Friday, April 13, 2012

Reinvent Yourself

The certainty of change is really the only constant in life outside of the promises of God and the integrity of His character... even death and taxes aren't unchangeable, eventually. (Although we might see the Rapture and the resurrection of the dead before we see Congress come to terms on changing taxes.) Everything else, everything visible, according to 2 Corinthians 4:18, is temporary—subject to change. Our ability to "go with the flow" and adapt (or not) affects everything from our mental health to the stability of our relationships.

Many of the Inkies (and many of our readers, I'm sure) have faced, or are facing, major life transitions. In fact, if we all had to take one of those "stress tests" I'm guessing most of us would score quite high based on our life experiences in the last year, and there's no indication things are going to ease up or slow down anytime soon, based on the times in which we live. (I know, bummer.)

© Copyright Andrew Smith. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License
As a pessimistic melancholic introvert, I tend to wallow like a piggy in the muck and mire of stressful situations. Thus, when the situations pass (which they do, sooner or later) and everyone else moves on, I'm still coated in the stinky recollection of whatever I just endured, and nothing short of a reinvention will remove the lingering odor and caked-on grime.

Call it a makeover, an overhaul, "turning over a new leaf," or whatever you will, when you find yourself wallowing in the muck of the past, it's time for a reinvention. (Note: you can wallow in a victory or a past success just as easily as you can wallow in failure. If it's old, over, useless, yet still consuming your thoughts and actions, you might be wallowing.)

Uncle Rico, from "Napoleon Dynamite." 

Reinvention can mean anything from bringing something back into use or existence, to reviving something that has been left for dead, to making something over into something new and fresh.

Different stages and phases of life might be the right time to bring some aspect of life back into use that you left behind for a time, like a hobby, or a dream. Just a thought: I heard Dr. Phil today say this phase of his life didn't even start until his was 50 years old. And Caleb and Joshua were 80 when they finally got to the Promised Land. Age, in God's eyes, has nothing to do with it.

If the "reveal" scene in Miss Congeniality doesn't make you catch your breath, you are in need of more help than you think.
A heartbreak, a rejection, or a disappointment might mean you need to make yourself over into something new and fresh, so that you can move forward without excess baggage. Think about your favorite "makeover" movie ... the main character doesn't get made over with her old wardrobe, hairstyle, or attitude, right? Neither should we, when we need a makeover to move forward and accomplish a goal or to step into our calling.

Ever had a houseplant die for lack of attention? How about a marriage? Or a friendship? Or a manuscript? Or a goal? Forward progress demands frequent infusions of power—LIFE. In church-y terms, we call it "revival," but in reality it's a state we ought to live in all the time, constant infusions of the life of God into every aspect of our lives. (Yeah, I haven't gotten there either... but I'm working on it!)

Are you wallowing in something stinky and gross? Unforgiveness, perhaps? Offense? Fear or doubt? Condemnation? Despair? Let's take the Apostle Paul's words to heart for ourselves: "I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward." (Phil 3:13-14 Amp.)

 It doesn't matter what your personal "wallow" is, what matters is that something better lies ahead. Wherever you're at, it isn't the end, it's merely a change of scene, a time for reinvention. And the best news of all? The Holy Spirit who lives in you is the ultimate master of reinvention, easily outdoing Rex Harrison in "My Fair Lady."

SO... describe your desired reinvention... Is it physical? Financial? Relational? Don't hesitate to share those visions, ideas, dreams, and goals. Not only does it reinforce your own reinvention, it's likely to inspire someone else along the way.

 About the Author: Niki writes fiction, blog posts, articles in the local newspaper, grocery lists, and Facebook status updates. She can be found at her own blog, In Truer Ink, in addition to posting here. She was a 2009 finalist in the Faith, Hope, and Love "Touched by Love" contest.


  1. oh honey-chile, this list is too long for this comment.

    Today I just want to think that if I had the right hat, say, like The Flower Girl (Audrey Hepburn) above, It would be a start.

    I need to get out of my rut. Wouldn't you know it, right after I read this post early this morning I ended up in the kitchen making a large pancake (and it my house it's more like a pan CAKE) with oats, pecans, extra sugar, as well as the requisite butter and real maple syrup?

    The only way forward is step by step. Today I have goals. Getting offline is probably the first move.
    It's been a crazy year, that's for sure. We've gone through a lot of tissues in the Inky underground headquarters!

    thanks Niki!
    I'm planning a nice healthy veggie lunch later
    oh, so why is Uncle Rico here? I guess it's been too long since I've seen that movie ( it was only once. I don't have teens in my house anymore)

  2. Thank you, Niki. I once said on Facebook that I was so happy with something, I was wallowing in it.

    Someone came back and said wallowing is for bad stuff. (Not her words, but close.)

    Well, not really... pigs wallow in mud because they have no sweat glands. They are happy wallowing in cool, wet muck because it cools them off on a hot day.

    And that's what I meant - like you said - I was so happy, it was consuming me. I couldn't think of anything else. I couldn't do anything else. My happiness was covering me and blocking out everthing else in my life at that moment. And I was content to wallow in it.

    So thank you for understanding the word.

    As for transformation, as soon as I saw the pics of Sandra Bullock, I thought of Grease and how Olivia Newton John goes from a sweet and innocent girl to a va-va-voom knock-out. LOL

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  4. Deb, I need to get out of my rut, too. A time management reinvention (or maybe an INTERVENTION) is on my list!

    Oh yeah... Uncle Rico is here because he was wallowing in his former status as a high school football hero. Love that movie!

  5. LOL Anita! We visited a pig farm a few years ago for a homeschool field trip. The pigs were quite content in their wallowing... but the STINK!!! And it took multiple washes to get the stench off our clothes.

    I almost put up the "Grease" transformation... that's still my favorite scene in the whole movie!

  6. I love reinvention stories. I tend to wallow quietly and try not to let anyone know, but yes, I could use some reinvention in some areas too.

  7. "Oink, oink." I'm wallowing and I need reinvention in a couple of areas that I'm too ashamed to mention. But I need to get out of the muck and get on with the reinvention. I can only do it with lots of prayer.

    Deb, can you come to my house and make me some pancakes?

    Anita! I love the "happy wallowing" idea.
    This is a wonderful post, Niki. Thanks to you, and Anita, for a fresh look at wallowing.

    Oh, by the way, I think pigs are so cute. We humans throw the word "pig" around a lot. I wonder how often people actually think of real pigs when they use the word? Pigs sure get a bad rap, don't they?

  8. I like pigs too but I have to admit that they eat garbage and eat it fast, so eating like a pig is an appropriate term. I don't think they mind. They seem pretty content with their lot in life.

    Now that I started to eat chocolate again after 30 years, I think I should have held off. I feel no remorse in trying to make up for it.

    Niki, I think you will be force out of your rut when they start packing up your house around you. I'm making a big step today as well. I actually feel excited about cleaning.

  9. Dina, I do too.. I was just wondering why there aren't more reinvention stories in fiction. Although plenty of the fairy tales play on it.

  10. Suzie, I think baby pigs are cute. But once I saw the full grown ones, I wasn't quite so impressed. Those little pot-bellied ones are cute, though, and I understand they are extremely clean.

  11. Deb, you might be right about that. This in-between phase is challenging.

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  13. When I was 11 we lived on a farm. One day we were having supper when Dad walked in a deposited a gunny sack by the door. It began to move and roll along the floor. Mom rolled her eyes and gave him his supper as we sat sideways, cheeks against the chair back, and tracked the sack.

    Dad told mom to make up some bottles and he told us to find a dark crayon. When he was done eating, he picked up the sack and we trailedhim out the door and down to an empty granary. Inside, he opened the sack and gave a little flick to the closed end. Out tumbled 3 little pigs.

    He explained I would have to catch and hold them while Bonnie gave them a bottle. When one was fed, we had to put an X on it's head so we knew it'd been fed.

    That first week was fun as they were only about a foot long and squealed as we chased them. But then they began to recognize us and rooted around our boots as we fed their sibling. Also, we put fresh straw down every day, but it began to get soiled. They were getting harder to catch, stronger, and heavier. And I was getting filthier each time.

    But that was the best bacon I've ever had!

  14. Oh Anita Mae. What a story! Seriously, about how much did they weigh when they...ahem...stopped wallowing?

  15. OH ANITA!!! That's a story waiting to be told!

  16. Anita! I love it. It's just like Charlotte's Web. Wilbur! Whenever I eat bacon, I try not to think of Wilbur. Whenever I see spiders, I try to think of Charlotte and capture and put them outside instead of smashing them.

    By the way, Niki, I didn't know it was you this time. I thought it might be, but I wasn't positive. You fooled me this time. ;-)

  17. Deb, I believe they wallowed for 3 months and by that time they were about 3' long and about 2' high.


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