Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reflections on a Compost Pile

Compost is, by definition, gross.

According to Wikipedia, compost "is organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment". It's garbage. Really old garbage.

Yesterday my menfolk took off for the day to help prepare to put a roof on the church building in Tecomate, Guasave. Sarah, Evie and I took the opportunity to finish a few "pendientes" (that's the "to do" list, in Spanish!). Sarah scrubbed the staircase and put on a fresh coat of varnish. Evie cleaned her room and helped do all the boys' chores.

I went outside and cleaned up my compost pile.

I've been putting this task off for quite some time because, frankly, I was dreading it. My biggest problem is that I didn't do it right the first time, and the wrong-ness of it just grew and grew until I really no longer had a "compost pile", but rather I had a huge area where people have been throwing their garbage for a couple of months. Gross.

Not to mention the fact that I planted a beautiful nopal cactus border on that side of the yard and it really loves the compost area. Note to self: Don't plant cactus as a hedge to any area you ever intend to work in. Even the flowers have spines!!!

Another little pest also is very happy with my compost area.

The huachapoti. I have no idea how to spell that. You pronounce it "watch a POH tee". Evil little products of the curse they are. Very difficult to remove from fuzzy socks.

So while I was shoveling half-rotted kitchen debris and fighting with cactus and cockleburrs, my mind wandered to deeper waters.

I found myself thinking that my life sometimes feels a lot like my compost pile: Spread out and sprawling in every direction, lacking focus. Full of stickers and spines. I wonder if I'm really accomplishing anything. Will I ever see changes? Progress? Growth?

As I dug deeper, though, I saw that nature had been doing its thing in spite of me. Under the surface, away from view, rich soil was beginning to form.

Isn't that just like God? It seems that He does His most beautiful work out of sight -- down deep, where no one can see. And we won't notice until we dig in and really start removing layers of garbage.

So, I built actual walls to contain the compost and will be caring for it as I should now. I'm excited to see my garden growing (frustrated when the duck returned from exile and began eating it again, but that's a different post). I'm anxious for the day when we get to harvest.

And I think of the spiritual parallels and thank God that He does His work in secret, and I don't have to stress about it.

And I am sure of this: that He who began a good work in you will bring it about to completion at the day of Jesus Christ! -- Philippians 1:6

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Alive and Kicking

To prove that I really haven't fallen off the face of the earth, I am posting today. Hurrah!!!

Today is Saturday and it just happens to be the second Saturday of January. Therefore, tonight is youth night at our house. Very exciting. This will be our second youth event since we finished the conference center behind our house. Caleb is downstairs fixing something on his drum and preparing the games. In an hour or so, he'll start firing up the brick oven so we can burn a few pizzas.

Tonight Sarah will be sharing from the book of Luke about the cost of discipleship. She mentioned to me the other day that so often God puts a topic on her heart, and she just can't get away from it. I know what she means. It seems that when I am really seeking God and digging in to hear from Him, He says the same things to me, over and over.

Could be because I'm so hard-headed that it takes me hearing the same lesson a dozen times before it sinks in.

I prefer to think that it's because He's constant and unchanging and truly desires me to give everything over to Him, so He doesn't quit telling me the same thing until He finally gets me where He wants me.

I like that.

But I am pretty hard-headed.

So, as the topic for Sarah at this time is "The Cost of Discipleship", my topic seems to be "In Everything, Glorify God". I'm finding that if I can just keep reminding myself that all glory and praise belong to God, I don't struggle (as much) with my own selfishness and pride. I say "as much" because, as I mentioned -- I'm very hard-headed. I do catch myself now, when I'm being a jerk, instead of just reveling in my own foolishness, thinking I'm wise. I think that there's hope.

I've started reading Tozer's "Pursuit of God" and have found it very encouraging -- and challenging! Monday I start an online Bible study on Ephesians, which will probably make its way onto this blog in some form or other.

God isn't finished with me yet! Praise HIM!!! So glad that He's not content to leave me where I am.

I'm also glad that I'm not content to stay where I am!!!

Have a blessed weekend everyone!!!