I mentioned recently my wife and I sold our 2 story home of 14 years and downsized to a cozy 3 bedroom rambler. We are very happy with our move as being empty nesters we need less space and at our age we also need LESS stairs.
Now the process of getting ready to sell your home with 14 years of STUFF is daunting. To get ready for showings the realtor emphasizes less is more. Meaning, GET RID OF ALL THE CLUTTER. Get rid of our clutter, but we like our clutter!
So after many many MANY trips to Good Will and overloading our garbage service for a couple months our state of 'clutteredness' was much improved.
Then we moved from our 2 story home to our present 3 bedroom rambler (many square feet smaller) and found we still have too much stuff. This required us to store what was important and the rest again went to Good Will and/or overloaded our garbage service.
I believe this often is true with my own Christian Walk. I need to start with the two greatest commandments to Love God with all my heart, soul, and mind, and love others as myself. Matthew 22:36-40.. then.. DECLUTTER and downsize my life. What is important and what is clutter?
I don't think it is important to detail how I am decluttering my spirit, but as stated in Philippians 4:8 whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
The rest might just be CLUTTER.
May God bless each of you in your journey to live out a clutter free Christian Walk obedient to God's Two Greatest Commandments .
I love the writings of Max Lucado. A while back he wrote a book 'When God whispers your name'. Great title, great book, but I have discovered a problem. What if I am hard of hearing?
Recently I wrote a blog about weathering a storm in my life. A time where my prayers I believed were met with the resounding SILENCE from God. Since then I have discovered God's providence was the direct result of what I percieved as His silence.
During my storm I prayed and prayed, and agonized over my plight wanting God to make it better, but I believe now my problem was not God's silence, but I was not listening.. and I was not trusting God.
During my storm I came to believe I was to experience the full impact of my situation (mistakes and circumstances) because that is how life is. It rains on the just and the unjust, and I was standing outside in a hurricane with only an umbrella deserving of what was to come.
Long story sorta short is God answered my prayers. I survived a great storm, and found God provided for me during and after I worked hard to do my part. The details are not important except to say.. I am so thankful for God's love and His providence, and His answers to my prayers.. even when I am hard of hearing.
I have been gone a long time from posting a blog. My last post was in April 2015 on Good Friday. Since then much has happened to me.
The long story made short is.. I sold my business of 8 years, and sold the house I lived in for the last 14 years. Neither decision came without significant pain involved for both myself and my wife.
These were stormy times of asking God why, crying to God where are you? These were times of confession, and remorse over mistakes I had made and questioning my value as a man.
The details of what led up to these major decisions is not important, but the fact was my wife and I were in the midst of the great storm in our lives. I felt my prayers were met with silence. This storm not only leveled my material life (job & home), but the waves also wore my spirit down. My spiritual life was stripped away to the basics as I endured the tempests of my circumstances. Like a modern day Job, I did not curse God, but often sobbed over my lot in life. I was twisting in the wind.
Just 6 weeks removed from the peak of this hurricane I feel entirely different. While there are still waves as the seas are not yet calm, I feel life gaining order and purpose again. We downsized to a smaller home in a nearby suburb, and while moving is always a bit of a storm itself I find this home is what we need. It fits like a glove.. ok a glove that at times is a bit tight, but we really do like it.
Another great blessing is we found a church that is close to home that we really really like. We have made new friends, and are both part of bible studies. It suits us well as we find fellowship and a desire to be involved and serve.
Beyond finding a church, my spiritual life is healing. I even find it was good to have it stripped raw during the storm, and to get back to the basics free of any previous church and faith baggage leaving my core beliefs intact.
There are still waves in our lives as the details of our past storm still have ripple affects. Selling my business means.. I AM UNEMPLOYED. At this point in my life I am not looking to climb any career ladder, but simply pursuing opportunites that fit my current skill set. Somewhere between brain surgeon and envelope licker is a career for me. :)
I am prayerful and peaceful in finding a job. <Insert prayers here>
The moral of my story is God's silence sometimes is just what we need to arrive where he wants us to be. It was important for me to own up to my past, and work hard ( so very hard ) and persevere in every storm as the only alternative is drowning.
I pray this stormy story encourages those of you who are in a storm. Remember to pray, and listen to God even when He seems to be silent. The lessons learned in this silence are priceless.
Jeff (bailing water in the Back Pew) Larson
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson
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