Clutter That Entangles

My husband & I were talking this morning about some of the clutter in our house. I’m nowhere close to being a perfectionist since my childhood had the steady tension between my dad with his clutter & the purges my mom would occasionally conduct. So I grew up in a spectrum between clutter & tidy.
Now as an adult, for me the problem with clutter is that it seems to have a creeping nature & before I realize it, there are piles & stacks of clutter that can be easily overlooked.
Sometimes sin is like clutter. It can creep & sneak along the edges of our thoughts & desires leaving little splotches & specks, easy to overlook. But if we allow these specks & splotches of sin to accumulate, then soon our souls become cluttered with sin & we lose of focus on Jesus.
Let’s endeavor to regularly allow the Holy Spirit to work holiness into our souls so that the clutter of sin doesn’t contaminate our affections or attention 🙂
Hebrews 12:1b, “let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

Clutter & Chaos

I’m a taxi service for three wonderful children & I’ve had this honor for more than 10 years. So I’m kind of immune to my car being messy, full stop. I’ll not paint any sordid pictures for your imagination, but let it be enough to know that I’m endeavoring to train both my kids & me to be more orderly. Seems to me that we live in a world filled with clutter & chaos such that it could quietly seep into our thoughts & feelings to contaminate & confuse, leaving us unraveled & ineffective. 

Let’s keep the Prince of Peace front & center in our hearts & thoughts. Just because there’s chaos in the world doesn’t mean that it gets to dislodge Jesus’ preeminence in my living 🙂

Messy, Muddy & Murky Faith

  I’ve frequently thought of faith being this clean, powerful, superhero, handsome, supernatural ideal. Like if faith was a person, it would be stylish, muscular, manicured, well appointed, organized & timely – maybe like Captain America in The Avengers. Indeed, when I read about the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11, they all seem powerful, competent, effective & generally great role models, mostly. 
In actual truth, when I look at these heroes more deeply as well as my daily attempts to live a faithful & faith-filled life, it often feels messy, murky & muddy. The outcomes of faith are very appealing but the walk & work of faith isn’t quite as pristine & manicured. It seems to me that faith is both a walk & a process. We love the results but sometimes we want to escape the work, uncertainty, mess & process that precede the outcomes. 

Just because faith can be messy, murky & muddy doesn’t mean we should quit. Indeed, the process is worth the results 🙂

Edges & Cutting

  
I did a home painting project last week & let’s just say there won’t be a professional painting career in my near future. My husband checked it out & immediately saw some obvious mistakes.  Of course I wanted more affirmation than his constructive observations but that’s for a different blog ,)

The challenge with painting is to “cut” the edges & have sharp, clean lines along the corners, ceiling, baseboards, etc.  It’s amateur hour when the lines are crooked or the baseboards are speckled. 

Sometimes I think we try to “cut” God into our lives with bright lines, rigid corners, clean baseboards & distinct compartments. If God were looking through the lens of life at my recent painting adventure, maybe God would applaud the bleed, messy corners & paint splatters. Perhaps God wants to bleed into more of or lives & get messy with us as we do our daily living. Don’t cut God out of any place in your life 🙂

Super Glue

Some people seem really well put together – hair, makeup, matching clothes, nails, etc. Then there are other people who don’t seem well put together. They’re disheveled, messy hair, chipped nails & forget any makeup. 

Having grown up as a pastors kid & being around people ALOT, I’ve learned that people aren’t always as they appear. Sometimes those who appear disheveled are better put together in their hearts than those who look the part on the outside & vice versa as well. 
Here’s the hope for all of us, dishelved or otherwise:  Col 1:17 says that Jesus holds all things together. I find this verse to be super encouraging because there are times & seasons when everything can seem to be falling apart, including me. Let’s never forget that Jesus is our super glue 🙂

getting messy

My son is taking a camping trip this weekend, so I’m trying to help him be prepared for the various activities, fully expecting him to come home dirty, messy and totally happy 🙂

The idea of getting messy can be a tricky experience in various contexts, like leadership, relationships, cooking experiments and lots more.  But here’s an interesting thought I’ve been considering.  When God created the universe, the creation came to a grand culmination when man was created.  With everything else that was created, God spoke the creation into existence.  But when God created man, there was a lot of personal interaction – God sculpted man from the dirt.  But here was the tricky part: God could have made this beautiful and perfect sculpture and set it in a beautiful and perfect creation with no mess.  But God went the next step and breathed into the sculpture the breath of life and thus began the human race with all of the messy parts, pieces, plans, failures and glories.  Maybe there was a fleeting moment in God’s mind about doing the breath of life thing – knowing what would come from that decision.  God chose life and all of it’s messy displays, relationships, wars, etc rather than to make a pristine and perfect garden that lacked humanity.  Genuine love chooses life 🙂