Where and when do I apply elbow grease?

Note: Please be patient with me while I process applying elbow grease to my life. I want to allow you to come along on my crazy, but I also need your compassionate, patient, non judgmental encouragement if you are going to comment.

One of the questions I have been pondering since going through the journey is “how much is God’s responsibility and how much is my responsibility”. Now there are those in my circle who will tell me, “just do it” (whatever it is I’m considering). Then there are others who will say wait on God’s timing and let him bring it to you.

In my life experience both answers are correct. There are times when I just need to act on something, but I have also had situations in my life when I acted and I should have waited. Then there are times when I waited and I should have acted. These moments feel like the times I have been stuck in rush hour traffic were there is no rhythm or set pace. You get going only to slow down and come to a stop or you come to a stop only to speed up and then slow down. It about drives a person bonkers.

Elbow Grease

I also know I have a bathroom to clean. I can pray and pray for someone to come clean it, but I am the one who needs to get up, grab a rag, some cleaner and go clean it. I am the person God has sent to clean the bathroom, mow the lawn and other tasks throughout our home. Physical elbow grease is needed to clean the bathroom.

One of the answers I have discovered is to figure out where the elbow grease needs to be applied in the first place. What is mine to do today and in my life mission. Am I effectively oiling what is mine to do? If not, maybe it is not mine to take care of and I need to hand it off to someone else.

Do I know who I am? Do I know what I was put on this earth to do? What do I love and am I living it out in my life, work and play? When I do apply elbow grease to my life I want to make sure I am going with the natural flow of my gifts and talents. Similar to trying to cut against the grain of meat, if I try to cut across the grain of my life it will be more frustrating.

So, how do you figure out your purpose, mission and passion? How do you learn how to live out your gifts and talents to fulfill what you were put on this earth to accomplish? Great question, it is one I have been praying through for quite some time. Life began moving and shaking for Mark and I when we had a business coach take us under her wing.

She was able to give us outside perspective neither of us could see because we were too close to each other, our business and ourselves. Our coach was amazing. She asked us questions to cause us to problem solve and come up with our own conclusions. She used books and other tools to help teach us. It was truly an amazing experience I would recommend for anyone who feels stuck and wants to live a passion filled life.

Yes, elbow grease needs to be applied to life, but like a car engine you need to know where the best places are to apply the oil. You need to know what kind of oil you need, how hard to apply the pressure and when to grab a lemonade, a friend and take some down time. Sometimes the best elbow grease is the kind it takes to open your favorite beverage, novel, puzzle, knitting, boating or other fun passion in your life that helps to pull you away from the stress of life and reminds you why you are doing what you are doing.

I often think of Peter walking on water. It was a miracle. In Minnesota we only walk on water if it’s frozen, Peter walked on real, unfrozen water. We know it was his faith and Christ through him that allowed him to walk on water, but Peter could have made the choice to remain in his seat. He had to choose to stand up, step over the side of the boat and use forward motion to get his legs to walk forward. This action required he use not only knee grease, but mental, emotional and physical grease.

Elbow Grease

I had to go through the Ultimate Journey to be able to apply positive emotional and mental grease. This has given me a tool to speak life giving emotional and mental grease to others. Hiring our business coach heightened and gave us even more emotional and mental grease. Our coach showed us the right places to grease ourselves to have forward motion in our business. Our close friends and family, what I have begun to call our tribe speaks love, support and encouragement and applies grease when we need positive perspective.

The bottom line is I am in control of when and were the grease is applied. I am in control of how I respond when grease is applied I was not expecting. The most important grease I can apply is my daily quiet time with God. He reminds me I am his, my best is acceptable even when it’s far from what was needed or expected, he reminds me I am his and at the end of the day my relationship with him is my start and finish to the day.


My rebel heart loves Jesus. It has been a journey learning about his love for me, but he continues to fight for me and has won my heart. I am learning to love and respect my husband Mark. After four years of being a mommy I fell in love with the role God had given me and I am now a passionate homeschool, stay at home mom. I love outdoor adventures with my family and our husky Skye. I love creating delicious physically and emotionally satisfying meals. I love walking life’s hard road with those around me. I want to be a friend to the friendless and be a beacon of light and hope to the weary.

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