by Sally Matheny
What area of your house do you wish was different, more functional? We have a small room at the top of the stairs. We call it the study/schoolroom. Right now, it looks like a Tasmanian Devil’s living quarters.
I could say I don’t know what happened—but I do. I could easily place the blame on others (and some of it does belong to them) but ultimately it lies heavily on me.
Standing in the middle of the room, I’m overwhelmed. Certain this is not a one-day project; I don’t even want to begin cleaning. I don’t know where to begin. We need this room because our homeschool gears back up soon. I long for this room to be beautiful, organized, and functional. I’m overwhelmed but thankfully, I have three options.
Most of you probably have at least one area at home that needs improvement. Please say I'm not the only one! What about areas in our lives? Is there an area that frustrates you and you wish it were different? Are you overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin? Ignoring the area will lead to further chaos. Will the same three options for cleaning the room apply here as well?
Enlist good help.
Notice the word good. Friends may be helpful, but some only hinder progress. They enjoy lingering over the things we're trying to throw away. They tell us everything looks great when it is still a mess. Even those with the best of intentions, their enthusiasm wanes. Their "help" is no longer productive.
Considering the problem areas in our lives, how often have we turned to friends for assistance? Some get distracted, want to wallow in the mess with us, or offer superficial advice. A few actually make the problem worse.
When enlisting help, seek out the best if you want a job well done. That may come from someone more objective and outside your circle of family and friends. Whatever issues you’re struggling with, you need to hear the Truth. Whom do you know consistently arms themselves with God’s Word and tries to follow it? They shine like stars in this dark world. Those are the kind of friends you need.
It sounds generous, doesn’t it? Give back to your community. However, I’m thinking more along the lines of giving back to people what is rightfully theirs and holding people responsible for their actions.
My kids drag out board games from the shelves in the study. Sometimes the games make it back to the shelves but usually they are parked on the stairs, or near the doorway, or on the floor just inches away from where they belong. The fastest thing is to pick up the items myself and put them back where they belong. But if I do that, my kids will continue expecting me to pick up after them. I plan to stop the cycle and give back the responsibility to whom it belongs. Yes, it takes a bit more time to hold them accountable but eventually they’ll learn freedom comes with boundaries.
Same goes with our lives. Perhaps the thing you struggle with resulted because you did not set boundaries. What stress do you endure because you have taken on issues that belong to someone else? Initially, what appeared to be a quick solution has produced a long, torturous undercurrent of frustration. What steps do you need to take to put boundaries back in place and return responsibilities to their rightful owner?
Make a clean sweep.
Several years ago, The Learning Channel aired a show titled Clean Sweep. Participants cleared their cluttered rooms and separated stuff into three piles: trash, sell, or keep. Totally cleared out, the room was then transformed into something beautiful by designers and carpenters.
Wow. I wish they would renovate my schoolroom and it be so amazing they feature it as the viewers’ favorite episode. Alas, TLC cancelled the show and I don’t foresee a carpenter or a designer knocking at my door. However, a clean sweep is in progress and it’s the only solution to the problem.
Just as homeowners on the T.V. show had difficulty parting with their stuff; sometimes we have a hard time getting rid of sin in our lives. The good news is, no matter how limited you or your resources are you have access to the Master Carpenter and Designer. He offers his services free of charge. You don’t have to clean up before you call him. In fact, there’s no way you’d ever get it completely and satisfactorily done without his help. All you have to do is ask Him and He’ll come.
When you allow Him to make a clean sweep in your life, you can expect times of discomfort. Don’t panic or hoard things. Do what He asks of you, even when it’s difficult. Remember how you wanted a better life. Breathe deeply and trust the Master. He is the best there is and he offers an eternal guarantee. Prepare to be overwhelmed—with amazement at His handiwork!
If you are going through a tough time right now, I’d love to pray for you. Leave a comment or send me a private message and let’s approach the Master together.