Saturday, December 14, 2019

Momma was a Garbage Picker and I Helped!

I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 (CSB)
The San Antonio Express-News ran a story about the garbage pickers (pepenadores) in Matamoros, Mexico. The story featured a large number of families considered a subset of the city’s population. These families had created a livelihood of digging through the garbage heaps to find useful and recyclable items that others have thrown away. The story talked about the children and how they often helped their parents pick through garbage when they were not attending school. As one might suspect, these children were often ridiculed by their peers. The marvelous point about the story is that the families were able to live off the “pickings” from the garbage heap and the children were able to attend school because of the profits they made from other people’s discarded trash.

The resourcefulness of the families in this story reminded me of how Momma struggled to provide a life for us as a single parent. The fact that these families were considered a subset of the city’s population resonated with me because life with Momma always had a way of setting us apart. Momma never adhered to the traditional modes of society.

One of the memories I have about Momma is when she used to make me go with her to pick through the dumpster of a neighborhood Goodwill store. She made me go because she needed help loading discarded furniture and other items into her pickup truck. I hated going because it made me feel ashamed.

We would secretly pull behind the store under cover of darkness. As Momma slowly backed to the dumpster, the labored sound of the rattling truck engine echoed the trepidation of my heart. I crouched deep into the truck bed until she came to a full stop. I refused to get out until I was sure nobody could see what we were doing. Throughout the whole ordeal I would whisper my mantra of salvation, “Please don’t let anyone see us. Please don’t let us get caught. Please don’t let anyone see us. Please don’t let us get caught……”

It has taken me many years to sort through the details of my life and piece together the precious truth about Momma. She loved her children more than we could ever imagine and everything she did worked toward that end. She was a single mom working as a seamstress for minimum wage with three children to feed. Fantastically gifted and resourceful, she was able to make extra money by repairing and reupholstering broken and discarded furniture for resale and personal use. The beautiful sofas, loveseats, and chairs she created out of people’s trash and scavenged scraps of vinyl became treasures that helped to keep our family fed, clothed, and sheltered.

God’s truth is often difficult to discern because it gets buried within the garbage of worldly thinking and human perspective. We frequently become frustrated and ashamed because we cannot fit all the pieces together at one time. Don’t stop digging and searching! Latch onto the fragmented truths you find now, carry them home, and allow God to transform them over time. The treasured truth that will eventually unfold will be fantastic to behold!

God loves you more than you can ever imagine and everything he does works toward that end. Don't you dare give up!

Yvette Massey

Thursday, August 8, 2013



Power to reach for
new life begins with belief
that change will occur.

© Yvette Massey 2012

Monday, July 22, 2013



Your lavish love spills

grace running like fragrant oil

upon my disgrace.
© Yvette Massey 2012

Friday, July 12, 2013



Dreams are born within
the wilderness of the soul
as silence surrounds.


© Yvette Massey 2012

Monday, May 30, 2011

God Came Down


By Yvette Massey

There is a special place I go to pray that is situated in our back field about a 1/2 mile from our back porch.  This place is framed by two very old, mangled cedar trees that have withstood lightening, hail, high winds, and drought.  When I sit between these trees I can hear them moan and groan as they sway in the wind.  I feel close to God in this place because those trees have been touched by His glorious power.  During Easter weekend I went to this place to pray and found several fallan branches that needed to be dragged off.  As I was clearing the area, I noticed a huge branch that resembled a cross.  The cross in the photo above was made from that branch and a string of rusty barbed wire I pulled off an old fence.  While I was trimming the branch for the cross, my Beloved came over to help and the project turned into an awsome act of worship. The cross is buried 3 feet into the ground and stands about 5 1/2 feet above the ground. This cross is amazing to me because the branch fell from one of my precious trees - a true gift from God that touched the tender side of me!

Friday, October 16, 2009


What does it mean to be in this place?
We journey through time
We occupy space
How can we make a difference here?
So much to be done
So little to spare
Who among us will offer to lead?
Many turns to take
Many signs to heed
Where will we stay in this foreign land?
No place to call home
No welcoming hand
Why do we wonder away our youth?
Unanswered questions
Unqualified truth
He is the meaning found in this place
A moment in time
A look to His face

By Yvette Massey