The Nitty Gritty

It's pretty gritty.


Filthy, even.

It's my silverware drawer.

The crazy thing is that I have opened up this drawer about 20 times per day for literally months without seeing what was literally right in front of me.


I told you it was nasty.

I'm embarrased that it took me one second of full clarity to see what I've allowed to happen in grounds abound, crumbs that have fallen in from the counter above, and let's be honest...who knows what else lurked in there.

Our eyes lie...even if we have 20/20 vision. And actually, it's maybe not our eyes that lie, but our brain that does. I'm not sure if it tries to protect us and potentially shield us from becoming overwhelmed by so much that needs attention and adjusting. After all, seeing each and everything in all its state of gory (or glory) could be too much for a small human brain to take.

I don't know how or why it happens, but it does.

That's why I could take out (and infrequently put back in) utensils several times a day and see this in my mind's eye...
...but then in one random moment, I can look at see the gross reality that it is actually truth.

However, those "aha moments" don't have to be all bad news. Usually, it's the perfect impetus to get us to stop what we've been doing (or denying) and take care of business.

In my case, it yielded this....

...a thorough scrubbing out of the cumblies, coffee grounds and other detrus; removable of the old contact paper and the laying down of new; running all the silverware and gadgets through the dishwasher -- even a good dunking of the actual silverware holder in soapy water.

I can now open this drawer with pride and the knowledge that not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it goes beyond that to actual daily implications. I know my husband will be glad to know that I won't be potentially transferring something disgusting to the mayonnaise jar the next time I make a sandwich.

Maybe this only happens to me, but I don't think so.

Have you ever looked at something day after day, until one day, your eyes are literally opened and you see it?

Maybe it's finding love in the best friend that's always been there (like my sister's love story), or maybe it's realizing that the image of yourself in your head doesn't gel at all with the image that you just glimpsed in the storefront window.

Or maybe someone called you on a particular thing you said or did and you didn't like the inner you that came into focus.

I would personally rather choose to have my eyes opened to my dirty utensil drawer than my dirty heart. The former is fairly easy to take care of in about a half an hour with some elbow grease and soap. The latter is something that is a never-ending quest of self-improvement and character building.

It takes real and hard work.

But just like my silverware drawer, taking a good hard look at the condition of the inner workings of my heart, and then being motivated to get down to the nitty gritty and give God permission to come in and scour off the grime and sponge away the stickiness will always result in an improvement -- for me and for those around me.

In all truthfulness, there is a part of me that longs for clarity. It's the part of me that longs for honesty and transparency. But that part of me wars against the lazy, unmotivated part of me that wants to sit around all day in yoga pants, with a dirty ponytail and a good book. all comes back around to that "D-word" again...the one that haunts me in my sleep, I swear.


It's the line in the sand and maybe the only thing that pulls me back from the brink of utter slothfulness, being twice the size I am currently, and living in squalor that would make a condemned house look good.

It's a life-line, and I for one choose to grab ahold.

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