Wednesday, January 30, 2013


But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

This month we hope to move again. We'll be moving to our fourth home since we got married, less than two years ago. Sometimes I feel like Sarai, following Abram across the Middle East. "Pack up the tent again, honey; we're moving again." We went from a tiny attic-type-space apartment to a larger one downstairs in the same building to our current 2-bedroom, 900 sq-ft duplex. And now we plan to downsize again, looking to save some pennies (a lot of them, haha).

When we lived in the first building, we had countless boxes and tubs of stuff that I just didn't deal with. I was pregnant and tired and trying to figure out housekeeping, so I just shoved them away. They all got moved to this place with us, and we had so much more storage space that we just packed them away nicely. Now, a year later, I finally feel like I've gotten housekeeping down to a rational point, and we're about to move again. And I'm absolutely determined that we won't be taking one blessed thing with us that we don't need or want.

For about a month now, I've sorted and organized and decluttered. I've thrown away about 6 garbage bags full of stuff, and have about three big boxes set to go to consignment stores or to give away. It feels so good to sift and sort and just clean up.

I've never given a lot of thought to simplicity. But now I find myself really enjoying the freedom that comes with getting rid of stuff. Junk. Things that once were useful but no longer serve a purpose.

Things are just things. Some memories are fun to hang on to and will be interesting to our children one day, but other things can go. It's good to just have what we need, and no more. How wonderful to know exactly what we have, and where it goes, and not to mess with things that just take up room.

This exercise has helped me start letting go. My eyes now see through the lens of "Is this really important?" And as I look around me, nothing seems as valuable now as it did even a month ago. The important things are those of eternity - relationships. The time I spend with my son and husband, crafting and treasuring those relationships, as well as others in my life - that time - will last for eternity.

I want to have a loose grasp on all things temporal, and keep my eyes on Jesus and eternity.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

God's Perfect Grace

Just a few scattered thoughts this morning as I listen to our maintenance man fix the heating element in our stove, and desperately want a nap. As I was letting my son cry himself to sleep this morning for his nap I was also spending time reading my Bible and something struck me in a new light.

I'm reading through the Bible this year with a reading plan that takes you to three different locations in the Word each day. Currently, I'm reading Genesis, Job, and Matthew. It's incredible to read of man's creation, fall, and filling the world with mankind and more sin, and also one man's unique story of temptation and discouragement, while at the same time reading of the coming of the Deliverer, Jesus. As Adam's family, and Job struggled to walk with God, Jesus walked with God completely. Whereas men fell into sin, Jesus rose above it.

This phrase came to mind today: "I have not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it." Because of sin, and our selfish wills, we humans have so many struggles. And we rarely manage to keep God's laws. Obeying God stretches us beyond our capabilities and we fail.

But in reality, God never meant us to keep the law in the first place. He knew we would fail. All along he planned to send his Son, who would keep the law perfectly, and then open the way by his death and resurrection for us to have a relationship with God based on his own goodness, not ours.

That's the grace of God! He knows we will fail to be righteous and perfect before we even try, so he makes a way before we do. My life as a follower of Christ should not be me trying to be perfect and failing and then miserably turning to God for his forgiveness and favor. No, actually, like Paul, I need to realize that only by Christ can I do anything (Phil. 4:13). So each day I should set forward with this mindset: "God, today I'm going to need your grace. I want to follow you, with all my heart, but I'm completely unable to on my own. Will you enable me by your Spirit to walk in truth? Will you live your life through me today? I choose not to try harder to be perfect, but to rest in the perfect life of your Son. I know that is the only way to victory and satisfaction in you."

God is great. His grace and love are just as great as he is. And by that I am overwhelmed.

I choose to walk in Christ today.