Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mutiny of Excess

I never thought that I was a women of excess.  In fact, I believed that I was truly blessed by the things given or purchased very inexpensively over the years to fill our home.  I believed that I didn't have a lot, or that I was not a hoarder or a person of clutter.  When you walked into our home, you didn't see lots of things on every wall or an over indulgence of furniture every where.  Even if you looked into our closet, I believed that we wore the same things all the time and frequently gave to the local thrift shops.

As we started packing to move in December, reality hit me square in the face.  I guess you can argue that we didn't intentionally fast from things in our life, but the door was swung open and hard.  Every time I went through a section of our home and had to decide what stayed and what went, I began to weep and cry out to the Lord.  My heart softened and I realized that the world had been masking my mind.  I do have a lot and why? Why do I need to keep thousands of dollars worth of scrapbooking stuff, that at this time I hardly use due to time.  The mounds of things to give away from the kitchen, my bedroom, my closet, even under the sinks was unbelievable.  Even the loads of garbage, truly things that couldn't be reused was insurmountable   The questions that every one that witnessed this purging of my life and heart was, "Can I live without this?  Does my life have to have this to work?"  This process, though painful, started to open my eyes and before too long, I began to be joyful about it all.  I was excited to fill the van to it's capacity 4 times (with no children) from front to back.  We even still have another van full to finish carrying off.  Prior to all this we had an unsuccessful yard sale and hauled off two trailers and truck fulls, too.  So, my plea to the Lord was being heard.  To "fit" into our new home, to live comfortably without living around "stuff" and boxes, to minimize our lives to what matters most.  In my heart, I believe now that there is a place to give up and not have excess no matter who you are and what you do or do not "have".  The Lord wants us to live as he did, giving to the poor and oppressed.  Living with less, so that we can be abundantly given more.  What does he fill those voids with, not more stuff, but life, joy, and peace.

My prayer today Lord, is actually praise.  Thank you for filling the pain of "loosing" everything I held apparently so dear, with Life, Joy, and Peace.  You are all I need.  You have shown me that my husband, my children, basic shelter, food, clothing is all I need.  Thank you for knowing what I need before I even ask for it.  I ask that you continue to mold me and shape me into an obedient follower of Christ.  I want to make you say, "Well done good and faithful servant."  I love you, Abba.
Your Daughter, Amen.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Builders for Christ

As I lay in bed on New Year's Day, I remembered the sweet man that visited us on move in day.  As of today, we have suffered through the Flu, a stomach virus, and a job lose.  Yep, and it has only been 4 weeks since we moved into Grandmother's house.  I asked the Lord that night to remember me, to let the "first of the year" be truly the first of the year that they would call about working on the house.  Then on January 2nd, Rendel called at 10 am.  He came over that day and we began to plan the work on the ceilings.  So amazing.  So, we moved out of the house again (which this time everything we own fits into a single car carport).

The work began  January 14th.  Several men came out, including my friend's brother and by day one all the ceilings were tore out and construction began to restore them.  That night, while I was getting ready for bed, I asked Wayne if it was selfish to ask if they could raise the ceiling in the living room.  It stood at 6'8" and a little higher would be cool, right.  He said that he didn't know and to go with my gut :-) So, the next day Rendel came up to me and asked the same question! This was without me telling him a thing.  I know that God reached into his brain and asked him for me.

It's neat to think of the history of the house. My Grandmother lived here for 58 years, plus my aunt and my Daddy lived here their whole childhood.  We have heard so many stories over the years.  We got to add two to our belts during demolition.  One, we found a wick in it's box from a kerosene lantern.  Daddy said that it smoked up the whole house and that Grandma had to clean their skin (because it was black as night due to the soot in the air) before they could go to school the next day.  Also, the roof still had bark on pieces of wood.  Every piece of wood came from the saw mill that was local here.

Now at the end of a long week, where God came to his promise of blessing us and my grandparents/parents, we have beautiful and structurally sound ceilings.  We don't have to worry about them falling in on us and they will last for another 60 plus years.  The living room is now 7' 6" too.  We actually have lights in every room of the house now :-) Rendel is not done with us either.  He told us Wednesday and Friday that he is praying for some more work to be done to the house.  In his words, "If a man doesn't help others, he just isn't worth anything."


Lord, you have been so good on your word.  You gave me steps, I obeyed, and you came good on your promises.  I ask that you bless Rendel and everyone that helped this week, even those who came to give them food.  I ask that you give him freedom from the heartache of loosing his wife just some short time ago.  Lord, continue to mold us into the people that you want us to be.  Give us God moments to encourage others and a way for us to spill the beans of your love and compassion for us.  Thank you again for this home.  I offer it to you and ask that you lead us in a way that my whole family will grow closer to you.  You are magnificent and a beautiful creator.  You are my friend.  Thank you Lord for loving me...In Jesus' name, Amen.