

  8. Goodness, I need to return and re-read this s.l.o.w.l.y. as it contains large nuggets of wisdom. I had chosen a word for this year...God chose I am changing...submitting my will to His. His word is "grace"; it appears and reappears with staggering relentlessness over the past couple of weeks. As has the word "intentional" so "intentional grace" is my 'word' for 2013. I'm still pondering on how and what and why but the whom and when are always clear. Everyone and always.
    As to brussel them, especially when sauteed...awwww, let's face it...*fried* in bacon grease!

  9. Oh my, I don't want to admit how many of those hit me. Fits in with my Less of me journey.

  10. Soooo..... how do you feel about lima beans?
    Seriously, I'm looking forward to seeing how this year plays out for you. Thanks for sharing your adventures--I LOVE you!

  11. Jen, I happen to love brussel sprouts (no bacon needed). But I love you anyway. Mess and inconvenience--aren't those just words for the ways God changes us, iron sharpening iron, rounding off our rough edges, being changed into his glory?

    I loved this. So. Smiling.

  12. oh Jen! I've been thinking about implementing my word 'Enjoy' (yes, I do need an 8 step implementation plan, why do you ask?) and finding that it is not supposed to be about me all the time. I'm supposed to buy bacon becuase my family 'enjoys' it and they don't care that it costs $4/lb and that piece makes me crazy. I think I gasped audibly when you said that you are learning to live with things out of place to prove that you are not in control of everything. Perhaps that is the point of the top of my husband's side of the dresser. I'm not in control. I can enjoy that he is in control of it. Oh who am I kidding here. I still want it cleaned off. Thankfully it's only January. :)

  13. I am so glad it's not just me who finds brussel sprouts revolting. And I'm pretty sure that anyone who says they like them is lying.

    I think the minute that we begin to think what God is going to do in our lives is going to be a piece of cake, we'd better watch out. When my word was "trust" a couple of years ago and I found out I was pregnant with Ty, I thought "Awesome - I can totally trust God with this!" And that began the longest, hardest year of my life. But you know what? In all honesty, I am SO glad I had to go through it. And not just because I got have the sweetest, cutest baby, but because He taught me real trust and real joy. You can't beat that.

  14. Wow, that's hard stuff right there.....what a depth though....a true refining and beautiful place to go with your Master.


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