Which Side Will You Shop?

What do you fill the silence with?

Have you ever heard yourself say “I’m a mess, I’m horrible with directions, I’m fat, I’m a terrible cook?” The things that we fill the silence with can be really ugly.

Without realizing it, we go shopping for how we feel about ourselves each day.

Imagine yourself at the center line of a road and there are two brick and mortar stores on either side. These stores won’t take cash or credit, but you purchase anything in them that you agree with and believe.

Close your eyes and picture the shop owners. Do you see a devil on one side and an angel on the other? You might picture yourself with wings and a halo or horns and pitch fork.

I see a little me on my left and she’s having an amazing hair day. She’s wearing workout clothes and looking fit. She’s super excited to see me and says she has some great stuff I’m going to love. We’re going to call her store A’Me’zing.

On my right the shop owner is wearing baggy pants and a messy bun. She’s offering a huge welcoming smile and a chocolate chip cookie, because she gets me. Let’s call her store Messy Me, and let’s go inside and look around.

Everything on the shelves and racks in this store is guaranteed to keep me firmly planted where I am. In this shop I will find boxes full of excuses not to exercise and tons of elastic pants to keep me comfortable while I don’t.

I’ll find ceilings, limits and barriers to keep me from even attempting to rise up. There is an entire department of old wounds I can revisit for those times that nothing is actually causing me pain right now.

And oh, those wooden signs that everyone loves with the words painted in white – the walls in this place are covered with everything I’ve ever taken offense to. It’s all so familiar I could stay here forever. If only I had the clarity to realize that everything Messy Me was selling is garbage – I would walk out her door. I don’t need that trash taking up retail space in my mind… but it does.

Every human interaction has two parts – logic and emotion. While some people tend to gravitate toward one of those two, there is one that makes a lasting impression. Emotion cuts deeper into our memories – every time. That’s why we remember September 11th like it was yesterday; It’s why I still know right where I was standing when I was 11 and my grandmother left telling me that she would always be my grandmother.

If you mentally walk into that brick and mortar store and try on an emotion from the past, take a look in the mirror at who you are now. See that this old rag doesn’t fit quite right anymore and take it off.

Leave it behind and let’s go shop across the street.

When I step into A’Me’zing, I feel invincible. Confidence comes in all sizes here.

A’Me’zing has a fragrance counter where I can mist myself with motivation.

Wait? Am I floating? I could swear I’m 15 lbs lighter in here.

The background noise in the shop is audio of my favorite memories. There is wall to wall ambition and productivity like I’ve never seen before. Every piece of clothing is adorned with rhinestones spelling out words of the kind things that people have said about me.

The decorations on the shop walls are all images of times in my life that I’ve felt beautiful. And by the register is a little sign: “A’Me’zing has a full satisfaction guarantee”. Wow! Why don’t I shop here every day?

Why don’t you shop here every day?

~ Kim Weingart

Which Side Will You Shop?


You Can’t Sprint Through Grief

May Jesus give you time and space to feel your hurts, heal your wounds, and grieve your losses.

May He lead you beside still waters and restore your soul.

May He bring you friends who love you right where you are.

May you refuse to be cynical or jaded; instead, may you dare to dream again, right in the midst of the pain you’re in.

Don’t be afraid of lament.

You can’t sprint through grief.

But avoid self-pity like the plague.

You don’t need pity.

You have the promises of God!

You have the presence of God!

And He still has a powerful purpose for you.

You won’t stay in this valley.

You’re just passing through.

One honest step at a time.

You’ll get through it, and you’ll be stronger on the other side.

You can do this.

God bless you, dear one. ~ Fenich Jerry