Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Heart Overhaul: Pruning, Painting, Priorities and Praying

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21

Well this blog is going to cover a lot of ground. I had every intention of flowing each renovation step at a time to complement the next and it all coming together perfectly....haha! That is why I put the verse above from Proverbs. It's funny how we make all these plans and try to tell God how things are going to work out only to find out He has a completely different agenda and since last week, I have learned several lessons that God is still dealing with me about and I wanted to share with you. 

All this renovation and fixing up is overlapping and frankly it's all a hot mess right now, but I am thankful that God continues to pursue me as I continue to pursue the remodeling of this house because I know the end product will be amazing!

Well before our house was deemed habitable by the mold remediation guys we went over to the house to try to conquer the outside forest that was a bit out of control. We had trees overlapping the back stairwell creating a maze of spiderwebs that led to our laundry room. Trees hung right over the ac unit dropping leaves into the outside ac condenser and crape myrtle trees throughout the front looked like they had never been trimmed. Leaves covered the front and back decks and completely covered the driveway, so with a new pair of pruning shears and an electric blower I got to work! 

I thought about how some of the overgrown trees and shrubs get out of hand and cover the beautiful outside of the house. Sometimes the little aggravations we face during the day can add up and begin to completely cover up the blessings God gives us everyday.  When we allow our perspective on life to become overwhelmed with negativity over people or circumstances, it becomes hard to see the true beauty that is underneath. 

When we grab our pruning shears and in this case I mean inspiration from God's word and a perspective that our problems are never bigger than our God, He can begin to reveal the purpose behind the pain, the vision past the hardship, and the truth beyond the lies.   

I heard a great message from one of the pastors at my church in Texas. He asked us "What color are we painting our lives?" I had never thought about it before. Are you painting the walls of your life with sadness and negativity like blacks and dark blues? Are you creating a hostile and angry environment when you walk in the room like some reds? Or are you bringing with you a sense of peace everywhere you go like a nice green or pastel color? 

Now of course if you have any of these colors in your house it doesn't necessarily mean that red kitchen is your angry room or that dark blue laundry room creates a feeling of sadness all the time (or maybe it does when you have a mountain of laundry to wash, hehe), but some people do believe color affects emotion. 

So what colors are you painting your life? Begin to ask God to deal with the "rooms" in your life or areas that need a fresh coat of paint. One that fosters an environment of love, joy, peace...all the gifts of the Holy Spirit that are at work in your life as a believer in Jesus. 

You know when you watch those HGTV shows and in one hour they show you a dilapidated house, about 35 minutes of renos and then a beautiful after? Yea... that is not real life! I mean it is, but if you notice that during the show the weather changes, their clothes are different and time has passed... yes it takes days, weeks and even months to fix up those homes. 

Aww, but the beauty of editing comes into play on the big screen and what you don't see is the sleepless nights over their budget or the obstacles they faced when they closed on that house. They didn't show you all of the non-glamourous moments except for the ones that made for good tv. But I can promise you this, they did not stay up all day and all night working on that house. I am sure there were plenty of off days and days of rest and opportunities to sit back, breathe and relax. It is so important to balance the work with the rest. 

Don't be so one sided on one hand where it is all work and no play, that kind of work ethic becomes suffocating and you might find yourself running into the woods and screaming. (Not that i have done that or anything!) 

You can't just sit back and do nothing and hope the unpacking fairy or painting elf is going to come do all the work  for you either. Nothing worth having ever comes easy. I am not sure who said that but I heard it somewhere. The key is balance. Don't feel guilty about putting your feet up and taking a break. (The above picture is me chillin in my kids chair with my bowl of Krave watching Kelly & Michael this morning. This was my morning of rest.)

Consider this your permission slip to take a break. It's good for the sanity and good for the soul. 

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says "Pray without ceasing". No matter what kind of renovation season you are in literally or spiritually,  keep that line of communication open with God. He is your best friend, sticks closer than a brother and knows more of your deepest and darkest than that girlfriend you call and confide in. 

I have not stopped praying through every moment of this season of my life. In fact my prayer life has increased dramatically in the last 3 weeks and that is a good place to be in. I am much more connected to my Creator  and able to cast my cares on Him, bounce off ideas and confide in Him my worries and concerns. He responds by whispering to my soul, speaking to me during reading His word, a song on the radio, etc. When you stay in constant commune with the Lord it is easy to see Him at work in your life. 

Never stop praying. 

 This is where the walls gave way
This is demolition day
All the debris and all this dust
What is left of what once was
Sorting through what goes and what should stay
Every stone I laid for You

This is the unmaking
The beauty in the breaking
Had to lose myself
To find out who You are
Before each beginning
There must be an ending
Sitting in the rubble
I can see the stars
This is the unmaking

Nichole Nordeman- The Unmaking

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