January 14, 2013

Chief Carpenter or Head of the Destruction Crew?

Proverbs 14
 "The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands."

That's as far as I got this morning. For me that's far enough. I am afraid I've been that foolish woman lately. Not intentionally of course, but foolish no less.

Let me explain.
It takes time to build a house and even to "keep" it. It's actually a daily process filled with many different stages from demolition, foundation building, obtaining permits, inspections, framing, roofing and finishing, decorating, and then maintaining.
If you want a solid house, you need to give each phase of building its proper attention.

As a wise woman (not smart aleck) I should be attending to my home. I need to know not only what phase I am in, but I need to be seeking my daily direction from the Guy in charge so I can do my part in transitioning my family into the next phase smoothly. I need to remind myself daily (well, minute by minute actually) that I am not the Chief carpenter of my life; Jesus is. If I try to run the show I unknowingly fire up the wrecking ball or surround my home with the red tape that can cause delays in building. I am going to dive into this verse for a while. I invite you to join me as I look at all the ways I can build or tear down my marriage, my children, my family, my home.  

Today's point: Where Am I Right Now?

 I awoke from a spiritual dullness to find my physical life mirroring the condition of my heart. My house is tidy, but not clean. Too many things are covered in dust and there are a few pockets of clutter waiting for my attention. My husband is constantly having to search for a clean pair of socks even though most of the laundry in our home is done consistently, my kids are beautiful but in need of varying levels of my attention. I am more likely to be found sporting lounge clothes and a ponytail than a "put-together outfit" unless I am going to school or church. In other words, my life looks pretty good from the outside.

My house is neat and my family eats home cooked meals. But I have missed the mark.

The stage of building I am in is in the maintaining, remodelling, and fine tuning of my home. Years ago, My husband found me a friend who was willing to come into my house and help me organize and declutter. It was amazing. She not only was great at it, but she delighted in the process. We went through every drawer, every space, even every piece of paper and organized, categorized, and binned my home into those Sterilite bins you can get at Target. It was wonderful.

For a few years after I would send her a thank you note after I dusted my home. Don't laugh. Before she helped me I could never dust my home, it was too dirty and cluttered. Even if I purposed to clean I never could get that far in one day. It was amazing to me that after a few weeks of really hard work that I had time to dust. Fast forward to today.

My home is still relatively organized, but pockets of clutter have crept in. I have a few stacks of homeschooling stuff that do not have their own homes, I have a few growing junk drawers, I have an cabinet with doors that is a wonderful hiding place for messy papers, my closet needs to be reorganized, etc... Not bad you say? I know I was blessed to have an organizing friend come through and truth is with a few days of consecrated effort I can get my home put back in order, but that's not the real issue...  

Spiritually my life mirrors my physical life.

There was that season in my life where the Lord swept into my heart and took me through the organizing process. I had years of wrong thinking to clean up, old broken thoughts to dump at the cross, attitudes that needed adjusting, areas of my life that needed to be torn down and rebuilt. It was hard work, but my eyes were fixed on the Carpenters and I surrendered and yielded and let Him have His way in my life. I was so thankful for the work He did in my heart that I spent time with Him more than daily.

I sought Him in the morning, journaled, prayed, was overwhelmed with thanksgiving. He walked with me through my new home each day and showed me what needed dusting and rearranging and then, like a good friend, would help me do the work. Time went by and my life got busy. My husband and I had 3 more children to bring the munchkin count up to 5 and I began homeschooling. I began blogging and writing out of a bubbling over heart. I was so thankful and blessed that I could not help pass it on and share with anyone who would listen.

Then it happened. People started to notice that I had it together.
Ha. Did you read that? ...that I had it together?

I began to get too busy to seek Him with the same heart of thankfulness, because I was too tired and busy to get it all done each day. I had new babies and kids to school. I had meals to prepare and a world to speak to through writing. I began sleeping in more and spending time with Him less.

My tidy heart began to get cluttered. Oh, not like before, but just enough. I didn't have time for the Word, but I had time to plan school, cook, write and watch TV. The clutter came in the form of my own thoughts, ambitions, ideas rather than the Lords. My mind was spinning with its own plans and paths and I would rarely stop and check in with the Lord of my life. When I would stop, it was only for a second and quite honestly not long enough to really hear what He was saying.

My heart has become cluttered and dusty. Now, you may not think dust is a big deal, but it certainly can be. It collects quickly. People can come by and write their own messages in it (like my kids who are quick to draw happy faces on my bookcases). Over time it can collect things that cause odor and even sickness.

I do not want this to be so. I am so glad the Lord met me and pointed out where to begin cleaning. It's here int eh quiet of the morning that I find Him sitting patiently for me. He's been waiting with a dust cloth in His hand ready to help clean up what I have neglected.

I do not know if this makes sense to anyone but me, but that's OK too. I need to take notes and write in order for my brain to make sense of things.

  • What building stage are you in?
  • Is your home thriving or faltering?
  • Have you talked to the Chief Carpenter lately and asked for direction or are you hanging out with the demolition crew?

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