Tuesday, June 2, 2015

HGTV? Hearts: God's True Vision

Cross country moves are NOT for the faint of heart.  Let me tell you I could have MULTIPLE blog posts on the crazy that ensued when we began our journey from Florida to Texas.  Seriously.  Lots of crazy!!  But, what kept us going, through it all, was the clear voice of God telling us THIS was His plan for us, and that we were embarking on an amazing journey.  In my shortsightedness, I thought He was being literal- Talking about the journey of actually getting from place one to place two; that He was working in the getting to and fro.  Just look at (some of) the crazy that actually took place: monsoon rains while packing the semi, epic falls off said semi, too.much.stuff, midnight Salvation Army donations, hours and hours and hours of work, car vandalism, and NO HOME to go to once we got there (that is a whole 'nother story!).  

But, what I am learning more and more as I walk with Jesus through life- is that He is rarely just literal! He is so much more! He wasn't talking about our "journey" as the few weeks between deciding to leave and getting to the new place.  The "journey" is our life.  Our story.  So- fast forward a few weeks... maybe a month.  And, we had found a house, and have started to settle in.  I was falling deeply in love with Texas and all that being a "Texan" involves!  I was loving the culture, the decor, and the countryside.  I was a happy camper.  But, the boxes and chaos of unpacking were getting out of control.  Seriously, I was a mad (wo)man on a mission and anyone in my way might have gotten run over.  I needed to enjoy my home.  To make it ours- make it comfortable, but beautiful.  A place we all love to be and surrounds us with a warm, beautiful hug.   Right.  Because isn't that as women our first go to?  What do I need to do? What do I need to fix?  What can I improve about this or about you child right there or you husband over there? (ouch!) I began to dream, and Pinterest had NOTHING on me.  I was pinning to my hearts content.  The problem was, the more I dove into fixing up this house to be a home, the more agitated I got.  The more I tried to make the house look good, well designed, put together the more I began to feel yucky, messy, and totally not put together.  I really couldn't put a finger on what was stirring up these feelings in me.  

As I began to bring these feelings to the Lord- through worship at Church and through prayer at home I began to HEAR Him.  Not in that loud booming "Moses" voice that we imagine.  But,  I started listening to what He was actually saying to me in the stillness of my heart.  The quiet, strong, repetitive words. Once I started truly listening I stopped putting my own spin to the words that He gave.  

This is what He said:
STOP decorating the inside of your home to create order and peace.  LOOK at the hearts inside your home.  START decorating the hearts inside your home to live in ME for ME.  MY fruits of the Spirit will bring the calm, order and peace your heart is craving.  Then your house will become a home.  

WOAH!!!  When I really heard Him I STOPPED in my tracks.  My heart poured open and I knew with all that I am I had been going about this "decorating" in such a wrong way!  What was really bothering me was not the chaos of some brown boxes and so much newspaper, but our hearts in chaos.  The ugliness and hurt that I could see inside my own heart, and what was being displayed by my family. I mean, I didn't see any future axe murderers- but I saw self centeredness, bickering, anger, and some other unlovely things.  

It reminded me of these verses in Matthew 23: 

25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

How was I attending to the outward adornment of our home when I had hearts to attend to? MY heart.  What is hidden in there that is ungodly, chaotic, ugly?  My children needed me to love, encourage, teach, and direct towards Christ?  I had hearts that needed my guidance, prayer, attention.   My husband needed my encouragement, support, and respect.  Yet, I was very busy cleaning the outside of our "tombs" and not attending to the hearts on the inside.  Listen, this is in no way a dig on making your space beautiful.  If your gift is decorating spaces- PLEASE go forth and decorate!! :) The world needs you!  But, it is a call to see the BIGGER picture.  To not stop at the literal, but to look all the way to the Spiritual.  

There is so much deep, rich truth in these verses.  SO much reflection.  When I look back- almost a year now- and see where our family is and has come from I can see so much growth.  We have come so far in such a little time.  I still see plenty of room for more cleaning.  But, that is it- isn't it?  We are a work in progress- just like I'm sure I'll never have my house fully put together- magazine perfect- I know our hearts on this side of eternity will never be fully put together.  But, when my focus and attention is on making sure we are cleaning the inside- I know, because God told me, the outside will look better too!!  

Peace and calmness, order in my home will come from the lives that live within the walls.  Not the beautiful furniture or the perfect paint color!  What is God urging you to clean out and attend to?  What have you been whitewashing? 

In this journey with you, 

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