Monday, May 16, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Though I love to clean, I am not talking about cleaning of our house today...I am talking about spring cleaning our hearts and our lives.

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:5-8

I have been in a funk lately. I tend to go through these cycles and typically good comes from the funk. :) I am not saying I am in a funk in that I am sad or depressed or anything like that. I am just in a constant state of unrest and confusion. I think that in many ways my desire to do God's will is my downfall. I know that likely makes little sense, but I feel like I often get gung ho about something and I desperately DO want to honor God and so I go full speed ahead...sometimes perhaps leaving God in the dust so to speak.

I want for God to look at my life and the things I accomplished and I want Him to smile and say "Well done, good and faithful servant". I want to please Him, but in all honesty I think sometimes in an effort to do just that I accomplish the exact opposite. I have always been a people pleaser. I got good grades, not because I liked school or learning, but because it pleased my dad. My whole life I have wanted to please others and many of the paths I have taken have been largely to please someone else. I have thus far approached my relationship with God much the same. I want to please him so He will love me more.

When am I going to get it through my thick skull that there is NOTHING I can do to make Him love me more or less? I have in effect been rejecting the gift of love He has given by putting conditions on it myself. He hasn't done this. I have. He loves freely and without condition or stipulation. It is so hard for my finite mind to grasp such things.

In an effort to be a good girl and DO what the Lord calls us to do I have neglected becoming WHO he wants me to be. I have busied myself with the things I think the Lord would have me do all the while busying myself to the point of getting snippy with my children, and not having time to listen to what my husband has to say and spend time with him. I have literally spun my wheels and gotten nowhere.

As I have taken some time to really seek out the Lord and to know Him better so that I can know His will, I have come to realize that while he does want us all to DO good things, he is more concerned with us BEING who he wants us to be. I have lost sight of that. Sometimes we need to realize that the state of our heart and soul matter. God commands us to (above all else) love Him with all our hearts, with all our soul, all our strength and all our minds. ALL. Not part, not what is left over after the world has its way with us. ALL of us.

"'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.' And, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Luke 10:27

Last night Howard and I sat down and had a much needed talk about our family and our direction and while I found it disconcerting, I also know that God is at work. Howard is reading Watchman Nee's "The Spiritual Man" and claims it to be (aside from the Bible) the most profound book he has read. He said that he feels like our life is filled with too much distraction that is taking us away from God. That things, even if they are not bad in and of themselves, if they direct our attention away from God that they are not worthy of our time. God should be the center of EVERYTHING.

I have to admit...while I didn't want to admit to him initially that he was right. He was. Satan uses all of the chaos of the world to distract us from the One who brings peace and contentment. I am not even talking about things that are obviously inappropriate to spend time on...even things that seem innocent enough...if they are not done in a way that honors God or with him as the focus, they are not worthy of our time. Consequently, we can spend ALL of our time doing good and noble things, but if we are not seeking God first, none of it matters. We cannot put the cart before the horse. God first and then he will use us for good...not the opposite.

As we look forward to what the Lord really IS calling our family to do, we know He has a good plan for us. We know big things are to come. The thing is that it isn't about our plan and what WE can do for is about what He can do through us and unless we make sure he is the central focus of it all we won't succeed.

In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the LORD establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

This verse hangs on an index card next to our family calendar and I try to take care when planning our weeks and days that we do not fill them up so much that we lose sight of what is truly important and what the main focus is. I have kind of missed it in the big picture though. As we work on spring cleaning our house we will also be spring cleaning our hearts, our souls and our lives. We are renovating at the Bolte house and trying to rid ourselves of the distractions that are cluttering up our lives and not allowing us to see God's will as clearly as we need to. God is not confusion. Satan is. Satan wants to sneak in subtly and steal us away...he wants to divert our minds to things that don't matter and we have got to be on guard. We have got to rid our lives of the distractions. Sometimes we have got to stop DOING and just BE. We need to work on our relationship with the One who matters most before we can know how He wants to use us.

What are some of the distractions in your life? Do you have any spring cleaning to do?


Monica said...

Hi Kristy,
This is well timed for me (Thank you Lord) as I have been feeling our family should take a "technology fast" for the month of June... no computer (except for some bills,) no TV/movies, no phone (unless emergency) and so on. We already don't do too much of the last 2, but the first one is a biggie! It seems like it is innocent enough, and it is good to encourage others we love from across the internet, yet time flies so quickly then I am upset over what I haven't accomplished.
Anyway, I also wanted to say I think you should link this to Lynnette's Blog and Share at Dancing Again (it closes on 5-17, hope you get this before then!)

Thanks for being real!
Have a blessed day!

Becky said...

Ah Kristy! You talk about Spring cleaning in a life - Mine has been a mess, it has caught up with me and like David, I am bowed low, humbled, broken. I am also learning to love 'my First Love' again and each day He graciously grants me new mercies. I think you and I share the same temperaments - many common strengths and weakness'. As I go through some uncertain days, I know He is beside me and for that I am so grateful!

Our family said...

I started The Good Morning Girls Summer Bookclub this morning

and the verse for today is:

Ps 127:1 - 05/16/2011- Monday- Week 1
"Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

I find it to be no accident that I have been contemplating that verse all day and then tonight read your post about spring cleaning. There is much in my life I have been avoiding ... avenues God is directing me down but I am hesitant to go there.

Thank you for your inspiring words!

Laurie in Ca. said...

Thank you for posting this Kristy. I am almost "buried alive" in the Spring Cleaning that I need to do, both in my home and in my heart. You always inspire me to do better with your honesty sweetie. I love you guys and will continue lifting you up in my prayers:)

Love and Hugs, Laurie

Team Carter Jay said...

I've been thinking that our family needs a technology fast too. Amazing post, thank you for sharing your heart. <3

Unknown said...

Well, long posts are usually hard for me to get through... but this one, while long, kept my attention. I LOVED it! Honestly, we live in a world where sitting with our children and reading to them... making their lunch... teaching them their numbers... isn't considered enough. We live in a world where keeping house isn't satisfying women. We live in a world that pulls us away and makes us feel discontent with our beautiful calling as wife and mother.

I'm so glad you wrote this and think it needs to be shared with women. Thanks so much for linking it up!

Unknown said...

The first time I read this, I pictured you as a mother, scurrying around in activity and not truly embracing the gift of your calling as mother - since you are one. :) I personalized it and used it as a motivation to stop and do God's work in raising my children for Him and making sure I'm not so busy that I don't keep my focus right.

Today, I decided to share it, so I came back and read it again and read it in a broader sense... in EVERY area of our lives, make sure we are rejoicing in the gift of our calling as servant and lover of God.

I think our biggest problem as human beings is that we simply don't stop running. No stopping to notice... to evaluate... to rejoice and praise God in the tasks he has assigned us to.

So, anyway... I was blessed again. I'm sharing it on Twitter and Facebook today and will make mention of it in a blog post next week).

Thanks again for sharing Kristy.