Although I wouldn’t consider myself a total neat freak, I do like my house to be neat. And tidy. And clean. And clutter free. And organized.
Okay, maybe I am a neat freak. But if you ask me, nothing beats a clean house. It just brings a calm into a woman’s soul knowing that she doesn’t have hours of scrubbing, laundering, picking up, de-cluttering, and dusting ahead of her. Ahhhhhh.
So when my house became a disaster zone as I mentioned in todays Proverbs 31 devotion – a disaster zone which stretched over a five month period and literally just got completed last week – there were days when I reached the breaking point, and broke. Sometimes over a bottle of spilled shampoo. Sometimes over the white layer of dust powdered on every square inch. Sometimes because every article of clothing for my family of five was temporarily stashed in one room due to all the closets affected by the construction, and finding something to wear was like finding a needle in a haystack. Sometimes over just wishing that all the strangers working in my house would just poof out of sight.
Yet, how trivial those things are. The day I revisited the verse mentioned in today’s devotion (James 1:2), I felt guilty. Guilty for getting frustrated instead of expressing gratitude. Guilty for getting upset about silly things. Guilty for losing sight of what’s really important and letting this temporary aggravation steal my joy. Guilty for focusing on issues, instead of faith.
Although these are trivial things, there have certainly been times in life when my problems and worries stretched far beyond a messy house.
Problems with finances, parenting, work, marriage, health of family members, worrying about my children and situations they were dealing with, betrayal, hurt, death, and loss. To name a few.
But in every circumstance, I have always turned to God – eventually. And in every situation, when I finally stop trying to shoulder the burdens on my own and stressing myself into a frenzy, I find that although my circumstances may not change, my heart certainly does. It’s as if turning to God in our most trying times is like a hug from a sweet friend, filled with reassurances of hope and comfort.
How much sweeter life can be when we remember to seek God’s peace and perspective about our circumstances from the start, instead of when we reach our breaking point. And how joy filled our hearts would be too, despite the stressors of life.
Sweet friend, know that you are not alone. Whether your problems are big or small, your God is right by your side. Pause, breathe, and pray, and invite God to soothe your heart and your worries over your circumstances, with His holy healing balm.
Us girls love clean houses, but nothing beats a clean heart full of joy.
Leave a comment on my blog (emailed comments will not qualify) briefly mentioning the situation that has been a joy-stealer in your life and commit to choosing joy in the midst of it, and you’ll be entered to win a personalized, autographed copy of Stressed-Less Living and a free journal set to record your prayers and thoughts.
And don’t forget to also enter to win one of five copies of my book over at Proverbs 31 today!