Walls, Toilet Paper, and Encouragement – Part 2 of 3

Toilet Paper became really important in our house the other day.

Maybe it was prior to COVID-19 causing my fellow citizens to panic. But afterwards, definitely.

Maybe that’s why today, while pondering the dwindling house supply, COVID-19 social pains, and, well, the stuff deep thoughts are made of, it occurred to me:

Toilet Paper Cleans Stank.

I know philosophical waxing here might be unnecessary, but I’m going to drop a big one, if you will.

In the middle of all this chaos, humanity will always need something to clean up their messes.

Sometimes the lowliest piece of paper is all we need. Sometimes, something more substantial is warranted.

There’s an ongoing “stank” of attitudes, actions, and regrets that plague us.

Even in keeping the spiritual side out of this (which for a blog post, I can do, but IRL is not possible yo), it’s just an ongoing waltz of cause-and-effect.

Gross. Amen?

Which leads me to point two:

Toilet Paper Cleans Snot.

There is an ongoing stream of tears being shed by humanity.

I’m not sure about other countries, but here it is normal to use toilet paper as a tissue, acceptable to wipe up tears and snot.

But go deeper and farther.

Realize how many extra tears are being shed out of fear, death, and destruction caused by COVID-19.

I just want to gather up everyone crying around the globe right now and hug them.

Hug them hard.

Because what’s going on right now is horrible. Horrible-heart-broken-disgusting-terribleness.

Every time we even think toilet paper, we should be praying for those hurting.

Heck, leave a prayer in the comments!

But “comments” leads me to my last thought:

Toilet Paper is Like You: Needed.

A lot of people are going to read all the depressing news and pile it on top of the hard things that were already going on in their central world and they are going to go deeper into depression.

Stop it.

Don’t do that.

Get a hold of yourself.

Don’t give in to the negativity.

There was an answer the Great Creator provided all of us long ago by way of His Son. An answer so full of love and goodness, you can see light just by seeking that path, the Way

Wrapped up: you were not a mistake when you were born. He wanted you. He sees you. He has a purpose for your life. That means we must need your purpose, too.

Check on your neighbor.

Pray.

Do long-distance acts of kindness.

Give extra if that’s in your heart.

Do the good thing your heart has been aching to do since this whole COVID-19 thing started.

But, for all our sakes, don’t check out.

Don’t leave us.

There’s only 1 you.

And you can give someone else something needed, something only you can give.

So, yeah.

Be that.

I’m grateful to you for being that.

 

❤ Thanks.

Okay. Now I gotta figure out where our next batch of TP is coming from.

In light of the suffering and shutdowns this week, I’m doing a little thinking and sharing in three posts. Thanks for joining in.

I’m spending a lot of time praying. My prayers are for the world, so I’m praying for you, too.

 

Walls, Toilet Paper, and Encouragement – Part 1 of 3

Walls.

Meant to keep out.

Meant to keep in.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) kept out.

All of us kept in.

Walls divide.

Walls protect.

Is the boundary good?

Is the boundary bad?

If vulnerable and unloved, how can safety be found?

If kept safe and loved, how can free-roaming be practiced?

What lessons we learn,

What answers we get,

We are doing it together.

 

In light of the suffering and shutdowns this week, I’m doing a little thinking and sharing in three posts. Thanks for joining in.

I’m spending a lot of time praying. My prayers are for the world, so I’m praying for you, too.

 

Wanter Poem

My wanter is busted, or maybe it’s fine

But it pushes my feelers to so far behind

My wanter sees problems it desires to fix

Often my soul doesn’t want into that mix

The absurd and the costly, my wanter demands

I cringe at its focus, I drown in these lands

My wanter is busted, surely needs saving

Pushed along by it, my heart is done raving

God, please change my wanter to line up with You

Because it’s stuck with me, and You’re stuck with me, too

Gratitude Series 04

The focus of this Gratitude Series is simple. I’m turning gratefulness and thankfulness over in my mind and heart, seeing what shakes loose. If you start a Gratitude Series, please let me know on my Facebook Author Page so I can visit it. Carry on.

Thoughts have brought me to the starting and ending places I find myself staring at.

I have lived through a lot…

My sisters being born. My Abuela’s death. A college friend taking his life. The aging of respected elders. The death of a writer friend, who left behind books unpublished. Miscarriages, amid a sea friends having children and raising children…

The cycle of life and death never ends. And it shan’t, until the Great Creator deems it will.

But I see it now. I can be grateful and thankful for this cycle.

I express gratitude over life on Earth.

I express gratitude over death portals. (Death portals is just a nice way to say the spirit departing a person, as is the order of things now until the next age.)

I express gratitude that Yeshua* took the keys of Death and Hell in fair exchange.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. He laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid. I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I was dead, but look ​— ​I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Revelation 1:17-18 (Bible reference in the Christian Standard Bible version)

I express gratitude that Yeshua* is the Path to Life.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live.

John 11:25 (Bible reference in the Christian Standard Bible version)

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6 (Bible reference in the Christian Standard Bible version)

I express gratitude that in these things, I can rest, I can be at peace. One bigger than myself, bigger than all this, handles these things that I can’t control.

And for that, I can smile and say thank you.

 

 

*Yeshua is Christ Jesus’ Hebrew name.

 

Gratitude Series 02

The focus of this Gratitude Series is simple. I’m turning gratefulness and thankfulness over in my mind and heart, seeing what shakes loose. If you start a Gratitude Series, please let me know on my Facebook Author Page so I can visit it. Carry on.

Today, I am reminiscing friends. Realizing how grateful I am for buddies.

To all those who are close to me and see me for who I am and love me just as:
I’m so thankful for each of you. I’m even thankful for how we grate on each other. 🙂

For each of you who have been with me for over two years, extra special thanks for your patience with my apparent inability to listen well: you taught me to shut my mouth and drink you in.

My world is so much better for it.

Thank you.

Friend, I Listen

Friend
Come close
Enter this quiet abode
Kneel on this mat with me
Let me make you green tea

Friend
Breathe deep
Let me hear and let me stir
Dissolve the facade free
Our eyes delicately see

Share
Speak all
Empty your heart so I hear
Cry and sip and swallow
Pain poured out makes us hollow

Here
Right here
I listen to what you say
The galaxy of you
I dare not disturb the view

Time
Like tea
I give because you matter
I shan’t hurry us on
Even if we sit ’til dawn

Breathe
And smile
For tea doesn’t stain hearts
It is okay to spill
Be with me and please be real

Friend
Come close
Enter this quiet abode
Kneel on this mat with me
Let me make you green tea

by Keviana Elliot 3/26/19

endkevianaelliot

Gratitude Series 01

The focus of this Gratitude Series is simple. I’m turning gratefulness and thankfulness over in my mind and heart, seeing what shakes loose. If you start a Gratitude Series, please let me know on my Facebook Author Page so I can visit it. Carry on.

 

Steps plodded into unwavering gratitude start with the realization of a 30,000-ft view.

A flyover.

Stare down into the tiny dots that make up memories and backstory and see what’s there.

If I were a commercial airliner, soaring over my life, what would the terrain be made of?

Black dirt. Green trees. White snow. A little further on, endless blue oceans and island-dots. Then finally, land filled with flowers and endless miles of flowering trees. (I think they’re cherry and plum trees… But it’s hard to tell from up here.)

Let’s divide it up.

black dirt.

The nitty-gritty on my life story.

The pain.
The sorrow.
The hard.
The stuff I wish each flood of rain would wash away.

Can I be truly grateful for all of it? #unsure

green trees.

Life.

The places God was gracious to grow it in me.

Through parenting poured out on me by my Mother and Father, and expounded in me through my Heavenly Pappa.

white snow.

Where I started.

With nothing.

Getting to choose nothing.

My life, placed in the hands of others at my birth, innocent brown eyes taking everything in as I aged into a girl.

endless blue oceans.

Chased by the fathomless, ravishing love of my Creator.
Wooed by His worlds.
Drowned by His goodness.
Wowed by Him. Wowed by Jesus/Yeshua. Wowed by what He shares with me.

island-dots.

Worlds for He and I to uncover, discover, and form.

Working together. This is what’s mine to steward under His supervision.

land of flowers and flowering trees.

Blessings I didn’t work for.

Gifts I don’t deserve.

Delightful beauty that is given to me to watch, touch, play in.

 

This is the overview.
This is where I start.

 

endkevianaelliot

Sharing Chores with Your Spouse

Every couple must work it out.

Not working it out means there will be heated discussions g-a-l-o-r-e to look forward to.

Who gets to do which chore?

Each couple is unique, each career situation different, each living space varied. So I can’t really speak to which ways are best or most needed for you (or for the future you), but I can tell you how we worked it out. And I can end this post with the disclaimer you should know from the start: we are still working it out. Changing life seasons are delightfully punctual, and what worked last year won’t cut it this next year.

SETTING CHORES UP:

So let me describe us. I am a part-time, remote I.T. Project Manager. I’m at home 95% of the time. My Husband commutes 45 minutes to his full-time job. And right there is our biggest difference on what energy each of us can dedicate to chores. Yeah, both of our jobs are mentally tasking, but not physically. Our weeks are peppered with church items, but not much more typically.

We took our situation into account. And in taking it all into account, here’s how we started: a discussion.

  1. I listed out the chores.
  2. We discussed each item on this list, with he and I discussing what % we disliked each.
  3. We discussed how often each chore needed to be completed. (Weekly? Bi-weekly? Monthly?)
  4. We divvied them up: his and hers.
  5. I picked what days I’d try to get mine done, Husband did the same with his.

It amazed me that when one of us hated a particular chore, the other didn’t mind it. That helped tons. It might not be your situation, but it helps when it happens.

For us, the chores divided out almost equally between him and I, based on energy allotment per day. In the areas where it was uneven, the load had to be discussed additionally. We needed to be honest about where we were willing to stretch some. Both of us made a small sacrifice at that point.

We ended up with a chore list that didn’t just represent what we were fine handling, but containing a chore or two that showed we loved the other person. Sacrifice-like.

That brought us to a place where we were set up for the season.

PHYSICAL & EMOTIONAL LIMITATIONS:

Physical situation should be discussed as often as it changes, right? If you’re taking notes for your own household, be sure and grasp this. Sometimes one of us can have emotional strain/physical sickness/injury for a season. When that happens, discuss it. It all affects the other spouse and how they feel about their part of the chores load, which can end up being a disagreement in the future.

KEEP YOUR BEST FRIEND IN MIND:

We learned that when discussions (disagreements?) arose over chores, sometimes it was one of us needing a little rest. That really flips the switch on chore time.

A stressed spouse who is attempting to rest over doing chores should be praised, not shamed. The more OCD spouse will groan a little, but they will soon realize they can’t pay anyone to be their best friend.

You can’t pay anyone to be your best friend.

You can pay for a house cleaner, a yard service, a launderer, and math tutor for the kids.

Likewise, no one can be your spouse’s playmate, your spouse’s best listening ear, your spouse’s intimate lover.

Chores shouldn’t stress either of you out.

Chores should not keep you from being ready to laugh, love, hold.

If they are, start searching for the reason they are. If it’s pace, have a heartfelt discussion over what gets cut from the calendar. If it’s stuff, consider going minimalist. If it’s activities for the littles, consider boundaries. Boundaries are also the answer if it’s family drama or outside relationship forces.

And if chores are a “land mine” for you or your spouse, I highly recommend counseling. (“Land mines” are topics strongly tied to an event in you or your spouse’s past that makes you/them explode. Think high-resistance happening at even the mention of the topic.) Many “land mines” are so deeply embedded, they require professional help to disarm them for good. There’s no shame in that. Getting past the past ensures a more loving and healthy future.

Well, I hope you don’t get stuck with the toilet cleaning, but, if you do, invest in a good scrub brush and a cling gel that doesn’t fail.

Disclaimer: we are still working this out. Hope this helps you some regardless. 🙂

 

endkevianaelliot

 

Journal Entry Stardate 082818

What do I write on a night like tonight? On the eve on adventure— again— after a retreat like it’s been? For You, O Lord, know the heart, know the gains and the shorts of it all. My folly and tears, joys and pains, sorrows and it all. None is hidden from You. Your act of love is accepting me then, bringing me here, and showing me grace upon mercy— I don’t deserve it, at all. But You say “abide.” You say to stay connected to Love— the love You are, given to me.

Why do I hide, therefore?

Why do I panic new adventures?

Where is faith in all this for Your magnitude?

“Over all” is Jesus’ status. In me, is His Spirit. I don’t have to know it or see it, yet believe it is true— He’s true— He’s truth— there’s no other.

Confusion is in the World’s Way— sin to death again and again, tumbling to misery and Satan’s whims. Is this a game to him? For he plays for keeps of a different kind. And of his game, I am opposed.

What do I write? Words that lead me to Love.

 

endkevianaelliot