Boxes

My old house is empty except for a few things left behind as simple staging. Isn’t that funny? Towels, but no laundry; soap, but no dirt. Setting the stage…for new owners whose lives and livings will be totally different from yours in the same space. It’s actually a bit odd when you think about it, but we set the stage every single day by choosing what we’ll put out for public display in our lives and what we’ve determined that we’re going to take to our grave without sharing.

My new house is full of boxes. The boxes are labeled according to what room they were in back in the old house. I always do that. I label the boxes according to the paint color on the walls of the old house and then I label the doors of the new house according to those same room colors. It means, theoretically, that you’ll have some clue where your stuff is when you need it…assuming you knew where it was located in the old house. (Sometimes it is just a theory. Sometimes the boxes get put in the wrong colored rooms. Yes, that happens.)

I walked through the boxes on Sunday morning and I thought about how our lives are a bit like all those stacked items in containers. We have what we put out on display for everyone to see…and we have those things that we keep contained or hidden or private. Sometimes we keep those things so well hidden that we don’t even share them with those closest to us…for lots of reasons…some of them good and some of them not.

No matter what you’ve chosen to display or hide today, this is your friendly reminder of one very important thing.

God sees it all.

He knows it all.

He knows the hows and the whys and the wheres and all of the details that we’ve managed to forget or remember wrong or even just chosen to stew over.

God sees inside your boxes and He loves you anyway.

There is nothing inside of you that He doesn’t know about and already have a plan to use it for your eventual good. He’s promised to do so, in fact, but He’s also very polite.

He will not barge in and unpack your boxes…your attitudes or your hurts or your prideful things…unless you ask Him.

Ask Him today.

It’s always better to have help with the heavy stuff…and we’re all going to need it eventually, anyway.

Prayer for today:  Thanks for knowing me so well and still loving me, God!  Help me trust You enough to let you unpack all the boxes and the baggage that I have stubbornly refused to unpack before You–as if You didn’t already know all about it!  Give me eyes to see You in the common things of life and help me to remember You love me even when I make mistakes or forget to be grateful.  Use whatever You choose to create a deeper bond between us and make me more like Your Son.  I am Yours…baggage, boxes and all.  Oh, and God, thanks for being mine, as well.

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Movers

The movers pulled out early Sunday morning…leaving us behind to do all of the unpacking and the making of a life here in our new home.  They were kind men.  They were good-hearted and funny and they didn’t know us from Adam’s housecat…when they arrived.

When they left, however, it was a different story.  You see, you can pack all of your underwear and your animals and anything else that you don’t want the movers to move along with all of the other things that they aren’t allowed to move and, in the end, they will still know more about you than some of your closest friends.

They will see all kinds of things:  your pantry and your shed, your artwork and your books, whether or not you clean under the beds and behind the washer, whether you are a “big-picture person” or more than a tad OCD…they will see you.  There is no escape from it.

They will know what you put into your mouth and into your mind.  They will know what catches your breath and holds your heart.  They will know what shapes your world view and they will hear how you address people who serve you when there is no influence to be gained or relationship to be maintained.  They will know whether you are kind and generous and if you have a temper…or not.  They will know where you place the highest value—on people or on things.  Yes, in the end, they will know you.  They will know.  They will know.

They won’t tell anyone.  I mean, really, who in their world would care?  It may not make a speck’s worth of difference to anyone they know back home, but it just might make them think about things they’ve never thought about as they ride down the road to move their next family.  Perhaps they will be more open to share at the next location.  Maybe they will just smile more.  Whatever else you think, they will be different, too…and they will remember your attitudes even when they can’t remember your name.

One more thing:  it pays to be nice the first time.  It pays to be kind and it pays to be friendly when you don’t have to be…because you just might get the one of those same people back to help you with your next move.

We did…and that was 15 years ago. (seriously.)

 

Thought for the day:  who will you get to know this week?  It may take some time and it will definitely take some effort, but don’t wait too long to get to know the people around you.  Don’t miss out on what—and WHO!–is right in front of you right now.  Who will you move?

Ouch.

Anyone else remember that old song lyric about “rainy days and Mondays always get me down…”?  Well, not me!  Especially not this one!  The movers should arrive shortly and begin the real process of transferring all our accumulated treasures (grin) to our new home in Georgia.

Knowing this week would be a bit hectic here, I decided to leave my computer behind… but I hadn’t counted on finding this quote and feeling the need to share:

“The sin that is most destructive in your life right now is the one you are most defensive about.” ~Tim Keller

Well, yes…and ouch.

That little punch of truth was just too potent to keep all to myself today!  I’m pretty certain I’ll be mulling that one over as we pack…and probably for a lot longer than that.

Grace and Peace…and productive mulling wherever you are today, as well!

Something to think about…

If you waited until

  • everything in your life was calm
  • all things are perfect
  • all of the people in your life are behaving just like you want them to
  • it is the perfect temperature
  • you’ve got the perfect hair
  • you’re at your ideal weight
  • the news people have only good news to report
  • you absolutely love your job every single day
  • the trash takes itself out and your house cleans itself automatically
  • your bank balance is no longer a concern
  • you have an hour of uninterrupted free-time with nothing to do
  • _____________________ (fill in the blank with your own fantasy here!)

to

  • talk to God
  • get to know Him better
  • tell Him you love Him
  • read His word
  • ask His opinion
  • live all of your life for Him
  • say “Thanks!”
  • tell others about Him…

…How long would that take?

So what are you waiting on today?

Brrrr!…Thank you, Lord!…Brrrr!…Thank you, Lord!

The thermometer said that it got all the way up to 28 degrees Fahrenheit today and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that!

They said it wouldn’t happen.

They said it wouldn’t be even close to that.

They said it would be overcast and dreary and that there would be ice on the road from the rain last night and that there was the real possibility that you-know-where might actually be freezing over if it was this cold this far south. (grin)

Oh, how I dreaded this day of their predicted weather!  I sat on my sofa last night and dreaded what they said and I mourned the loss of time painting before the movers come and I dreaded that they were saying the same thing–except that it would be even worse!–for tomorrow.  I sat and I fretted and fussed inside right up until I started remembering something.

I remembered that the same God who provided the house controlled the weather.

I remembered that the same God who loved me and was in control of the weather also controlled the time and that He was well aware of all that needed doing…here in my new place and here in my heart.

I remembered that He was the same God who had provided me with Psalm 138:8 over and over and over during these past few months and that He was still in charge and that He was still in the business of perfecting what concerns me.

And guess what?  My attitude changed while I was sitting right there on the couch.  I started praising God for being in charge and for perfecting all the things that concern me (both those things that are about me AND those things that are concerning to me) and I had my own little private worship service right there in my heart and you know what happened today?

They were wrong.

The sun was out and the clouds cleared and I traveled roads that were ice-free and I traveled safely and spent the day taping off walls and baseboards and painting and rejoicing in my heart and stopping every now and then to just say, “THANK YOU, GOD!”  I completed more than I had hoped to do and still had time to do several other tasks that needed doing, as well.

Because my God is in control of everything…and He is never wrong.