Getting Rid of the Garbage

“So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:21‬ ‭

With our continued mild weather, my garden season has definitely been extended.

I can’t remember ever – not in at least 30 years – diving into my compost pile to do any planting at the end of October.

And I can’t remember finding so much – well, crap – in my compost pile.

Compost is, by definition, crappy. I mean, it’s the result of the process of decomposition, after all. Veggie scraps, grass clippings, kitchen waste, all tumbled into my compost bin and left to break down over time into rich, beautiful soil perfect for plants.

Except – I’ve hit a rough patch.

There’s a layer in my compost bin that unaccountably has bits of garbage in it.

Not waste material. Garbage. Bits of plastic. Bread tags. Scraps of what look to be product labels.

I don’t know if I’ve unearthed an archeological proof of temporary insanity, or laziness, or what. But the evidence is there.

Somebody at some point in the past 15 years was – er, not so very thorough in the dumping process.

(Maybe I should blame the kids…)

So instead of getting a spadeful of lovely compost for my daffodils, I’ve been sifting hunks of unwanted materials out of my compost bin.

An unexpected chore, to say the least.

I’m thinking it would have been a lot easier to, say, not dump garbage in the compost bin in the first place.

Which brings me to the point.

Those little ‘bad habits’ that we hang onto?

They look a lot like hunks of plastic in a compost pile – completely out of place. An environmental disaster. Rather than feed what we are trying so hard to plant that is good in our lives, they will choke and thwart any forward momentum.

And become an eyesore to boot.

I have no idea how those bits of plastic got in that compost pile. But it could have gone something like this:

Meh. Just one bread tag. What will it hurt?

Ooops! There goes the whole bag. Pffft. I’m too busy to reach in there and grab it now. I’ll get it next time.

Drat. I see a label in there. How ridiculous. Ack, I’m not reaching into that pile of rotting lettuce. It won’t hurt anything.

Yeah. I know how it works, that game of justifying poor decisions. I’m pretty good at telling myself all sorts of pretty things to keep myself from noticing that something ugly is going on.

But – y’all know that a little mess now is a big mess left unchecked?

And that no one else but you is responsible for the stuff that gets dumped in your own compost pile?


God’s Word has this uncanny ability to force us to open our eyes to all the bits of garbage hiding in our lives. It doesn’t pull any punches. It’s real. And it’s because getting rid of all that garbage just gets harder and harder to do the deeper it gets buried that God wants us to do it now.

Before we try to plant something beautiful and it ends up looking more like a landfill.

See, it’s not about following strict rules. It’s about staying clean and healthy. It’s about God’s guidelines for our protection. It’s about living to our fullest potential, with God’s help.


(Insert deep breath here.)

Get rid of some garbage in your life with me?

Father, our little dirty secrets may stay hidden for a time – but it is inevitable that they will eventually come to light. Help us to tackle them head on, with Your help. Bless our efforts at getting rid of garbage – we want You to be free to plant beautiful things in our lives. Amen.

Published by melodylowes

I am actually a bit of a mess. But in the mess, I’m finding security in knowing I am chosen, I am forgiven, and I matter. After uncovering a history of abuse in my past, I have done a lot of healing - and writing is one way I can invite you deeper into your own healing journey! I write devotionals about the complicated thing called life at, and my poetry is stashed at Pull up a chair and a coffee or tea and let's grow together!

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