cleanin’ out my closet

Whenever I’m cleaning my room, things tend to look a whole lot worse before they even remotely look any better. When I announce to my husband that I’m overhauling our closet it’s usually met with a groan because he knows – he’s seen it – the closet literally explodes all over the room for hours and then only much, much later is perfectly organized and picked up.

When you discover you’ve literally got 5 identical pairs of black leggings staring back at you, amidst piles and piles of other junk you probably didn’t need in the first place, you have no one to blame but yourself. Taking an honest look at things, an inventory of what you’re about and where, specifically, you’re going in life or trying to accomplish can be surprising and the true catalyst for making long-term life changes. I guess sometimes you have to put it all out there – lay every piece of dirty laundry out to be seen by all – in order to get things back in order for good.

Maybe your “closet” is full of abusing your body – be it with food, drugs or alcohol. Maybe it’s sexual immorality. Or perhaps it’s disrespect, backstabbing or being a really bad friend or partner. Everyone has something hiding in their closet. The only person to be completely sinless is (of course) Jesus.

I know that once I’ve got my closet emptied I need to figure out 3 things: what I am ultimately trying to accomplish, what I am going to do with my current situation and identifying how I got here in the first place. Once I know those 3 things I can figure out what I need to do to get things back in good order.

Knowing how you want life to turn out might sound pretty simple. But goals such as “clean and sober,” or “twenty pounds lighter,” are easier said than done. How can we make these improvements more permanent? Sustainability is a key component to making successful improvements. Thankfully, there is somewhere you can go and not only find support but actually be among others in similar struggles, who are open and honest about them and who won’t judge you for your “messy closet”:  church.  Christians know that only Jesus is sinless. We know that everyone has struggles. We know that we will all make mistakes. Not a single soul in that pew is without sin. We also realize that if you’re trying to live your life with Christ as your guide then you are a work in progress… and being in progress is what it’s all about. Continuing to strive, not giving up or losing your focus on Him, is the key to staying on the path to getting your closet cleaned up. Doing everything you do to the glory of the One who made you. You might have your moments where you want to keep all 5 pairs of black leggings, but with your heart and mind focused on the desired end-result you’ll ultimately make the right decision and know what to do with no regrets. And if you have a moment where you’re not sure, you can turn to your friends in Christ and get the reality check you may need to get back on track. Just be prepared to do the same for them. We all walk by faith together.

And in scripture…

James 5:16, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

1 Thess 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

and finally, Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

You and I can get our closets clean and sustainable, so long as we keep our focus on and learn to surrender to Him – the ultimate end result.

Run by faith,

Lindsay

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forever and ever, Amen

As we become more and more emerged in the Hollywood “glam” culture, thus pushing ourselves further and further from the Bible and any kind of real wisdom, I find it a travesty that the sanctity of marriage has shouldered the brunt of the pain.  Marriage first, followed by the family, I believe has suffered greatly as our culture aspires to be more and more like the Kardashians and less and less like Jesus.

When we marry I find it significant that we vow to love without fail “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, and in sickness and health.”  In reflecting over this week’s “big Hollywood news” we know that Kim Kardashian has filed for divorce from her husband of a whopping two months.  Now it’s a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black for me to criticize Kim for her decision, as I was married for all of 9 months before filing for divorce myself (no, David is not my first husband).  But I was young, misguided, and did not know Christ.  Kim is older than me (ha!), richer than me (no joke!) and has been down the aisle before, thus she ought to know better this time around, shouldn’t she???

Not if she doesn’t know Christ.  Not if she doesn’t understand that worshiping herself, her body, her ego, her mother, and her money will not get her anywhere at the end of the day.  I hate to say it, but I think Ma$e and Diddy had it right, “mo’ money, mo’ problems.”  We live in a culture that worships at the alter of E!  We emulate the stars, wearing similar clothes, reading their gossip magazines, buying their fragrances and listening to their awful music.  I believe she is so caught up in the hype – the followers on twitter, the tv shows, the product promotions, etc, that she’s forgotten that there is a mighty God out there who has more riches than all her money could ever buy.

1 Peter 3:1-4 says, “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

I think back to two months into our marriage and David and I had been together about all of a year total.  We also had a 2-month old baby, had just moved cross-country and were trying to settle down in to a new life together.  If there had been a “get out of jail free” card, I’m not certain that either of us wouldn’t have taken it and run for the hills.  That first year was really rough but we made it largely because we were actively on our journey to become Christians and we truly believed in “for better or for worse.” Even at the hardest times we knew “until death we do part.”  We both truly believed in our hearts that God had a purpose for bringing us together and we knew it was our duty as His followers to make our life not only work but be a happy one for the sake of our new family.

For us, the core to having a loving and sustaining home is Christ. Both our first marriages lacked Him and failed miserably. Our second marriage lives and breathes by Him.

When times get tough – which they inevitably will – whether you’ve been married 2 months or 50 years, we’ve learned you can’t just cut and run.  You can’t just do whatever because Britney Spears did (believe it or not I actually used that as rationale when divorcing #1). If we, as wives, are to love our husbands as the Church loves the Lord then we should be willing to go through at the very least what the disciples went through out of love for Jesus.  Which is a lot.  And our husbands should love us so much that they’d be willing to do any and every thing possible to lovingly protect and guide us through life’s ups and downs. Because we will get sick. Or get caught in a hundreds of thousands of dollars ponzi-scheme loss a’la Kris Humphries. Or simply have those moments where we’re not at our best. It’s important to know your partner for life is in it for all the right reasons, for the long haul, and holds their love and dedication to you and your marriage in the highest possible regard.

David and I are by far not perfect, but we go to bed every night knowing with confidence it’s till death we do part.  And that peace of mind is worth more than anything money can buy.

Run by faith,

Lindsay

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