When People and Salt Scrub Rub Us the Wrong Way


I’d been wanting another pick-me-up. A little something besides my morning coffee to wake up my smile and put an extra spring in my step. For whatever reason, I landed on salt scrub. You know, that stuff you rub yourself silly with in the shower to smooth the rough spots and heal your dry skin. It needed to be scented, of course, but nothing too floral smelling. Something invigorating. That screamed sunshine and happiness.

Being the obsessed, diehard researcher that I am, I scoured the internet for the ultimate in salt scrubs and found one proudly promoting itself as being 100% pure dead sea salt, with a blend of skin smoothing oils, organic, and having an “uplifting lemongrass” scent.

Sold.

It was a dream come true. It fulfilled everything it promised.

And then some.

Day one I was ecstatic; its oily, course essence making me smell like a bowlful of lemon drops and my skin softer than a baby greased in butter. I swear, that slapped a smile on my face and a quick in my step so fast, I could hardly contain myself. I was in heaven. Day two proved to be just as wonderful, and I was thrilled to add this new, valuable step into my daily routine. That is, until that day.

Because a few weeks later, on that day, my beloved salt scrub turned on me. And instead of slapping a smile on my face, it slipped me a few tears as I held my poor, sweet hand under the water, in hopes of alleviating the excruciating pain emanating from my finger.

Just so you know, if you ever want to find out if you have a paper cut, buy some salt scrub. You’ll know in about 2.3 seconds.

And just like that, what used to be my friend, quickly turned into my foe. And sunshine and birds singing turned into lightning bolts and Nana cursing. It was quite the scene. And also, quite sobering; all the time I had thought my precious fingers were just fine, they weren’t. One of them had a wound that was unperceivable;

only when it met up with a certain substance, was the wound detected.

Just like our other wounds. The internal ones that cause us to overreact to people in our lives, when in reality, those lovely people are just exposing imperceptible injuries in our souls by rubbing up against us.

Like the times my husband wouldn’t call me during his busy work day, and I would take it as rejection. Just an innocent omission on a busy man’s part would send me spiraling into self-pity and doubt; all because I had unattended wounds that were still open and vulnerable to even the smallest grain of salt.

I’ll never forget something Beth Moore said a few years ago. She said, if you have a scar, you can show it to people, talk about it, even let others touch it, and it won’t bother you or cause you pain. Because scars don’t hurt.

Which means if it does hurt, it’s not a scar.

It’s still a wound.

This makes me wonder…

How many imperceptible wounds are we carrying around and blaming others for, when in reality, they’re just picking a scab off of something that’s already there?

How many times are we unknowingly picking a scab off of somebody else’s wound and then reacting poorly when they get hurt, instead of seeking to look behind their pain to see if maybe there are hidden wounds there that have nothing to do with us?

How many times are we, ourselves, applying salt scrub to somebody else’s wound and adding in-salt to injury in the name of trying to “help” them, by saying things like, “just count it all joy,” when what they really need is a big ol’ hug and a shoulder to cry on?

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Colossians 4:6

Seasoned with salt. Not using the whole dang tub.

I learned a few things in the shower that day (besides don’t put salt scrub on a paper cut). For one, salt can be a wonderfully healing agent but it can also cause a lot of pain. Trust me on this one.

Two, what seems fine-looking on the outside, oftentimes isn’t. So when something rubs up against me and causes me to flinch, I might want to check it out and see if there’s an overlooked wound that needs some attending to, before I blame it on that irritant that’s rubbing up against me.

And third, I don’t need to fear those things that do rub up against me because they can be both wound-revealing and life-refining. For if I let them, they can be used to polish me up to a smooth, butter-baby finish. Both inside and out.

Wishing you a smooth, butter-baby finish too. :)

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That Moment You Realize You’re Not Dead

It was a long five days. Last Wednesday, I packed my little bags and hit an early morning flight to North Carolina for the annual She Speaks Conference; an amazing gathering of over eight hundred hopeful writers and speakers.

Boy, was I in for some surprises.

For starters, the day before I left, I broke a blood vessel below my eye that was such a lovely shade of neon-red, I just knew it was sure to impress every publisher I’d meet; (into my suitcase went my extra-thick makeup concealer). I ripped my favorite black sweater on the plane before we even took off, got a migraine, and got sick on the second plane – praying the whole time I wouldn’t throw up on the poor, unsuspecting gentleman sitting next to me. I slept – and I use that term loosely – an average of 3-4 hours a night, experienced a six-hour power-outage one night that took out half the city, my lights, and my air conditioner, broke out all over my face (thank goodness for that extra-thick concealer), woke up in the middle of my three-hours sleep one night to a woman screaming, set my alarm clock wrong one day, left my much-needed coffee behind one morning, and waited patiently for my flight home which was delayed so that the flight attendant could get the things she had accidentally left back at her hotel. Oh. And got another migraine.

Yeah. Funny. Although I had very little expectations of the trip before I left, I certainly did NOT expect all of that. And all of that didn’t do anything to help make this trip any better because, well, I wasn’t feeling all that great in the first place.

Because, honestly? I didn’t want to be there.

You see, although I was excited when I had first booked the trip, everything in me that week wanted to cancel. And I mean, everything. But because I had already made a commitment, that wasn’t an option. And so, along with my luggage, I took a few other pieces of baggage with me that were weighing heavily on my soul:

• The thought that there are already a ton of amazing writers and speakers out there. I do not need to be added to the mix.
• The thought that I’m wasting my time. And my husbands hard-earned money.
• The thought that I’m not as good as them. After all, although I’m a hard-core Jesus fan, I don’t listen to Christian music much of the time. I like Aerosmith. And Heart.

Yup. All of that went on that plane ride with me. But as burdensome as those were, there was another, even heavier, piece of baggage that went along for the ride:

It’s too late now. I’m just too old.

That weight almost broke me. I carried it around with me the whole conference; into every breakout session, up and down the halls, breakfast, lunch, the bathroom…and all the way back home.

It almost did me in.

Except God.

I swear. If you ever need a pick-me-up or a better perspective, He’s the one to go to. And so, I spent some extra time with Him yesterday morning. And as I did, I felt a bit better. And later on in the day, after eating Chick-fil-A, something profound dawned on me:

I’m not dead yet.

That’s right. I’m still alive. I may be old. (Okay, older.) I may not have the energy my young-adult kids have, the curiosity my grandsons have, or the strength I used to have, but I am still here.

And as long as I’m still here, it is not over.

That means that as long as I have breath – and ability – and will – I can keep on keeping on. No. I will keep on going. Because, well,

why the heck not?

As God would so graciously have it, he solidified this in a conversation I had with my sister later that afternoon. See, she’s another one of those brave souls – feeling old as she enters nursing school in her mid-forties. And as we shared our struggles, she mentioned that a 76-year-old woman graduated from nursing school last year. Seventy-six! Dang, I just want to give that chick a high-five and tell her, You go, girl!

But instead, I say that to myself. And my sister. And you.

You go.

Because if you’re reading this, I’m pretty sure you’re still alive. And if you’re still alive, it aint’ over. And if it ain’t over, you’ve got something to do. Something to contribute. Something to share.

So go do it. And if you want, share with me what you’re going to do. Me? I’ll post this blog. And look forward to writing the next one. :)

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