Stress: a result of misplaced faith (or Candy Crush failure)

Written by: Amy Dalke

I did not run a half marathon on Saturday (like originally planned), nor did I go to Luke’s baseball game. I also did not show up for the community assessment walk for Friends of North Rosenberg. Come to think of it, I don’t even think I brushed my teeth.

All in all, Saturday was wildly productive. If your definition of productive is akin to the terms useless or unfruitful.

I did, however, watch the entire first season of Friday Night Lights. And I passed three more levels of Candy Crush. (I lead a fascinating life, what can I say?)

This lack of constructive activity wasn’t limited to Saturday, though. The last two weeks of my life have been spent on less than worthwhile endeavors.

Mainly because I have accomplished nothing, short of making Luke’s lunches. (And since that consists of either a frozen PB&J or a Lunchable, it shouldn’t be considered in the worthwhile category, technically speaking.)

Suffice it to say, I’ve been down for the count.

Saturday was the fourteenth day in a row, that I have had a debilitating headache. This was not just a little headache, like the kind I get on occasional evenings at bedtime. (Don’t judge. I’m not above that excuse.)

This one was for real. On five of the last fourteen days, I went back to bed after getting Luke off to school. Not because I was lazy (that would have been more endurable), but because I literally couldn’t function.

This was not a welcome complication, given that I have such high aspirations of becoming the Perfect Housewife, and Super Mom, and NY Times Bestselling Author. And forget all those Pinterest projects on my list of wishful thinking. My head couldn’t even handle the looks of a hot glue gun.

This stupid headache also trumped my writing plans. And, well, writing kind of is the plan now. Suffice it to say, this headache rendered me useless.

And fool that I can be at times, I decided it was God’s fault.

I mean, clearly…He could have stopped the headache.

Didn’t He come up with this whole writing idea in the first place? What gives?

Not only am I totally on the disabled list when it comes to my new laundry and kitchen duties, I can’t even look at the computer screen to string two words together.

It didn’t help much when, in the middle of a rant at God about this, Larry asked me if Job ever blamed God…and Job endured far worse than a mere headache.

Well, then.

Thank you very much (not) for Your Holy-Spirit-ness, stopping me in the middle of my complaining tracks.

I really wanted to smack him for this truth punch, but his words actually did change my thought pattern. (Don’t tell him.)

God wasn’t to blame for my headache. Far from it. I’m pretty sure the migraine was somehow tied to the stress and anxiety that I tend to wear like a backpack.

Stress…which is a result of misplaced faith.

I tend to put my faith in my own efforts, even after God does things like part metaphorical Red Seas in my life.

I get all fired up about a thing (anything) in the fuel and gumption of the Holy Spirit…until I decide to take over the reins. (This typically happens when depending on Him requires some effort.)

It’s like I think I have to figure it all out on my own…as though He doesn’t have a significant say in the matter.

I had a basketball coach who would say, “You have to dance with the one who brung you”.

(Clearly when people make up old sayings, grammar isn’t a priority.)

In other words, if your team is awesome because of your outside shooting, don’t use the championship finals as an opportunity to focus on your inside game.

Point taken.

We can’t up and decide to pursue that thing God is calling us to do…claiming He is the reason and power behind it…then ditch Him after the second quarter.

The gain we achieve in any worthwhile endeavor, is won fully by the grace of God.

How quickly I forget.

Hence, these headaches.

Because I work myself into a tizzy trying to accomplish things in my own strength, as if I can worry myself into a creative (and daresay, godly) solution.

It doesn’t work that way.

I didn’t have the power to do this thing on my own in the beginning.

And I don’t have the power to do it on my own now.

You and I cannot accomplish any meaningful task for the Kingdom of God, if His Spirit is not our fuel…the source of creativity.

So maybe I should dance with the One who brung me.

(I seriously cannot believe I just used this phrase.)

Check yourself this week:

Are you working yourself towards a migraine?

Are you trying to fulfill God’s purposes in your life…without Him?

Doesn’t even make sense when you put it that way.

You are not God. So stop trying.

We are just vessels.

So sit still, and be that.

“Then he said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.‘” (Zechariah 4:6)

Your friend,

Amy

p.s. Meanwhile…my headache is gone. And gone with it is the excuse to play Candy Crush, and spend hours of my life watching Doogie Howser on Netflix.

Not Hooked On A Feeling

A Poem by: Rhonda Sue Page

 

Oh Emotion, Sweet Feeling……Did you walk out the door?
I swear you were here just a moment before!

I know this because I arose from my bed
With one single purpose….your voice in my head.

Motivation to get going, to be on my way
Determined to give my “Pak” a great start to the day

You were there giving me purpose, driving me on
Distraction pulled me from you, and now you are gone.

See, first there were all these breakfasts to make
Final touches to be done on school projects to take

Three different buses to catch in spite of the rain
Means my car joins the others at “the stop” like a train.

When my youngest Pup reminded me (as though his hair was on fire)
that I needed to drive him myself…. for the practice of the Choir.

I dutifully obeyed because I was still half asleep
“A promise is a promise!” I parentally keep.

Then Siri informs me on the way about today’s field trip
Panic sets in, I feel my good intentions start to slip.

Field-Trip-Pup has no money….Oh no! what should I do?
As Suess would say “I’m only person ONE, and can’t be in places TWO!”

Frustration starts to pour over me, my desires begin to clash
If I try to rush the Pup some money…….I miss my workout class!

Now, I fight hard the urge to start to complain
I’ve been here before……It just leaves a stain

Regret is so very hard to remove
A path I used to follow (marked well with a groove).

Despite how I feel….I know what to do
I want to be found faithful, trusting and true.

“Father, I love you and what’s more than that
I thank you for this day that’s knocking me flat.

I thank you for my pups that keep me running all day
I thank you for this car that keeps us well on our way.

I thank you for my trainer, and the work that makes me sore
I thank you for my health that keeps me coming back for more.

I thank you for fun field trips that help my kids learn.
I thank you also for the money you allow us to earn.

I need your grace to come and to cover me now
Help me not lose my sense of humor somehow.”

As we sit at the school in the early morning hour
I sense that I’ve tapped into His amazing power.

Because when the music teacher arrives, it’s only us in line.
She invites my Pup inside – only to be kind.

I start to say “no, we don’t mind the wait”
When a pressure in my chest warns that this isn’t fate.

God is answering my prayer and making a way
He’s opened my eyes to see Him care for me today

I thank her while explaining the need to get to his brother
She responds “Then, It was meant to be.” She too, is a mother.

As I drive a away swiftly off to the next school
I feel profoundly grateful to have not been a fool.

There’s a battle for our minds that goes on all our days
The enemy makes a play for our thoughts in countless of ways

We have the grace to choose just how we react
to the stuff life throws at us when we’re under attack

If he can but get us to agree negatively that day
he’s wrestled our God-given power away.

Even if God hadn’t worked it out for me in that wait
There is a deep satisfaction to being found “In Faith”

Call upon Him for the help that you need
But don’t forget to be grateful as you enter your plea.

It’s an impenetrable shield that satan can’t withstand
He can’t have your peace unless you give him a hand.

Maybe you understand this, A gift beyond measure
Not handing over your joy to the “stuff”…… Such a treasure!

Attitude is everything.

Written by: Vivian Wilson

An attitude is born in the mind, and lived out in what we say and do.

Our attitude drives how we live out our lives, and how we relate to others.

With the help of a counselor a few years ago, I learned something about myself that really surprised me. I lacked trust in people. This fact was very well disguised because I I always gave people the benefit of the doubt; I was optimistic about most things; I was rarely skeptical or even questioning. I had really been fooled.

Buried beneath my self-deceit, was an attitude of complete distrust.

I realized that if I didn’t trust people, then I probably didn’t really trust God. Although, if you asked me if I trusted God, my answer would have been, “Absolutely! He is sovereign, all-knowing, all-powerful God. He is loving, good, gracious, merciful, forgiving, and faithful.” (ALL TRUE!)

“Why wouldn’t I trust Him?”

But in my mind, I trusted only myself. So, I decided to change my thinking.

I asked God to help me. As I gave up my attitude of distrust, allowing God to teach me to trust Him, I experienced the freedom to be content. I began to know His peace and His joy, and to trust others.

My attitude of distrust wasn’t as obvious as some attitudes might be, though it was every bit as damaging and ugly. Some attitudes are more obvious.

Let me name a few:

Discontentment, negativity, a critical spirit, unworthiness, unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, fear, entitlement, arrogance, pride, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency.

These last two, self-reliance and self-sufficiency, are very similar to distrust.

They say “I don’t need anyone, I can take care of myself.”

These are the attitudes that God is calling me to let go of now. (Last week I told you how cluttered with “mess” my heart is.) He is calling me to surrender my plans, my strengths, and my purposes, to His perfect plan for me.

He is calling me to trust Him…and depend on Him…to accomplish His will in His time.

God clearly tells us what our attitude is to be.

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Phil. 2:5-8)

Maybe you are wondering why you don’t have peace and joy, or why you feel discontent. Maybe this is a good time to examine your mind:

What attitude or attitudes could be controlling your life?

What do you need to let go of? 

What do you need to do in your life to have the attitude of Christ?

Still a work in progress…in Christ’s love,
Vivian

God’s eye view of beauty

Written by: Ms. O

Have you ever wondered what God thinks as He gazes upon you….His creation?

I have always been very self-conscious…. sometimes I wonder if I will ever outgrow that.

When I was young I never knew how to smile for the camera. I look back and see those dreaded school pictures…oh my…when they lined you up in cattle mentality…until you got your five seconds of photo shoot.

The person never knew what to do with my hair…mercy, I never knew what to do with it. It was fly away…it had no body at all…..not one curl to speak of….and it never went how I wanted it to. (My grand ambition of having Farrah Fawcett hair never made it past the bathroom door when the “curl” would fall…and it just…hung…straight.) Finally, the photographer would say, “smile”…as if that was easy…cause I truly did not know how to. It was a skill I never acquired…go ahead, jest all you want to…it’s true.

Some people are natural…I was not. I hated the fact that everyone was watching me…waiting for their turn…and so I would have this small, shy smile…that totally hid the part of me that wanted so bad to be “that girl”…the one everyone wanted her wallet sized photo…cause her picture said, “hello, I’m confident”….ugh. I include a picture only to prove my point…oh my.

 

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I have never really liked my body…..which pretty much describes just about every woman I know. I hated my “ham hands”…nothing like my mothers. The days I would dust her room as one of my chores, I would sneak into her jewelry box to try on her rings…but none of them would go past my first knuckle. I suppose I got my dad’s hands…along with my large thighs…maybe the German heritage…not something I would brag on…at all. I don’t think there is one petite thing about me….which was great for playing sports…but not for wearing a dress…or cute outfits that are made for smaller framed women who weren’t “blessed” like me.

I have always had a speech impediment…which only made my intense fear of speaking in front of people even worse. My “r’s” were never quite clear…even after taking speech therapy. Now I am very intentional in trying to pronounce that dreaded consonant…there are times it falls out…and I am taken back to elementary school and being made fun of…. wanting to crawl into a hole and hide.

As I got older, I learned the tricks to work with what I had been given. I smile HUGE now…not to be noticed…but for a better reason. When I look at pictures of myself now…as uncomfortable as that may be at times…I see the joy…the wide-open, I don’t care what I look like cause I am happy – smile. Some people may poke fun (with love) about my smile, but I have come to terms with the fact that for once I smile with abandon…not really caring what people think of me.

If my “r” goes a little off kilter…I am learning to live with it.

I know what clothes to wear and what to not even try to pull off….maybe wisdom does come with age.

The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor Him, for He is your Lord.”

Psalm 45:11

This is what I think…opinion based; God does see beauty when He looks at me. I hear Him asking me, “Why are you concerned with what the world thinks? I created you to be…..you. My measure of beauty is not by the world’s definition. My view of you is beyond your understanding…beauty that is not defined in the way you think.

When He looks at me…He sees beauty…in my soul. He knows my heart….full of compassion and the ability to love…which attests to His working in my life. He has created beauty from ashes…dusted me off…and made me whole. Sure there are plenty of times that I look with envy on those with perfect hair…beautiful smiles…ability to wear clothes that come right off the mannequin…I can’t deny that. I’m human.

My prayer is this: “Remind me God that I am a daughter of the King….and I need to carry myself with that in mind…honoring You in all I do.”

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I know “Who” beholds me…

Amen…

Ms. O

God did not say, “Thou shalt have ninja-like culinary skills.”

Written by: Amy Dalke

This new staying at home thing…

I enjoy it most of the time.

Pressure no longer smacks me in the face as soon as the alarm clock rings.

I can linger at the door as Luke walks to school…instead of making a mad dash to the car as soon as I lock the front door behind him.

And with all this space in the middle of my weekdays, I have the opportunity to master long-envied domestic skills.

(Opportunity does not equal adequacy.)

Things like this happen:

Luke_cookie batter
Luke, testing out homemade cookie batter.

(Sadly, that was an impromptu photo.)

Thankfully, there has been much more upside to my newfound role than what Luke’s face represents here.

It has been nice to go at a slower pace…and to have time to write.

But I have to admit, it has not been a dream world of home-making bliss.

Mostly because it’s hard to unravel the part of me that associates my value with my ability to perform and generate income.

Then top that off with too much unknown. (I do better with a carefully spelled out plan, you know?) (Preferably typed in Times New Roman 12, evenly spaced, and highlighted, thank you very much.)

This creepy unknown…I just don’t like it. There is too much room for doubt.

Every now and again, Fear’s spindly fingers reach out to choke me. They push buttons and upend all that is calm in my soul.

This peace-crushing Fear hovers over the joy of my new days. It threatens to steal my birthright, and it dares to drop boulders on the path of my God-designed purpose.

Who are you, anyway?”, Fear whispers.

Who are you, that people will listen…or care one whit about what you have to sayor write about?”

“You worked so hard…now look at you, you’re nothing. No title. No income. Just a Wannabe Writer.”

“You had a great career, and now you’ve blown it.”

Or this

one: “Now you’ll have to trust God…for everything. Does he love you that much?

Is He really going to be enough? 

Lies.

Big Fat Doubts, that, left to their own devices, could eat me alive from the inside out.

These are mine.

What are yours?

Are you afraid of what obedience will look like on the other side? 

Is there something God has whispered within the recesses of your soul…but it’s so “impossible”, that you can’t imagine how it would work?

Do you think that if you _______, then God might forget His end of the deal?

Are you worried that you don’t have what it takes?

What if you leave everything to Him, just to find out that He isn’t Enough?

Seriously?

Isn’t my whole life built upon the premise that God is real…and true…and faithful?

So then, why do my hang-ups hold onto this lie: that He might not be Everything He says He is?

My doubt reveals that I am just flat terrified I’ll fall on my face, hamstrung in the middle of this leap of…what?

Oh yes, faith.

Then I remember Abraham. (Sounds a tad random, I know. But he is the one guy God has pointed me to lately, in the midst of uncertainty.)

God handpicked Abraham to be the father of His chosen people. To fulfill God’s call, Abraham had to leave the land of his youth. He had to abandon everything familiar to him…to go to a place completely unknown.

He left the comfort zone, so to speak.

Hebrews 11:8 – “By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” 

Romans 4:20 – “Abraham did not waver through unbelief regarding the promises of God,  but he was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what He had promised.” 

He left safety, comfort, and financial security, and he knew nothing about the new place…except that God said it would be his inheritance.

Sounds totally logical to me. (Or not!)

But Abraham considered God’s promise to be more precious (more real…!!) to him, than those things he could see, touch, taste, feel, or logically explain.  

The very same God who called Abraham, calls you and me.

He handpicked us, just like he chose Abraham, to live extraordinary, mountain-moving, awe-inspiring lives…for God’s very own glory.

Abraham would have sacrificed the fulfillment of God’s promises if he teetered on the edges of unbelief. He would have lived in the clutches of dissatisfaction.

So will we.

What would life be like if we would only…believe?

What do you need to believe God about right now?

I’m convinced that a life that doesn’t require faith, does not bring glory to God at all. And we were made for exactly this: to show His awesomeness within our own impossibilities. 

God is Enough. 

God is Faithful. 

God won’t leave you hanging hamstrung in the middle.  

If your current situation is hazy, unclear, or unknown, then you are in the perfect position to experience God’s faithfulness!

When you give that thing…that issue…that situation…over to Him, the fruit of God’s promises will blossom within the gaps of all your uncertainty.

So toss the doubt. Fling the fear to the wayside.

Because life…real life…is found when you believe God.

(…and faith has no extracurricular requirements…like culinary skills. Otherwise, I would have more issues than I thought.)

Amy

Visiting Shiloh (way, way better than Spring Cleaning)

Written by: Rhonda Sue Page

This Week’s Topic:  Spring Cleaning

Dear Reader,

I find it so reassuring that Amy Dalke believes I have a valuable

contribution to be made on this topic….Let it be noted:  

I have cleaned out ONE kitchen drawer in her honor.

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…..Okay, so I removed the silverware holder and blew hard before replacing the cutlery….

What do you want from me?  The only thing I ever really admired about Martha Stewart was her hair.  God bless her, she just never seemed to have follicle-challenged day.

I had a wise teacher once tell me,“Write only about those things you know or have experience. Otherwise, people will not care to hear what you have to say.”

So, we can either call it a wrap now ….or, if you have the time….

Follow

me

down

the

rabbit

hole.

(That sounds kinda “spring”-y. right?)

Come take a trip with me and let’s talk about what should never be thrown out…….or put in a box.

I think having been in Israel changes and challenges me in ways I don’t fully understand yet. For one thing, I have more reverential fear of God than I did before.  That is to say, I think a lot more about what He wants vs. what I want.

Or better yet, how he wants something done vs. how I’d do it. Perhaps before, I readily focused on His grace and mercy….which are both amazing beyond description…..but let’s face it, they sort of make him more my “buddy” than my God.  That’s not all bad.  Jesus is “a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” We all need that reassurance from time to time.  But this perspective also greatly limits him.  He’s oh sooo much more than that.

I sat in a place called Shiloh.  It’s mentioned in scripture………..but if you are anything like I was………you probably skimmed right over that “geography stuff that had absolutely no meaning whatsoever”.

I might can help with that now.  This is Shiloh:

Welcome!

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Don’t be shy…………come on in!

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Pull up a rock, any rock.

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Okay, maybe not that rock…..Holly beat you to it.

It is a pretty cool rock though. Didn’t realize until I got home that it had a cross embedded in it. (You’re on your own…….think of it as Christian I-spy)

So what’s so great about Shiloh? Glad you asked. Please turn with me to the book of Joshua 18:1:

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them.

This is the one and same tabernacle that had been drug through the wilderness for all those years. Shiloh is it’s first real “home” inside the promise land. Why yes, that is cool…but wait, there’s more!

Skip with me to the book of 1 Samuel 3.

The tabernacle abode at Shiloh for over a century! In fact, the tabernacle was still there in Samuel’s time. Remember little Samuel who was brought there to serve the priests as a young boy by his momma Hannah (who had desperately prayed to God for a baby)?  This entire chapter is that touching story of how God used a young boy to reveal Himself.  Take special notice of verses 19-21:

“…So Samuel grew up, and the Lord was with him, not allowing any of his words to fail.  All Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was trustworthy as the Lord’s prophet.  The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh because the Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh through the Lord’s own word.”

Did you catch it?  Samuel first began hearing God’s voice while at Shiloh!!!

The place you are now sitting……….well, virtually anyway.  Has your butt gone numb yet?  Try to pretend it did.  It’s all apart of the glamour of actually being there.

Generations later, two priests ministered to the Lord in Shiloh, Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of the high priest there, Eli.  Yep the very same Eli who’d been right there with Samuel as a baby.  And I wish to tell you that they all lived happily ever after.  But it didn’t happen that way.  Eli allowed his boys to go uncorrected and they did evil in the sight of God.  Hearts got turned around and attention got shifted.  These boys would soon help the people try to use the Ark of the Covenant in much the same way as a lucky rabbit’s foot.  They figured if they carried it out of the tabernacle and into battle with them they would reign supreme against the Philistines.  Only one rather glaring problem with that….nobody actually consulted The Owner.

And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies. (1 Sam 4:3)

However, Israel lost the battle that day and the Lord would not fight for them, seemingly due to the sin of the priests. The Philistines took the ark, Hophni and Phinehas were killed, and their father Eli died when he heard the ark was taken from Israel. Phinehas’ wife was pregnant at the time and near to giving birth to her baby when she heard that the ark was taken and her husband and Eli were killed.

And his daughter in law, Phinehas’ wife, was with child, near to be delivered: and when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and that her father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed; for her pains came upon her. And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said unto her, Fear not; for thou hast borne a son. But she answered not, neither did she regard it. And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband. And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.” (1 Sam 4:19-22)

THE GLORY IS DEPARTED. Just as the glory left the Garden, it left Shiloh that day due to the people’s sin. You can bet they were shocked and grieved.

As I sat there listening to the story, I found myself wanting to cry. Not because it was sad, although it certainly is sad. But because I found myself in that story.

How often do allow my relationship to God to become too familiar?  How often to I lack in requiring Him, needing Him, even enquiring of Him as a basic necessity of life.  Remembering he is Holy.

We had an Orthodox Jewish man tell us.

“God should never stop surprising you.  If He does, then you have made Him into your own image.”  I will never forget those words.  It was as if the Holy Spirit had uttered them to me Himself.

We deprive ourselves of such joy and wonderment when we put God in a comfortable box.  We also run a very high risk of getting called on it.

Just because I forget who God is …. doesn’t mean He does.  He never forgets who He is, and He is always true to Himself and His Word. I don’t want to be comfortable making my own plans anymore.  I want God to ruin comfort for me.  I want Him to devastate me for anything other than serving Him with all my heart.  More than anything I want Him to have all the space He requires to surprise and awe me.  If if that means he has to squash some misplaced ideas about to serve, worship or pray.  I want Him on the forefront of my thought-life…….. not being taken for granted on the back-burner til desperation sets in.

Because of Jesus, You and I are Shiloh now. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  By working with his Spirit we have the ability to once again house the presence of God and bring Him much glory. We also have the privileged of walking in close communion with Him in such a way that we don’t have to risk becoming deceived about what God will put up with.

As such, I pray God helps us see our need to acknowledge and deal with our sin quickly. May a revival of who God is refresh our spirits and capture our souls until they belong to him alone.  Amen.

Thanks for revisiting Shiloh with me…..

(Don’t forget to “like” them on FaceBook.)

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That’s just how we Trend…

Rhonda Sue

She needs head gear for spring cleaning?

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Written by: Vivian Wilson

I need some help here. Does Spring Cleaning officially begin on March 20, and end June 21?

Are there any rules and or regulations?

It really doesn’t matter because I don’t do spring cleaning. I know what you are probably thinking…how can she find anything? How can she walk around in her house without tripping over stuff?
Does she dare open a closet door without first putting on some sort of head protection?
The reason that I do not “do” spring cleaning is because I have so much “mess” that it is overwhelming. My windows need to be cleaned both inside and out, the deck is a mess with dead stuff, and there are drawers, cabinets, and closets that to be cleaned and put in order.
So what I do is this: as a “mess” draws my attention, and it begins to bother me or get on my nerves, I begin to clean it up. This can happen in the summer, fall, or winter.
I can deal with one “mess” at a time, stay focused on that one project, and I can take as much time as I need to get it under control and in order. So MY spring cleaning lasts all year. It never ends because there will always be a “mess” to clean up; and even though I have continual projects, they are not rushed, and they are worked through to completion.
I am so glad that God deals with my “heart messes” this way. If He were to show me all the things that clutter my heart, I would be so overwhelmed. There are countless things that take up the space that is meant for Him! (It’s a good thing God is patient.) If He insisted on cleaning up everything at once, I probably wouldn’t ever want Him to start that process. It would seem too impossible!
But God is so gracious.
He reveals one area at a time, and we work on it for as long as it takes to get the “mess” cleaned up and in order. (Sometimes I take a little longer than necessary because I can be pretty stubborn.)
My heart has been cluttered with wrong attitudes, unforgiveness, pride, and idols of all shapes and sizes, just to name a few. While the sin in my heart has not been completely flushed out…and there is a lot of junk that threatens to occupy the place reserved for God alone, there is more room for Him this year than there was last.
Because God is faithful, He will show me the things that I need to clean up, so that I will be closer next year to the ultimate goal. That goal is to someday have a heart that is empty if everything but Jesus, when God alone sits on the throne of my heart.
Phil.1:6  “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
I think I need to go clean my windows…
Vivian