Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nothing A Little Parsley Can't Handle

Do you ever feel like you just want to get the old stuff out?

“Stuff” could refer to any number of things – a pantry overflowing with expired or no longer wanted food, a closet full of clothes too small or too large or too outdated, a garage packed floor-to-ceiling with boxes bursting with who knows what.  Just stuff.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, consider yourself ostracized from the human condition.

I’d like to think that I'm good about purging my belongings when their totality gets to be all too much.  About twice a year, I pile all of this “too much” into a box and head to the local Goodwill.  The donated items are a given – a pair of jeans I last wore in high school (I’m pushing thirty, btw), a horrendous Christmas sweater compliments of Grandma…you know, the usual.  But there are some things I just can’t let go of.  I think, “I might need this at some unspecified point in time even though I haven’t used it since a forgettable time ago.”  My purging of “too much” never seems enough when I return home and see that I still have so.much.stuff.  Being that this is a journey-to-healing blog, you know where I’m going with this.  If you don't know where I'm going with this, consider yourself ostracized from the human condition.  Not really.  Just follow along.

I found myself in church the past couple Sundays for worship and a few Wednesdays for the guided contemplative prayer group.  As I mentioned before, this is my season of searching, searching for God knows what.  Funny, these words are the title of a book written by Donald Miller, one I came across (but have yet to read) after reading his A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.  I am searching, this I know.  But what is it that I'm searching for?  I really don’t know.  But I do believe God knows and that He initiated the search.  Touché, Miller.

This church I attend is simple and contemplative.  Just being in site of the place makes me want to throw out everything I own, grab a pair of flip flops, and travel the world just enjoying life and the people I meet.  Being among other believers in complete silence, worshiping God, praying, listening to the pastor…the peace and simplicity I experience is cleansing, but it also reveals just how much complex weight I carry.  Debt, failed relationships, estranged Mother, tarnished reputation from stupid drunk decisions -- this is the old stuff, the “too much” I attach to other stuff, the “too much” I have no room for but just can't get rid of.
 
I am all about dieting and cleansing programs, have tried many of them, and have failed most of them.  By “fail” I mean I didn’t really feel any bit different afterward.  I was just starving and tired of being on the toilet every 10 minutes.  So when I came across an article in this month’s O Magazine that outlined a two day cleanse by Dr. Oz, I was initially skeptical but still very interested.  Dr. Oz said nothing about losing weight, noticing a flatter tummy, or clearing out the depths of your intestines.  What he did say was the effects of this cleanse, as experienced by him, weren’t just physical; there was a spiritual aspect as well.  Peaceful, rejuvenated from the inside out were words he used.  After a quick read thru of the menu, I decided to try it.  Yes, another cleanse but another purpose.

As I do with all recipes, I changed up the cleanse menu to fit my budget and to make it simpler – I refuse to purchase nutmeg, caraway seeds, ginger root, and the likes to put only one teaspoon of each in whatever it is I am cooking.  Yesterday I headed to the store to purchase items for the Valentine’s Dinner my boyfriend was cooking us, and grabbed a few extra fruits and veggies, the key ingredients as directed by Dr. Oz.  So many of the ingredients of our dinner were included in the cleanse menu, making it very easy to prepare for this venture.  I was most excited to make the main meal of the cleanse, a soup overflowing with vegetables and herbs.  I woke up this morning and got to chopping.

This is what went into the soup – celery, cabbage, onion, garlic, fennel bulb, rosemary, basil, and lots of parsley all simmered in a huge pot of water for one hour.  Parsley happens to be a big mover and shaker in getting things moving and shaking, if you know what I mean.  One of the pointers for this cleanse was to drink dandelion tea at night – but I didn’t want to buy dandelion tea bags, and I had this huge bunch of parsley.  My synapses connected and I found a recipe online for parsley tea.  Said it was disgusting (I think the word used was “bitter”) but very good for you.  Since I’m going for purpose and not taste, parsley tea it will be.
 
As I sit here typing away with the bountiful veggie soup ready to be eaten, I am experiencing excitement and wonder.  Excitement for this short journey I am taking, and wonder for what in the world parsley tea could possibly taste like.  But seriously folks, my season of searching has me simplifying what goes into my body, caring about my organs and how they function, and ready to empty myself of the “too much” I’ve been carrying with me for too long.  I am dedicating myself to this cleanse and keeping God as my center.  I am not doing this cleanse to lose a quick 5 pounds or to rid my body of the evil parasites that take up residence in my colon track; I believe I will achieve a sense of lightness and purity within my spirit.  Maybe I’m thinking too much into this cleanse.  But maybe I’m not.  I choose to believe.

Tonight is the guided contemplative prayer group I spoke of, and I will be in attendance.  I am looking forward to this quiet time with myself and with God, to hear what He has to say, to be made aware of more of my brokenness so that I may experience and embrace the peace He brings me.  And I’ll do it all with a big mug of steeping parsley tea resting on the lips of my smiling face.  Now what can be bitter about that?  

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