The Hoarder And Her Can: a mom’s lesson in worth and potential.

A month ago I was watching an episode of Hoarders: Collection (um yah, sometimes it’s the only thing that motivates me to clean my house) and my ears perked up during a conversation a counselor was having with a client on her porch. He brings out a bag full of empty cans from her house and sits down with her and her adult daughter.

The counselor asks her, “So what’s your thoughts about the cans?”

hoarder: “I see potential in everything. Lots of things you could do with tin snips, make flowers, all kinds of crafts…”

counselor: “Well you said you see potential in everything except yourself.”

hoarder: “Well I’m too old for potential anymore.”

counselor: “So theoretically this can has more potential than you.”

She nods and looks down.

Now I understand that the hopeless condition of this woman’s soul is a product of a painful abusive marriage that ended 20 years ago. My beautiful life cannot compare to her pain and loss but there was a part of me that could relate with what her counselor was getting at. I myself had just recently questioned my own worth and potential.

A friend told me about a writer’s conference called Jumping Tandem. I wanted to go so bad and I really needed to go. Seemed like it might actually work out until my husband said that he accepted an invitation to help some family members four hours away. Grandma and grandpa would be on vacation in Mexico. Fiona would need to go to a birthday party and Tony would have a baseball game. Who would watch my kids that needed to be in two different places at once! This was a logistical nightmare! And of all weekends why must it be this one?

My thoughts turn to…

“Looks like I’m staying home to hold everything together, like always, (very dramatically) and always will.

It gets worse though. Check out these other pity party thoughts I was entertaining…

“Serves me right, though. I don’t generate any income for our family so why should I spend it on improving me.”

“The family four hours away has a much more noble cause so why shouldn’t Jeff go help them.”

“Don’t be so selfish Bri”

But my heart was crying out! …”I’m home all the time! Everything I do is for the advancement of my husband and kids. Just this once I want to go and invest in me. Seriously my time away would amount to less than 24hours. Can’t I have that Lord? Am I being so selfish in wanting this?”

Then I thought of the hoarder and her can. And I thought of all the potential I see in my dear friends. If they ever came to me with such lies and an invitation to a pity party I would immediately tell them to stop it and do what ever it took to go to that conference. I knew I had much more potential than trash. My dreams, desires and talents are always worth fighting for. Pursuing dreams will usually be inconvenient on some level. Inconvenient for me and my family.

I felt like the Lord was saying, “Well how bad do you want this Bri, ’cause I’m not going to make it easy for you. Do you think it’s worth all this. Are you worth all this? Do you believe you are worth investing in?

The hoarder refused to have a vision for her life. I knew that I didn’t want to get stuck in that kind of self-depreciating rut – I wanted to get in my groove!

Ok you moms, how many times have you had those same thoughts?

…”Husbands and kid needs come first all the time. How could I ever ask them to bend over backwards on my behalf?”

Well picture yourself 40 years in the future and hearing the same words that our hoarder’s daughter told the counselor “It’s hard to hear my own mom say that there is more potential in a something that is trash than there is in her.”

I do believe that our kids and husbands take great pride in watching us pursue impossible dreams. Have you ever stopped to wonder that just maybe they would love to bend over backwards on your behalf the same way you love to do it for them? Seriously, we only need to ask. But we won’t ask if deep down we don’t think we are worth it.

The Lord was not making this weekend event difficult so as to cruelly dangle some unattainable fruit in my face. He really wanted me to see that I was worth fighting for. I think The Lord wanted my husband and kids to see me fighting for this dream too. I think He smiled in relief when I decided that I was. After all, He paid so much for me. With His very life He told me how much I was worth.

 -Here’s A Good Word-

Twice Paul encouraged Timothy to pursue his talents and invest in himself.

Do not neglect your gift…. -1 Timothy 4:14

…I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you… -2 Timothy 1:6

-Your Thoughts-

What are some dangers of having that pity party in front of your husband and kids?

I would never want my kids or husband to feel like they were the reason I never did the things I always wanted to.

Tell me about a time that the Lord did not make it come easy, whatever it was.

Is it easier for you to invest family resources into every member of the family except you? Why?

Tomorrow… I’ll tell you the rest of the story. Was I able to get it together to go to the JumpingTandem conference? How hard would I have to fight for this… and a special message from My Darling (husband Jeff)

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Let It Go!

 Come to the “Brave” Ladies Retreat April 25-27

I’ll be teaching a workshop called Stop Shoulding On Yourself.

Half Poster3

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. –John 8:36

We all watched the movie Frozen at home together. The kids had seen it with Grandma and Grandpa already and did what their mom has taught them best—quoted movie lines!

The kids favorite character?…Olaf the snowman. “I don’t have a skull. Or bones.” “Watch out for my butt!”

Mom’s favorite character?…Elsa of course! “I don’t care what they’re going say!…Here I stand in the light of day!…”

This has resulted in many a dinner table rendition of the song Let It Go. As well as the various theatrical living room versions put on by the kids and I. So much fun! (and so annoying to Jeff)

Seriously, that scene where Elsa throws ice and builds her frozen fortress while singing her heart out is so moving (never mind the eternal winter mishap).   Finally she didn’t have hold back any more and could just be herself. No more “conceal, don’t feel, don’t let it show”. Didn’t you just love how happy and free this beautiful character was!

What was holding her back? Why couldn’t she be free? She had always carried this load of guilt around for injuring her sister as a child. It kept her locked in her castle and left her sister alone. Guilt will do that to a person. It is like locking yourself in a cage. The shame that we feel will cause us to hold back and not feel the freedom of just being comfortable in our own skin. So what takes away the guilt? What makes us free? Well if I had it my way, I would have marched into that animated movie and introduced Elsa to Jesus!

You messed up bad. You feel really bad but the damage is done. You take your place on the bench and watch the game from the sidelines. Then Jesus comes in. He’s not afraid to be seen talking to you. He’s confused as to why you are not playing.

Jesus, you don’t understand what I did. Now I can’t play my part.

Jesus smiles and says, “Well I own this team and I say you are forgiven. Now get out there and play the position I made you to play.”

But what about the other players? What will they think?

Does it matter? I have the ultimate authority here and I say you are forgiven!”

 Let these scriptures encourage your heart today.

 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened by a yoke of slavery. –Galatians 5:1

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. –Proverbs 29:25

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. –Psalm 30:11-12

If you are weighed down by guilt don’t go another day without making it right. You must come out into the light. And when you do Jesus will cover you with His forgiveness and clothe you in His righteousness. No more shame. Just you… set free!


 Come to the “Brave” Ladies Retreat April 25-27

I’ll be teaching a workshop called Stop Shoulding On Yourself.

Click here Brave Poster to view the details.


When I kept silent,

my bones wasted away…

…Then I acknowleged my sin to you

and did not cover up my iniquity.

I said, “I will confess

my transgressions to the Lord”—

and you forgave

the guilt of my sin. Psalm 32:3-5