The Cranky Bathtub

bathroom 1I have a cranky bathtub. Seriously. The silly thing drives me crazy. My tub is sluggish, and it has a mind of its own. You see, about every eight months, it decides to clog. I can always tell the warning signs. When I shower, rather than disappearing, the water starts backing up. Days later, water is covering my toes. By the time the water level is up to my ankles, I know I have to do something.

Normally, a sluggish tub wouldn’t present a problem. All that’s needed to fix it is a chemical drain cleaner, right? Wrong. I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and I can’t use most chemicals—including drain cleaner. That means when the tub decides to go on strike, I have to get down on my knees and use a plunger.

I don’t really care for plungers. They aren’t exactly my favorite invention. They aren’t particularly thrilling or exciting to use, and I always end up getting splashed. I don’t approve of being splashed. I think it’s nasty.

The other day, I was down on my knees plunging my tub. It went something like this: plunge, plunge, plunge, plunge, plunge, plunge—wipe sweat from brow—plunge, plunge, plunge, plunge, plunge—notice there isn’t any change in water level—plunge, plunge, plunge…

After about ten minutes of steady work, I decided to remove my mind from the boring task and turn philosophical. I wasn’t sure if any wonderful, spiritual lesson could be gleaned from a clogged tub and a plunger, but I was determined to find one.

Plunge, plunge, plunge, plunge, plunge—I thought about salvation. I couldn’t find a connection…

Plunge, plunge, plunge, plunge, plunge—I thought about worship, but it didn’t seem to fit…

Plunge, plunge, plunge, plunge, plunge—water splashed my face—I thought about my wet head.

Ahhh……

drain 2Friends, you will be happy to know that there IS a spiritual lesson that can be gleaned from a cranky bathtub and a plunger. As I wiped water from my eyes, I realized that my brain is like my bathtub. Most of the time, the day’s events swirl down the drain and disappear, but every once in a while, something happens that sticks in my mind. An unkind word. A strange glance. A slighting gesture. When those things happen, if I’m not careful, they don’t disappear right away, and soon my mind is totally focused on hurtful things. When that happens, trouble always follows.

Jesus said in Luke 17:1 that opportunities to be offended are always going to come. In fact, Jesus said it was IMPOSSIBLE for offence not to come.

Proverbs 19:11 says, “A wise man restrains his anger and OVERLOOKS insults. This is to his credit.

Sometimes, I tend to be like a dog with a bone when something hurtful happens. I gnaw on it. I refuse to let it go. I analyze it. I try to figure out why it happened. I try to figure out what I could have done to prevent it. I try to figure out who was at fault. I try to figure out if I said the right thing. I try to come up with the brilliant things I SHOULD have said. Sometimes, I do everything but the things I’ve been instructed to do. The Bible says I should OVERLOOK the hurtful event and FORGET it. In essence, I should let the offense swirl down the drain and out of my mind.

frogs see hear speakThere was a time in my life when I was a very bitter person. I could remember every hurtful thing that was ever said to me–and I could remember those hurtful things in crystal clear detail. Soon, my angry, bitter thoughts started playing over and over in my mind. They were what I thought about before I went to sleep. They were what I thought about when I got up. They were what I thought about when I was washing the dishes or folding the clothes. My angry, bitter thoughts squeezed out any pleasant thoughts that tried to take root.

Was I happy living that way???

Are you kidding? I was miserable. Deep down, I knew that harboring grudges and holding onto hurtful memories was wrong, but I didn’t know what to do about it. I tried to justify my grudges by saying it was the other person’s fault—but I knew that wasn’t true. The other person wasn’t in control of my brain—I was. I was responsible for my own thoughts and attitudes.

Finally, I couldn’t stand the YUCK of my own mind. I knew I had to change my thinking. With God’s help, I began mentally singing a hymn every time a hurtful memory rose up to haunt me. I had to do it EVERY SINGLE TIME. I didn’t give myself any wiggle room. I did not allow any pity parties. I prayed every day for God to help me. I made cleaning up my mind a priority. It was incredibly hard, but after a year, hymns were playing in my mind rather than bitter thoughts.

Deliverance isn’t always easy or instantaneous. Deliverance sometimes takes hard work and determination.

I’ve been down the “Bitterness Road,” and I hate where it leads. It may seem harmless to rehash a hurtful conversation—it may seem okay to analyze a painful memory—but I’ve learned that it is incredibly dangerous. When rehashing becomes a habit, it always ends in slavery.

Ephesians 4:26-27 says, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil.

daisy 1I’ve learned that anger turns into poison after twenty-four hours. I don’t like poison. I try to avoid it. I definitely don’t play around with it or ingest it. After winning my freedom from bitterness, I try very hard to let hurtful things go as quickly as possible. I’ve learned that waiting for apologies is a waste of time—so is rehashing hurtful events. I’m so glad that God helped me use the “holy hymn plunger” to clear away my bitterness. I still try to sing hymns every day. I think of it as “preventative” spiritual warfare.

You know what? I wonder if preventative plunging would work on my tub? Maybe I should start plunging my bathtub once a month. Two minutes of monthly plunging would certainly be easier than an hour of extreme effort every eight months. Prevention. Instant action. Yes. That’s the key.

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18 thoughts on “The Cranky Bathtub

  1. You’ve done it again, Danele! Why, oh WHY, do you have to be a fly in my house!!! LOL. My goodness, but does the Lord ever use dear friends and sisters to get us to see the truth He has been trying to reveal to us. Thank you, again for sharing your painfully hard lessons with us so that we can learn as well. You are encouraging and your words are ministering to so many! Love you, sister!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. joyceheartwings

    Danele, I love how you use ordinary things to bring out the real messages we so need to hear. I have never in my life known anyone who did not have the same problems with dealing with bitterness and the aftermath.

    I saw myself in every word you said and I love your “hymn” solution. I will begin that immediately! I hope my husband never tires of Amazing Grace!

    You are a marvel and I know beyond a doubt that He is using you mightily to reach out to every heart you touch. God bless you, Danele. j

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sandymauck

    Danele, you are quite the writer! Love this. So good. So right. The gunk builds and really gets murky. Don’t want to be doing that. Amen to preventative! You are so funny. I could see you plunging away. And yes, I know about the not using chemicals, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kelly De Lance

    Thank you for sharing your words of encouragement and wisdom to us. It was a lot to think about and then start with the plunging! Lol!😊 I am thinking about the Song,”Refiners Fire”asking the Lord to Purify my Heart,Cleanse Me from Within! Thanks Danele! Be Blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Kelly, I LOVE the song “Refiner’s Fire!!” It is one of my favorites. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and also for your words of blessing. I really appreciate them! And I really appreciate you! 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful day!

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  5. Renette

    Oh Danele , thank you so much, needed this today!
    I hear get rid of toxic people in your life but sometimes we must endure toxic family and no amount of plunging will do. Makes those thoughts harder to get rid of as well. But reading this I also remember your blog on the bull and could just see those plungers on the ends of those bull horns hooked to my troubles and thoughts and dragging them for a wild ride. That ol devil doesn’t stand a chance against my GOD!
    Thanks again!
    Love and hugs and many blessings

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Renette, your comment made me smile! I love the mental picture of the bull with plungers on the ends of his horns!!! LOL!!! I’m so glad that this post encouraged you! Your comment really encouraged me! You are such a beautiful person and such a blessing! Thank you for being so great! 🙂 ❤

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  6. Hope in the storm blog

    Thank you Danele for such a creative post. I have one of those plungers and like you hate doing the plunging. My girls long hair blocks our bath/shower and the gunk is horrible. They won’t go near it of course! I love the holy hymn plunger, infact you could use the slurping noise as a beat to the song that the Spirit leads you to sing. That would make it more interesting. Many blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh!!! You just made me laugh!!! I love the idea of using the plunger’s slurping noise as the beat of a song! Next time I get out my plunger, I’m going to do just that!!! Thanks so much for the chuckle, and thanks for the encouragement! I really appreciate it! I hope you have a really wonderful day!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, Anita!! I hear you!!! I have a tendency to get a little maniacal too!!! Plunging a drain is definitely NOT on my top 10 list of fun things to do!! I don’t know how I always end up getting splashed. Maybe, it’s my klutzy tendencies. 🙂 When I faced the tub this time, it was either get philosophical or throw the plunger out the bathroom window!! LOL. I chose philosophy. I figured if I tossed the plunger, I’d just have to go fish it out of the bushes. LOL! Thanks so much for commenting. You made me smile! 🙂

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