My Life Like a Garbage Disposal

Oh, that’s gross.

I watch yesterday’s leeks and kale and coffee grinds and who knows what else bubble up into the sink. Apparently, I forgot to flip the disposal and grind that stuff down. So as my dishwasher works busily away, the backup comes into the sink. Since I’m here and watching it, I figure I should help it along, so I flip the switch. The other side of the sink immediately hits me in the face. As if it’s projectile vomiting yesterday’s chunks and spraying them in my face, and on my nice shirt. My one nice shirt.

I think, “This is how I’ve been feeling lately.”

It’s like if we deal with the junk in our lives well and on a frequent regular basis, it rarely backfires and blows up in our faces. But when we don’t deal with yesterday’s stress and let it sit overnight, especially if this goes on for days, then the mess only gets bigger when we hit the disposal switch.


For me, the disposal switch in my life is prayer. Like for real prayer. Like, “Oh, God, this is really hard and this is how I’m really feeling and this is who I need you to be for me prayer.” Not like surface level prayer. Like gut level prayer. Surface level prayer is like just cleaning the sink. It looks pretty good. It feels like I prayed. I know I talked with God. But it’s like I didn’t really have a deeper conversation about what’s really going. It’s the difference of the conversations with my husband right when he gets home from work, the ten minute debrief, “How was your day?” conversations versus the lingering date night conversation about how I’m really doing with the move, and things that scare me or make me worried or hopes and dreams kind of conversations.

That’s the difference between shining the outside of the sink and really gut cleaning the pipes and tubes and drains and junk below the surface.

So I flip the switch and if I’ve let it build up, then it looks more like a blow up or a meltdown.

This week, I’ve been watching myself. How I’ve been building up the junk below the surface. It starts with lack of sleep, eating refined sugar, not getting outside or exercise. It starts with eating seven of the dozen croissants I bought (today). Nutella on just a few. It starts with checking my email-insta-facebook just real quick, just because I walked by my phone in the kitchen. But when it blows up in my face is when I snap or yell at my children. When I feel weepy and unbalanced. When I can’t handle anything well.

Flipping the switch looks like real honest prayers and tears and expressing any disappointments or hopes deferred to God. But it also looks like taking care of the place He dwells… me. So I put the phone outside of my kitchen so I can’t check the phone every time I walk in here. I put email-insta-facebook down. Instead, I take my daughter on a bike ride and the dog on a walk. This is good for all of us because now he won’t poop in my house this afternoon and now she might actually sleep through the night. And I just made space to clear my head a bit and enjoy Spring that almost sprung with me buried in a screen. Flipping the switch looks like chickory-cardamom tea with honey and heavy cream instead of ice cream. It looks like a handful of roasted hazelnuts and some chocolate chips instead of spoonfuls of Nutella. It looks like lemon in my water and fresh blueberries. Flipping the switch looks like praying with my dear friend and talking with her on the phone. It looks like going to the grocery store and getting a Stouffer’s lasagna to spoil my husband with some good hearty fatty calories for once. Oh, I should get him some garlic bread too, just to really top it all off! (But let’s not sound too heroic here. I bought the lasagna because I’ve been craving it, and so I’m not going to feel guilty about eating it. Not one bit. And yes, it will doubly spoil my husband!) It looks like grilled chicken and spinach tomorrow and sweet potato fries the next day. It looks like folding my laundry gratefully. Maybe in silence or maybe while listening to the next chapter of The Next Right Thing on audiobook. These are things that help flip the switch. It looks like going to bed when I’m tired, even if that’s 8pm. It looks like giving my children melatonin just tonight just so they’ll finally sleep because I need to go to bed by 9pm. I have to. Or I will likely yell at someone tomorrow, even if just the dog. And yelling is just not cool. It looks like reading an actual book with actual pages before falling asleep and giving God all of my tomorrow’s to-do list tonight.

When I do these things on a routine basis, I notice I maintain a healthy emotional and thought life much better.

When I’m frenetic and start spiraling into social media world and Reese’s pieces and ice cream and croissants and Nutella and what else on earth did I eat today? Then… kaboom! Old coffee grinds vomit in my face and my energy crashes and takes down my ability to love my family well with it.

So, friend.

  • What does your flipping the switch look like?

  • What do you need to do to reset and deal with yesterday’s and today’s old stuff so you can start fresh tomorrow?


Need step by step help “flipping the switch”? Sign up for my self-care kit challenge. It’s free. Give yourself the gift of 10 minutes each day for self-care. The 2 week challenge is packed with daily devotions and daily practical challenges for taking better care of yourself. Sign up here.