God is in the Dumpster

I wrote this when we lived in the apartment, but I am just now sharing it. It wasn’t that long ago though, so I’ll just leave the words as they were originally written.

God is in the dumpster

It feels offensive to even type that title. I am not in anyway trying to imply that my precious Savior belongs in the garbage. It’s an amazing paradox though. To think about how our awesome creator can be so holy, so sovereign and royal, and yet He sent His Son to come down to where we are and meet humanity in the depths of their desperation. How often did the Pharisees disapprove of who Christ was hanging out with or where he was hanging out because it seemed unclean to them? This has been on my mind a lot lately.

We live in an apartment where some of our neighbors are abusive alcoholics, drug addicts, and  thieves living in poverty. Our other neighbors are just normal clean-cut people like us. It’s probably just like your neighborhood really. Except people here don’t pretend as much. There is no dressing it up.

We live in a big complex and our building happens to be closest to the dumpster. It’s convenient actually. Whenever the trash can is full I don’t have to far to go to dispose of it. Plus my kids love it when they can catch a glimpse of the enormous trash truck that picks up the larger than life Rumpke bins. They watch in amazement as the robotic vehicle hoists each metal box up in the air to dump out all of it junk and smash it down into bits. 

I’m thankful for the dumpsters. Of all the things I won’t miss about being in this place I’m going to miss the dumpster. I know that sounds strange. It’s ugly and it’s smelly, but God has used it to provide for our family in ways that are actually quite miraculous. I shared the story on Facebook the other day about how I had sorted through a bunch of clutter in my room and had separated what was left into three bags. I wanted a better storage system for my scarves, gloves, and winter hats, but I couldn’t come up with anything so I just put the items into plastic bags for the time.

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Later that night I saw these three bins sitting outside of one of the dumpsters. Two of them still had tags on them! Stuff like that isn’t that uncommon for me. I really can’t remember all of the items I have found, but some things include Christmas decorations like this mat that I found at Christmas time when we didn’t have anything to decorate with. It certainly brought Holiday cheer to the kids faces each time they came home.


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Or this North Face Jacket in perfect condition.
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SJ loved it when I found this folding play hut.
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And then there is the umbrella stroller we have gotten so much use out of.
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That’s not even half of it. Most of the time the decent stuff is left outside of the dumpster, but every once in a while it’s actually inside, but sitting on top of the trash with a bunch of other home goods. For those worried about germs a little scrub down and some lysol is all you need and I have never taken anything that looked nasty or that was worthless to me.

My friends have questioned me on why there is so much “nice” trash around and my theory is that some people are evicted or move in a hurry and when the clean up crew comes through they just throw everything out. Maybe some people purposefully leave stuff outside of the dumpster knowing that their trash will be a treasure picked up by someone else?

You can try to explain it however you want, but the fact of the matter is I have collected a lot of useful things out of those dumpsters and I share this story as a testimony. In one of our lowest times God has provided in the most unlikely of ways. Even just little things. Why wouldn’t he? I mean when you think about some of the miracles in the Bible with pulling coins out of a fishes mouth, or spitting in the mud and putting it on a blind man’s eye? Yuck.

Maybe God wants you to step out of your comfort zone and get a little bit dirty this week. Not just to do it for the heck of it, but out of obedience.  Perhaps He wants you to seek him in some of those dark and smelly places where you usually don’t venture. It could be physical or it could be totally spiritual. I have no idea, but I do know that sometimes we miss out on the blessing because we are in our clean safe holy place. I am not convinced we need to stay there.

In your own way and by His leading I challenge you to look for God in the dumpster.

By | October 5th, 2015|My Life, Simple Living|27 Comments

I Won’t Apologize for My Stance on Modesty

A few days ago I was featured on the website For Every Mom. I was truly flattered when they requested to share my piece “Are Breasts the New Shoulders“, but I was also nervous. When you have more of a platform you end up with more opposing views, which is fine. I was ready for some pushback to my post about cleavage. I even got a couple harsh responses when I wrote about my family living in a small space and was published on The Humbled Homemaker. That subject isn’t even controversial! So this time when the topic was modesty I knew I would have to put my big girl panties on and brave the negative comments. And by big girl panties I mean like 19th century knickers that go down to my knees, because that’s just how incredibly modest I am (read sarcastically).

Let me start by saying I HATE sexual crimes with every fiber of my being. I have been extremely outspoken about my stand against sex trafficking, pedophelia, the objectification of women, sexual abuse and rape. A long time ago a friend of mine used the word “rape” as a description casually in conversation. Not in the literal sense, but just like “Man this phone company is such a rip off. They are raping everybody with these charges”. My blood pressure rose and I had to speak out. We had a long talk about how wicked and atrocious rape is and why I don’t appreciate the word being tossed around lightly. I would be far less offended by a curse word than something so vulgar and disgusting as the concept of rape.

When a movie shows a rape scene I am completely repulsed by the movie itself and refuse to watch stuff with that kind of vulgarity. This is a non negotiable black and white issue for me. I don’t care if it’s a historical movie. I have said it before “When a story line includes a young child being molested  that horrendous act can be implied without it having to be reenacted and displayed for all to see on the big screen and the same respect should be shown to women when it comes to rape”.

So you can see why I would get heated when people start throwing around the phrase “rape culture” anytime someone talks about modesty. 

For example, I recently read an article about a girl who used to think wearing a one piece meant she had to be ashamed of her body, but she had a revelation of how veiling her beauty could be such a powerful freeing thing. I made a bet with myself about how many comments I would have to read before inevitably someone accuses the author of perpetuating a “rape culture”. Sure enough, I’m just a few  comments down and BINGO they pull the rape culture card.  There were several comments attacking this girls faith, opinions, and beliefs. People are telling her that because she believes that the way she dresses could possibly have an affect on a man’s thoughts, she is inadvertently stating that women are responsible for what men think/do and is condoning what rape is.

Sorry. But no. I refuse to accept that.

Not to sound like an old lady, but back in my day (like in the 90’s) you could choose to dress modestly/quote scripture and it might make you a nerd, or self righteous, or prudish… whatever. However it did not make you an advocate of rape! What is wrong with people!? The way a woman presents herself in no way means she deserves to be abused, ever. Say what you want about my beliefs, but DO NOT even think about accusing me of being a proponent of rape.

Modesty is about being whole spiritually. It’s about respect for yourself and for those around you. It’s about honor, value, and love. It is placing a HIGH value on sexuality, seeing it as a sacred thing to be cherished. In it’s purest form modesty is the OPPOSITE of rape. Okay? Because rape degrades people.  It steals power. It rips the soul out of all that is lovely and good about sex. Rape is full of pride, lust, greed and is from the pit of Hell. That’s an understatement.

Have women ever been oppressed in the name of religion? Yes. Has modesty ever been used to shame someone and make them feel less valued? Yes. But on the other side of the spectrum I feel like these days the women that are choosing modesty are like the modern day Joan of Arc. Watch out because you are about to be burned at the stake. Okay that’s an exaggeration, but you can certainly be bullied and wrongfully accused. Which is why I have decided that this is a choice I will not apologize for.

This modesty thing is an extremely complicated multileveled issue. I am certainly not trying to throw stones or make it a bigger issue than it is, but if a woman feels convicted about wearing leggings that shouldn’t warrant an angry backlash, and if a woman wants to vocalize her PERSONAL beliefs about the type of swimsuit she wears or if a school has a dress code  for crying out loud, it should not be thrown into a stigma of RAPE CULTURE. Sorry, if the all caps looks angry. I am a little bit angry, because I hate rape SO SO SO much.

I will continue to defend my belief in modesty all the while fighting for justice on behalf of the victims of hanious sexual crimes. I can do both simultaneously showing honor to God and women everywhere.

I have chosen to embrace the Biblical approach to sexuality in the way that I feel the Lord has led me even when the world rages against it, and for that I make no apologies.

By | August 13th, 2015|Lifestyle|6 Comments