Summer vacation is almost here. Soon, I can tackle the long over-due tasks I’ve been putting off since…Christmas vacation!
#1 on my list: CLEAN UP.
I have waaaaay too much stuff. Clutter is multiplying and bearing down on us from every side. It’s suffocating. (This photo is real…please don’t judge me!)
On Warm-Up Day 8, we talked a bit about “cleaning out our PURSE-onalities” and getting rid of all the purse trash we carry around.
We really do not want our lives full of trash and clutter and stuff.
We do want to clean up our acts.
So why is it so hard to let go?
No Place to Hide
At a women’s retreat last year, I spent prayerful time journaling in response to the question:
What “fig leaves” do I hide behind?
At the top of my list were “starting” and “joining.” New projects. New businesses. New groups. New causes.
Why do I love starting and joining?
Each time is a a chance at a “new me”! A whole new I.D.
Oh, how I’ve always longed for a fresh start! To be brand new and squeaky clean. So I’ve jumped at every chance for do-it-myself re-NEW-al.
Of course, D.I.Y. has never worked. God says, “I will make all things new!” He will renew me. I can not renew me. I. AM. NOT. GOD.
I was reminded of this when a student asked me, as I was opening a box from Amazon and delighting in my latest self-help book, “Mrs. G, why do you read so many of those kinds of books?”
Glibly, I quipped, “Well, I just have so much room for growth!”
But later, in moments of quiet reflection, I had to admit that even my beloved books are, far too often, “fig leaves” behind which I hide. And
- try to minimize my sin.
- try to be “good enough” by my own efforts.
- try to Do It Myself.
How much trash and clutter and stuff must I hide behind before I finally admit:
I. Can. Not. Do. It. Myself.
I can’t clean up my own act.
No Need to Hide
(Can’t see the image? Click here to download 1 John 1:9)
Yes, it’s scary asking God to take out our trash and stuff and clutter.
For the longest time, I was scared of emptiness.
Terrified that if I let Him do a thorough cleansing of my life, nothing would be left…nothing to hide behind.
I wrote this a few months ago as I was pondering the difference between “empty” and “spacious”:
I used to try to fill
that empty place inside.
But I realize now that it’s not empty.
Ready and waiting to hold
whatever comes next.
Or content with
I used to think I was
desperate to be
just the right thing
to make me complete.
But He brought me out
into a spacious place
and I’m discovering
how much easier
it is to breathe
The more I’m learning to take refuge in Him, the less I “need” my other hiding places, my other fig leaves.
And the more I’m finding that trashed, stuffed, and cluttered pale in comparison to the clean and spacious life He is renewing in me!
Try this today:
As you’re journaling, prayerfully consider what “fig leaves” you hide behind, trying to cover up sin that only God can forgive and cleanse. You might look at your PURSE-onality “gift card” and consider your particular PURSE-onality weaknesses (which are generally strengths taken to the extreme.)
Leave a comment!
- responding to today’s blog, and/or
- sharing your Day #1-23 experience of replacing “baditude” with God’s word and gratitude, and/or
- about anything else on your heart!