Good morning all-
I spent most of yesterday on household projects getting ready for my family reunion. Luckily, I was able to go outside and help my husband take down the decorations so that he can get ready to put up the Christmas lights. The other time was spent taking off wallpaper. I don't know how many of you have ever actually stripped border or wallpaper but it's quite a task.
This was actually border on a small room that we are turning into an exercise room. It used to be the boys computer room until the Internet decided not to work very well. Now, we will be moving our equipment in so that Mark and I can exercise together this winter. With the time changing and the season getting colder I thought it would be nice for us to continue to workout together. Plus it gives me an excuse to change the room. Anyway, I started yesterday around 10:30 am and finished taking off the last piece around 5 pm. It was quite a task with only taking a break to fix lunch and to help take down the decorations with Mark. He loves to do projects together and I realize how happy he is when I help. Like many things though, I have my own projects and I don't always want too. More and more I'm finding that if I want us to be cohesive in every way I need to continue to help him. Isn't that what we were made to do anyway?
By 8 pm we were cleaning the room and I was looking back at the pure destruction I had caused. There were millions of little wallpaper pieces everywhere. Mark asked if I couldn't have been more organized in my demolition. Of course I couldn't. If you've ever taken it down you know what I mean! Anyway, what I realized is I was much more energized than I've been. I think it's because it was totally physical labor. It took me out of my head and into putting all my energy into peeling each layer, scraping and peeling again. It was a full upper body workout and my mind didn't have time to contemplate the world crisis, my son's destinies or my future. All I could think about was the stupid border and how long it was going to take me to get it down.
It's not easy doing manual labor but I'm wondering if that's why people that do seem more content than the rest of us. Maybe those of us that think instead of work have a harder time because we fixate on things that really don't matter. Instead of problem solving, like stripping wallpaper, we mull over problems until we can't sleep at night or we're too exhausted to participate in other activities. I don't have an answer for any of that but I do know that I slept very well last night and nothing could have woke me.
As I woke this morning, I thought of how yesterday made me feel. I felt accomplished and I felt happy. I love to change things. It's probably the renewal that I really like. Often, I will paint a room just because I love to see how it changes. Walls don't talk back, they don't have feelings and they change by your hand, it's a win, win. So this morning, I'm sitting in the room that I demolished thinking about all the work that needs to be done. It won't be easy. My husband picked out another border that he really likes and as I put it up to the wall I realized the top portion is cut out. What does that mean? I get to paint first, then border. Yea! Well at least I opened the package first and put it up to the wall before I got excited about getting this project finished.
All of this home improvement got me thinking about being renewed in Christ. You know what I mean. It's like riding a bike really. You know how to do it, you have already fallen a couple of times and know how to stay up and after awhile the bike becomes one with you. There aren't any real challenges as long as you avoid cars and don't jump over a ramp. It's just easy. The same goes for this room. I could have kept it exactly the same, moved in the exercise equipment and been done but something said to me, change it and make it new. I wonder how often God states that for us. Don't you? I'm sure He's watching over us, seeing that we are in the same pattern and thinks, "Are they aware of how far they've gotten away from me." You know it's really easy. We spend our weeks at home or at our jobs. We may hop in our cars Wednesday nights to take the kids to church and definitely on Sunday. We go to lunch after church and may or may not talk about the sermon. And then we drive home, start our routine and hopefully put our minds on Christ at some point in the week. You know it's true. People even read their Bibles routinely but that's just it. We aren't doing a complete overhaul. We're simply fitting Him into our day hoping it will suffice. Now if you're feeling convicted, so am I so don't shoot the messenger. It's just the truth.
So every once in awhile I feel Christ peeling me back, scraping off the hard edges and encouraging me to change. It's never a major overhaul but it definitely is a work in progress. You know, like wetting down the walls, taking the wallpaper scraper and trying to find an edge, peeling off anything that will peel and then scraping some more. And when it's all off, putting the new on and seeing the glory in the work. That's what Christ has to do to us in order to change the old and bring in the new. Although, I doubt many of us change in a few hours. It normally takes time, maybe a day, a week or a year before we have that moment when the light bulb goes off and we realize that something inside has changed and we are better for it.
Like most, I am comfortable with status quo. It's easier actually. But is it? Not in reality. We must grow in order to teach, in order to know Him more and in order to live according to His word. If we are just doing enough to get by then we will only know half of what He wants us to know. It takes us giving of our time and wanting to change to change. Free will is in the middle so I encourage you to be a work in progress so that God doesn't have to do a major demolition on your soul. It's much easier to change in increments. My project is a perfect example. I didn't try to do everything yesterday. I could have but I realized that it would be better to start fresh in the morning when I had the energy to renew my mission. That's what Christ asks of us. We must renew our minds and hearts on a regular basis so that when He needs to adjust us, we will be open to it.
I hope this post hasn't been to long today but working on my room got my creative juices going. It's wonderful to pour out my thoughts onto this blog and see what God has done in my life. These writings aren't just about spreading the gospel, they're for me too. I'm no different than anyone that reaches this blog. Like Paul, I am the least of these. He knew that God had done a miracle in His life and just like him, I know Christ has given me a gift. When He poured His blood on my soul, I knew that I'd been saved. I am lucky because although I am a sinner; I have eternal life through Christ Jesus. Be well today my sisters and embrace the changes you are going through. Anything that is happening in your life is because of your commitment and love of Christ. He will renew your mind and spirit as long as your willing to let him.
Deuteronomy 30:6 NIV
The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love Him will all your heart and with all your soul, and live.
1 Samuel 2:1 NIV
Then Hannah prayed and said: "My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.
My prayer today:
O, Lord, please bring me to a place that I am always willing to be changed. I am like the wallpaper I took down yesterday, glued and sometimes hard to reach. I often have to be peeled, scraped and then renewed. I know that about myself and I am humbled that You revealed it through my project. As I sit and write today I would like to praise You for the many changes You have made in me. I know that I am a sinner. I can be stubborn but when I look upon You I know that Your my deliverer that conquered my wounded soul. I will never be able to repay You for the burden You bore for me or for the sacrifice that You made but with every breath I pray that I will live for You alone. Keep me in today and help me see what needs to change in this moment. I can't worry about tomorrow but I can face the day knowing that I must be humbled to Your will. Continue to provide word pictures of the things that are important to You and please help the women that reach this blog know You better through prayer, Scripture and me. I am a servant, one who loves You with her whole heart. Grant me, O, Lord the spirit of renewal and let me seek You all my days. In Jesus Name, AMEN