Have you ever thrown away an empty gallon of milk into the garbage without first rinsing it out?  If you have, you’ll only do it once.  After a while, the stench of sour milk will hit your nostrils and send you running to retrieve that sack of trash and take it out of your house! Sour milk is an awful smell, as moms of small babies know, and anyone that’s smelled it knows!  I did this once, and then realized that there are some containers that totally have to be rinsed before placing them in the trash can, unless that trash is immediately taken outside.  

What about when you do take the time to rinse out that carton really well, smash it and discard it?  It’s then gone, and you make room for the brand new carton of milk as it takes its place on the refrigerator shelf! I love it when we finish that last bit of milk and are able to get rid of it, and replace it with a new one…with a brand new expiration date.  Fresh milk for cereal, for baking, for drinking, for making all things good…

That simple act of discarding the old and making room for the new milk made me think about a lot of things that need to rinsed and discarded, because they’re about to sour.  And what better time to look at that list than the start of a brand new year?

Judgments: Maybe over the past year those little verdicts we’ve given our friends or foes about how they acted and why they acted, and they wound up on our “naughty” list.  It’s time to rinse and discard.

Attitudes:  Perhaps we’ve picked up cynicism or sarcasm a little too often this past year and it’s starting to smell sour when we speak.  It’s time to rinse, smash and discard!

Burdens:  Is your back a little achy from the holiday season, picking up the burdens that others carry, or carrying your own until you’re about to drop? Remember that little verse that invites you to “come” if you’re weary and He will give you rest?  Carrying burdens we weren’t meant to carry is sour milk, and it makes us sick to our stomachs.  Time to rinse and discard, and rest.

Lies:  Picked up a few thoughts about yourself last year that just aren’t true?  Maybe you’ve decided that no one loves you, you messed up too many times, or that your children will never amount to anything.  Maybe you’ve included God in that sentiment and believe that he can’t possibly love you either, because of…circumstances.  It’s time to make room for a new carton of “milk” and toss out the old.  There’s no place for the both of them.

Bad habits:  Maybe last January you resolved to relax, scream less, quit biting your nails or quit telling tales and you didn’t succeed at anything you tried.  In fact, you fell in to all sorts of bad habits that you now regret.  Who says that stinky milk has to stay on your shelf?  Just toss it out and start all over with a new expiration date!  Again and again…

I just finished a Hallmark movie where a young girl broke the town snow globe – a cardinal sin – stinky milk!  She felt absolutely horrible, until the end of the movie when all that happened after the break led her into all sorts of good things.  She met the young man that owned a shop where broken things are fixed…better than new.

I don’t know about you, but January is a great time for me to not only get rid of the stinky milk on my shelves, but to look forward to fresh and new cartons of milk over and over again this year.  There’s always life to be had when we know Jesus.  He’s the great fixer-upper, fresh milk, and creator of good things.  We just have to be willing to toss out the old and make room for the new.

Be sure to rinse well, smash and discard…and then pop off the top of that brand new life…and drink.

All the Lights

Redefining Friendship


Sour Milk &  Broken Globes
by Marcy Lytle

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