Empty Pockets

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There are a lot of things that I may not be able to do, but the one thing I can do very well is to hold a grudge.  It’s not something that I am proud of, and God has really convicted me about it and has worked on me in this department.

Several years ago, I was upset with my husband when he insisted that he had to have a tonneau cover put on his new pickup.  I felt we did not really need it and was not as much a need as it was a want and I really couldn’t see the justification to spend that amount of money on it.  After several weeks of wearing me down I reluctantly agreed, and he purchased the cover and had it installed on his truck.  I took that little nugget and put it in my pocket to use at a later date.  I remembered the exact price of it for over a year.  Harboring the resentment of wasting money on something just for looks.  

Fast forward a year later, we were discussing how to spend our income tax refund and he wasn’t seeing things the right way (aka: my way).  As the discussion ensued, I reached into my back pocket and grabbed that nugget that I had been hiding for the last year.  BAM!  I laid it down, the exact price he paid for the tonneau cover a year ago and that I felt it was a waste of money.  I felt as if I was in a game of poker and just laid four aces on the table and inside of my head, I was doing a victory dance (in my mind I am a terrific dancer, maybe not so much in the real world).

He stopped and looked at me and said, “have you been saving that for a year just to throw it in my face?”  I immediately froze.  I expected such a zinger like that to make my point that I was right and feel really good about it, but all I saw on his face was hurt.  It deflated my ego instantly and I no longer was concerned about winning the argument.  I squeaked out a very meek ‘yes’ as we stood across the room just staring at each other.  Then we both bursted out laughing at the ridiculousness of how all of this had sounded.

 A while back I had learned that a friend had made remarks about me behind my back regarding one of my kids.  I felt a rage take over me and I was furious; talking about me is one thing but my kids are off limits. The person who told me did not want a big fight to take place but just wanted me to know what my friend was saying about me when I wasn’t around. 

At first, I wanted to call them and tell them what was on my mind, but I am trying to do the right thing and that would not be a good idea to do at that moment.  So, I bundled up that information and tucked it into my back pocket.  That may sound like I was being really petty because it is really petty and it’s not something I am proud to be telling everyone about.

Ephesians 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

Leviticus 19:9 Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.  I am the Lord.

The Lord really convicted my heart of how I was handling disagreements with people.  Holding that resentment and anger about spending a few hundred dollars on a tonneau cover stayed with me for a whole year.  My husband had no idea how upset I really was and he never lost any sleep over it, but I sure did.  I have also learned that there will be people who are going to talk about me behind my back and that if they are only a friend to my face then they are not really a friend.

A grudge just lies deep in your heart and festers, rots, and eats away at you.  It affects your heart, your mind, and your soul.  I had felt a heaviness on my heart because I was constantly replaying what they said about me and my child over and over in my head and what I should say back to them.  I began to pray about it and that is when I was led to stop and empty my pockets.  In my mind I envisioned myself taking these little nuggets out of my pockets and handing them to the Lord for Him to deal with, it was too much for me.  I never realized how much those little nuggets were weighing me down.  Apparently, I had really big pockets because I unpacked a lot of things, but man did I feel so much more peace and freedom afterwards. 

You can reach Tammy at her email:  moppinguptheblessings@gmail.com or join her group of friends on her Facebook group, Mopping up the Blessings.

Tammy Bassett is a speaker and the author of the Mopping Up Your Blessings blog. She was born and raised a country girl who’s roots run deep in the mountains of Appalachia. She has worked a wide variety of jobs ranging from radio to insurance agent. She is now a stay-at-home mom, who along with her husband, are raising five daughters (ages 10 to 25), seven cats and one dog. She uses her accounting and business administration degree to help run her busy household.
She loves spending time with her family and homeschooling her two youngest children. She spends a lot of her day trying to conquer the obstacles in her home. With four of her children still living at home the laundry pile (nicknamed Mt. Wash-more) is her nemesis. Some days she wins and some days she doesn’t, but she always gets up the next day and tries again.
She also loves camping with her family as long as there is a camper with air conditioning, a comfy bed, and indoor plumbing. Her downfall is her obsession with iced coffee. Thankfully the closest Starbucks is an hour from her home, or she would be broke. She also loves reading and learning new skills such as homesteading, being more self-sustainable, gardening and foraging.
She relates the most to her favorite animal, the alpaca. They are both kind of weird and look like they are two months past due on a haircut. Much like alpacas she makes a gentle humming noise when happy and if irritated she often stamps the ground with her feet. Her husband has refused to buy her an alpaca much to her disappointment.
But more than anything, she loves the Lord and is growing more in her faith each day and hopes to inspire others to do the same. She wants everyone to understand that God’s grace is truly amazing and has changed her from the inside out and he can do the same for you.

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