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This is not our actual tank - but a close approximation. ; )

What is it with holidays that seems to bring all the crap to the surface? I mean this literally and figuratively. And this year at our house – it was literal. The septic tank picked the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to overflow. Stinky, smelly, yucky… all adds up to nasty! We were grateful it snowed that day, made it obvious it was overflowing. It might have taken a few days to discover otherwise. That would have been even yuckier. But do you think you can get help over a holiday weekend. Not a chance.

Thankfully for me = ) I wasn’t the one who had to discover it. It was the boys, who were outside in the yard enjoying the fresh snow, who noticed it wasn’t quite the right color – you know, not white – right over the septic tank and by the trap door lid. Great!

Thanksgiving Day. No help to be had. No cleansing agent handy. And so we waited – from Thursday to Monday. Then it finally did get the cleaning out it needed.

And, isn’t this timing often true with families and relationships and conflicts that have been left to fester? We are fine apart from them, but the holidays often bring us together under stress and usually small confines. And then what happens? The lid blows and the conflicts rise to the surface, spewing out on those around us. Sometimes the trigger isn’t even being together, conflict can blow even while we are apart. There just seems to be something about the stress of extra planning and past memories and sometimes loss and grieving that was never completed.

Truly, it is far simpler to deal with a messy septic tank than it is with hurting, grieving hearts and the anger and confusion and desperation that can surface in our messy humanity.

Surely Jesus wants to heal these relationships. We must be realistic and realize it won’t be done in just a few days’ time over the holiday. It will take a commitment to deal with the problems on an ongoing basis. And it will take a lot of love and care – and regular cleaning out. Just like septic tanks.

Guess it’s a good thing I’m working on my degree in counseling. Who knows when it will come in handy!

I wonder if things will grow better around that hatch this coming spring? ; )

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