Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cleaning Up

I LOVE that no matter how old you are it's NEVER too late...

to learn.
to grow.
to get a fresh perspective.

It seems like the last week or two, perspective has been heavy on my heart and where God seems to be working on me the most.

For one thing, this stirring in my heart is creating the real me to find its way back out of layers upon layers of "junk" I've allowed to build up in recent months. 

I let myself drop down the list of priorities.  All the progress I'd made about getting healthy and stronger quickly began going the wrong direction when I stopped putting in the time to eat healthy and exercise (REAL exercise---not just chasing my crew of kids and littles around!).  I stopped meal planning and began to rely on prepackaged meals and fast food again because at the end of the day, I. HAD. NOTHING. LEFT.

I had gone back to survival mode.

It doesn't work.

We were meant to thrive instead of barely survive.

Yes, I've been struggling with the disappointment that those pounds that FINALLY were very noticeably coming off were creeping back up and clothes were not fitting (and I DID get rid of anything that was too big immediately so my options have been VERY limited!).  It was more than that.  I stopped being the best me.  I stopped having what I needed in my tank to give my family the best of me.

Working on climbing that rope again.  Not drastically and dramatically at once, but tying a knot in the rope and climbing back up one little pull at a time.

Perspective has also changed so much in my heart.

I'm not going to lie.  I've been a mess. God was doing some serious work in chiseling at my heart and then I started running the other direction.  Life was really getting in the way.  The lies of Satan began to be heard much louder than the truth....and that's a recipe for disaster.  Stress of overcommitments and health battles are draining.  Overextended work hours for my husband has left us both drained and struggling to maintain our high level of connection.  Missing my Dad has been heavy on my heart again though there hasn't been any real particular reason. Feeling the heaviness and scars of rejection in specific relationships. Concerned about some friends and family members that are either being hit left and right with battles or are rejecting Christ. Hurt feelings over something that seemed important to me, but not so important to someone else.  Being homesick for TN while my Granny was having surgery and recovering. Just little things adding up to big....

and I crash.

Everywhere I've turned the last weeks the reminder of perspective has been hanging around and I'm beginning to let it sink in.  I must still have a hard head if God keeps having to put these little reminders in my spirit! 

This morning I spent time OUTSIDE while it was 22 without a coat on cleaning windows.  Crazy? Maybe.  It just felt SO good and like an incredible heat wave after the days upon days of below zero temperatures.  I just needed to feel my feet on solid ground that wasn't ice or snow covered.  I just need to FEEL the sun.  Perspective changes everything.  A few months ago, 22 would have been considered arctic! Now, it feels like a day at the beach (almost!).

Those windows.  Oh my goodness.  They were covered in grime. Blowing snow for weeks on end had done its toll.  From the inside looking out, they didn't look clean, but they didn't look so dirty either.  Until....

I cleaned them. 

Until I removed the gunk. Until I realized just how much my view had changed by accepting things just for the way they were. You can't really clean windows in frigid temps so you just let it go.

As I was cleaning away and amazed at the new view, my heart felt the Holy Spirit reminding me of the same thing.  He's cleaning me up.  Removing layer after layer of gunk.  Some have been there for way too long.  Some I've refused to let Him work on. Others have recently been put there through storms----just like the layers of filth from the snow.  Some layers are there and need cleaned up because I've begun to just "accept" things as they are and allowed the world to creep in.

Being cleaned up is not easy.  Some days grime can easily be wiped away, especially if you attack the mess before it builds up or before it has had time to soak in!  Other days, clean up takes work.  It takes elbow grease.  It takes scouring.  It take hard work and patience.

Last night as I was also thinking about perspective---something I thought looked pretty clean on the surface turned out to be FAR from clean when we tried a different approach---I was talking to God about how I don't want to be just surface clean.  Just like I tell my kids, following the rules is important, but what is most important to me is the heart.  Don't just follow rules to follow them, follow them because God has changed the desires in your heart to want to run from the things that are displeasing and that the focus is on what HE has done for us, not what we think we are doing for Him. I don't want to just be clean on the outside, I want to be clean deep inside.  Him overflowing out of me so much that there isn't room for the me that doesn't belong. 

I want the perspective of seeing through the clean glass. Shiny. Without the layers of gunk.  One layer at a time.

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