Have you ever heard of a grease stump before?
Well, don’t feel bad. I had never heard of one either until Mr Wonderful used the term in a conversation we had a while back.
Here’s how the story goes.
A few months back I prepared our annual “garden dinner” for 10 of our closest friends. From the sound of it, you’re probably imagining a “garden dinner” to be a delicious, good for you dinner prepared straight from the garden. Well, if you thought that, you’d be half right. It was delicious and it was straight from our garden…but the “good for you” part might be stretching it a bit.
The “garden dinner” menu consisted of all things fried.
Fried zucchini pizzas
Fried deer steak, from the deer that had been eating from our garden, so that kinda counts
Corn on the cob
Hot buttered biscuits
Buttermilk pound cake
And of course sweet tea!
After everything had been fried, boiled, baked and sautéed, I was left with a greasy mess! With just a few minutes before our guests were to arrive, I began to tidy things up a bit. In an effort to clean off the stove top and clear some counter space, I poured all the grease into one big pot. In a hurried state, I wiped my hands on my apron, I yelled, “hey babe?”. In a very non-hurried tone, He replied,”yep?” “I’ve got a big pot of grease that needs to be dumped, where would you like me to dump it?”, I asked.
(If you’ll notice, I used the word “I” and “me”, but what I really meant was “him” and “he”. That’s a little reverse psychology trick I learned years ago. Most of the time it backfires, but every once in a while I get lucky)
After the usual ten minute pause, he finally replied, “ok, I’ll take it out to the grease stump in a minute”. “Grease stump?”, I questioned, “what the heck is a grease stump?” With just a tad of annoyance in his voice he replied, “it’s a hollered out stump I’ve been Putting the grease in.”
And that folks, is why he gets paid the big bucks! Pure genius!
For years I’ve been frying foods, and for years I’ve tried multiple ways to dispose of the old grease…each time getting in trouble.
For a while, I’d just pour it down the garbage disposal with hot water and Dawn…I figured, what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him, right? I was wrong. The stupid Roto Rooter man who pumped out our septic tank ratted me out and I got in trouble.
Then I tried pouring it in the trash can, but it leaked out of the bag and all through the house as it was being taken out. I got in trouble again.
Finally I just decided to walk out to the edge of the woods and dump it. That worked for a while until Mr Wonderful noticed that his prize duck dogs looked all greasy and smelled like fried chicken. Stupid dogs blew my cover. You guessed it, I got in trouble again.
So that’s why I asked where he would like the grease dumped…and that’s when I first heard the term “grease stump”.
Many times over the next few months, I asked for grease to be dumped in that old stump. If Devin wasn’t home or was busy, which was most of the time, I’d ask Caleb or Cassady to go dump it for me, but I had never paid a visit to the famed stump…until a few days ago.
Once again I had fried meat, and once again I needed the grease to be taken out. This time there was no one home but me. No Mr Wonderful and no kids. I grabbed the still warm iron skillet and headed out the back door. I tromped my way to the edge of the woods in search of the hollered out stump.
There it was, I stood there in awe. It was perfect. A genius idea! The perfect place to hide the ugly, stinky grease. A place where no one could see it, where it wouldn’t make a mess, clog things up or where the dogs couldn’t find it and roll around in it. It was the perfect hiding place. I held my iron skillet high over the stump and raked every bit of that slimy mess into its cavity and walked away.
As I walked back to the house, swinging the iron skillet by my side, I heard a still small voice say…
“you have a grease stump in your heart.”
Me: What? Could you repeat that please?
Small voice: “You have a grease stump in your heart.”
Me: what does that even mean? That makes no sense!
Small voice: “you have a place in your heart much like that grease stump. A secret place to hide the yucky stuff, the stuff you don’t know what to do with. It’s a place where you put things out of sight, where people can’t see it, where it won’t get messy and where pesky varmints can’t get in it and stir things up. It’s out of sight and out of mind. But just like that stump, it’s not really gone or taken care of at all. It’s just hidden. Give it to me. Release your burden to me and I will carry it for you.”
As I continued back to the house I pondered what I had just heard. I knew who that small voice was, I had heard it before. It was the Lord. I also knew what He was talking about.
I had some pretty big hurts and disappointments that had come my way over the past few years. Trying desperately to get them out of my head, out of the forefront of my consciousness, I tucked them away. I hid them. What else was I supposed to do with them? I mean, a hurt is a hurt. It’s a feeling. I couldn’t just wish it away. I couldn’t will myself not to be disappointed or hurt. So I did the next best thing. I stuck it way back in the corner of my heart where no one could see it, a place where it wouldn’t get in the way of my everyday life, where it wouldn’t be messy or yucky. The problem was, it was still there. The hurt, disappointment and mistrust was still there. Sure they were hidden from the general public, all tidied up and tucked away carefully and neatly in the deepest part of my heart…but they were still there just the same. Messy, Yucky, and holding me back from complete freedom.
I paused to soak in what I had just heard, to appreciate this grease stump Revelation. As I walked into the kitchen and slid the iron skillet back on the stove I found myself with a grateful heart. Grateful for that still small voice and for the permission to let it all go. To release it to Him.
To be honest, it felt kind of weird not having a hurt or disappointment to nurture and maintain. I had treated it much like a child does a skinned knee. I knew I had an injury but I didn’t want anyone to touch it or clean it, for fear it may hurt even worse. All I wanted was a bandage to cover it up and go about my life. Not any more though! I ripped the bandage off that day. I cleaned out all the dark corners and I took a stump grinder to the grease stump of my heart. And let me tell you…it feels good!
Well, that’s my grease stump story. How about you? Do you have a grease stump in your yard? Better yet, do you have one in your heart? If so, let me I challenge you to take a stump grinder to that sucker and grind it in the ground! And then, Give all of your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7 NLT
I did, and it’s a pretty sweet life.
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