Thoughts, Ideas and Inspiration by Melissa Earley

Inspired by the Church Rummage Sale

I wish I had a giant shovel.

I would shovel out my house. I would scoop up the clothes I keep hoping will fit again one day but still pucker at the hips and are tight across the belly. I’d heap up the files of warranties and manuals for appliances I no longer have and the collection of old hymnals I don’t peruse. I’d toss on the pile the creamer and pitcher my former mother-in-law bought when visiting my former husband when he lived in Belfast. I felt that I had received a family heirloom.

I’d empty out the linen closet of tablecloths and napkin rings, candlesticks and candy dishes meant for holiday parties. I’d empty kitchen cupboards of dishes that go unused by guests who never arrive.

I’d clear out the craft closet of unfinished projects, and hopeful supplies.  I’d get rid of the shelf waiting to be refinished and the broken bird path I haven’t fixed.

I’d like to drive one of those large earth movers with the  huge iron shovel with teeth.  I’d rip off the roof and shovel out my collection  of petty disappointments and grudges and hurt feelings.  I’d like to hear them smash like glass on a cement sidewalk.

I’d like to kneel in dirt, use a sharp trowel, and carefully root out the voice that says, “You can’t,” “Don’t dare,” “Don’t try,” “Can’t risk,” “Play it safe.”  I’d diligently extricate the rhizomes that seek approval and insist that I’m never quite good enough.

I’d uproot myself and plant me somewhere new to see what grows.


  1. Teri

    Yes. Yes to this!

    • admin


  2. Jay


    For one, I wish I could write like this, using the analogies of the physical things in your life correlating them to thoughts in your mind.

    Two, your emotional and mental needs are really coming through. Thanks for sharing in such an open way.

  3. Luciene

    Wounds of the soul screaming loudly, yes Melissa, I too can relate. I wish we could dig and bury those broken items and promises, along with cleaning up the paper piles that never diminish! You’re good with visuals, as I can still remember the visual of your scarf you used in a sermon on ‘seeing God in our thin places’……(if I remembered correctly…?)

  4. Erin P. Gosser

    This is really good, Melissa. I love the imagery. Thanks for being so raw and honest.

    • admin

      thanks, Erin.

  5. Phae

    You have described the state of my heart this year. You are brave, inspirational so strong and I think you are laughing in the faces of all those voices you described even if you don’t realize it. 💜

    • admin

      Thanks, Phae! Yes, I hope just doing the challenge is laughing at all those voice in my head.

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