Wednesday, December 31, 2008


After taking my mother-in-law and our children on a 5,000 mile vacation to see where and how my grandparents, parents, and I grew up and lived (and the exact place where my husband proposed to me), and after spending the last few months purposefully changing some of the composition and nearly 100% of the source of our food in a prayerful, scriptural battle to keep all my God-given vital organs and improve our quality of life (just go organic and kosher--it's worth it, and the sooner the better), there are two timeless sayings I'm pondering right now:  1) You're not defined by where you've been; you're defined by where you're going.  2) You are what you eat.

Okay, that brings up a third saying. Have you ever heard, "There's poop in those brownies..."? It's a phrase that still elicits giggles and guffaws at our house, and we use it to alert our children about the unprofitable content of questionable media whose previews entice them. If you happen to be a brownie lover, you can prob'ly relate. If I made you some brownies and added just a teeny-tiny bit of poop to the recipe, would you eat them? Calling out a "Code Poop" is a sure-fire way to turn our kids away from a mess without a challenge. (They'll still ask curious questions, but they have great respect for the boundary.)

We aim at guarding our children and ourselves from "poop," and if you'd like to read a nice rendition of the whole "Poop in the Brownies" devotion you can do so at Dana's Corner, but we also acknowledge a flip side to poop-infested offerings, called potential. I think of a story Alicia Chole once shared about a college girl who "got saved"--she got saved, but her wardrobe...didn't... Waddaya do? Fret about form, or dig in and disciple substance? Besides, there's much we can learn from a mess. When we come into the family of God, we bring our messes with us. God doesn't tell us we have to clean up in order to come to Him; rather, He assures us that as we get to know Him, we'll want to clean up, and He'll help us. Who are we to impose more on humanity?

So while we employ a Code Poop if necessary to identify boundaries as effectively as an electric dog collar, when my husband and I consider what our family will read, watch, or recommend to others, we don't look from the food perspective, evaluating material as though it's a brownie that may or may not contain poop. Our heritage includes gold-mining, and we've learned that a pile of ordinary-looking rubble often holds potential treasure. It may be profitable to sift through. There may be precious gold nuggets in there that just need a little spit, polish, and light. After a few experiments sometimes you can map out sources of ore that will likely be more profitable than others, but often you can't truly judge until you test some samples. And most of the time there's a lot more ore than there is gold...

So guard yourself, but give grace. Judge as you would be judged. If you find poop in the kitchen, don't embrace it, but don't freak out and leave, either. Why not grab some gloves and help clean it up? (In the writing world, our "gloves" are our editing tools. I'm so thankful for my editing tools!)

That said, here are the most valuable cyber treasures friends sent or I found in 2008. All of them are edifying to me. One or two are rated PG-13 for sarcasm or swearing. The rest contain absolutely no poop...
  • on Kitchen Fires (safety video). If you haven't seen this yet, important commentary is included in the email:  "At the Fire Fighting Training School they demonstrated this with a deep fat fryer set on fire in an open field. An instructor, donning fire gear, attached an 8oz cup of water to the end of a 10-foot pole and tossed the water onto the grease fire. Water, being heavier than oil, sinks to the bottom, where it's instantly superheated. The explosive force of the steam blows the burning oil up and out. On the open field, the oil became a 30-foot high fireball resembling a nuclear blast. Inside the confines of a kitchen...well, watch the video... Also, do not throw sugar or flour on a grease fire. One cup of either creates the explosive force of two sticks of dynamite!"
  • Richland Hills Church of Christ, North Richland Hills, TX, on Defining Moments (Cardboard Testimonies video)

May you eat well as you end well in 2008, and may where you're going matter more than where you've been. Happy New Year!


Far Side of Fifty said...

"Code poop" now that is a new one for me! Happy New Year!:)

Lynda said...

Lattice, thanks for visiting my blog & wishing you & your family a wonderful & joyous 2009 !
Lynda, Kilimanjaro, East Africa