Monday, June 17, 2013

An Uncluttered Life ~ Meet Me in the Middle

Good morning my dear sisters in Christ! I am so honored to be writing this message to you this morning. I was asked to write about how to de-clutter your life, and what follows is what God laid on my heart to share in this blog. So if you are in need of some practical ways to de-clutter your house, please keep reading because I do have some encouraging words at the end for you.
I feel the need to speak directly from my own life experiences and how God is moving right now in my life, so watch out girls, we are about to get real up in here. Ok, here we go. 

I find myself in one of two frames of mind most of the time. On one side I can be reliving my past wrongs that have been done to me. Here are some examples: 
I remember when my dad left us, and I still struggle with my sister who hated me because I would not accept her lifestyle choices, or even when the man of my dreams broke my heart. 

When I dwell on these memories, I become angry, bitter and resentful.

Or I can be on the opposite side, looking into the future where there are endless possibilities (that may never happen). I get caught up in the wishes and the dreams of tomorrow. I am thinking of the perfect house for us to buy when we get out of this rental. I am dreaming of having another baby... just one more. I am also eager for my husband and I to start a new chapter in ministry. While there is nothing wrong with dreaming these dreams, but I can begin to live in a fantasy world that literally consumes me.

So you may be thinking, “Yes, that is me, too!” but what else should I be doing? Let me invite you into the middle, if you will. The place where your past does not define you and your dreams of tomorrow cannot consume you. This is the place where you can sit, relax, enjoy, fill up, and unwind. But it is also the place where God can speak directly into you. This is where He can mold you and shape you into something beautiful and new. This place is known for being uncomfortable, raw, and yes, even painful. It is the land between your past and your future. 

Are you willing to meet me in the middle?

Before we go any further, I would like to unpack the title of this message with you.

MEET implies a decision must be made (I choose to set aside a time to see you). It also leads us to believe that you must be intentional about that meeting (where, when, why, for how long?).

ME does not refer to myself, but to our Lord Jesus Christ, the one who has saved us. He is the author and sustainer of our very lives. He is the one who has all the power and glory and honor. He is holy, and righteous, and full of grace and everlasting love.

IN is such a simple word that I could choose to skip over, but it holds a powerful message if we will only listen. We are invited into His presence. He invites us to enter into His courts with praise. We can now enter into the Holy of Holies without any hesitation. He extends His hand to you daily, so enter into His throne room, sit at His feet and listen to His words.

THE is the word we use to describe something that is one of a kind, unique or set apart. We would say that is the dress I wore to prom, or that is the place where you were born. It refers to a specific noun that is not just a person, place or thing, but the person, place or thing.

MIDDLE is where we are surrounded by or engulfed in something. It is all around us and we a swallowed up by it. We are in the midst of something so much bigger than ourselves.

Are you living in this moment? Are you treasuring the blessings God has given to you to cherish right now? You may be thinking that you don’t even know where to begin. So let’s just look back at my life examples for a minute.

My parents divorced right after I graduated high school. I have never been close to my dad, until I gave birth to his first grandson. My dad had 3 daughters, and now I have 3 sons. We both understand what it is like to be the only gender in our families, so we finally have something in common. I treasure the times when my boys can explore with grampa. It brings a smile to my face to see my dad teach my boys things that my sisters and I did not care about. 

My sister and I have had some very rocky moments in our relationship, but right now we are on talking terms and I am able to have my nieces come over and play with my boys. We will never be best friends, but I have learned so much as I have allowed God to move in and through that relationship. 

Oh, and the love of my life who broke my heart? We just celebrated thirteen years of marriage and our relationship is stronger now than it has ever been.What about all those dreams I can’t get out of my head? Well, I know that God will provide the right house for us, because He has always provided just what we needed. God has blessed me with three amazing boys that desperately need me to be living in the middle, and not living in the past or dreaming of more. God has called me to raise them up in His light today, and that is a full time job in and of itself. And I know that we are not fully equipped to minister in some ways yet and God will lead us to open that door in His time.

Something Simple to Ponder and Pray

Ok, so now do you hear your Heavenly Father’s voice calling you to meet Him in the middle? He is asking you to de-clutter your life of all the wrongs of the past and all the wishes of tomorrow and simply live with Him today. For some of us this may mean, letting go of a stronghold in our past that is holding us back from moving forward in faith. For others it may mean fully trusting Christ with the unknowns of tomorrow.

I know God sees my yesterdays, my today and my tomorrows and yet He calls me to live in the middle- the here and now. So what right do I have to question the One who created all things and who loves me unconditionally? I simply have no right.

For me, I will meet Him in the middle everyday when I continually let go of everything else and cling to Him. I will seek His face until all other things fade away. I will read His promises over and over, and beg for His guidance. I will sit at His feet and listen to His every word. I will follow what He has already called me to do, believing that when I am ready, He will bless me with even more.

Jesus is calling, “Meet me in the middle.”

Here are some verses to meditate on as you let go of your yesterday:
Romans 8:1 (no condemnation), 1 Peter 2:9 (you are chosen), 2 Corinthians 5:17 (you are a new creation)

Here are some verses to meditate on as you let go of your tomorrow:
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (He has a plan), Proverbs 3:6 (He will direct you), Matthew 6:28 (Don’t worry)

Here are some verses to meditate on as you live in today:
Matthew 6:33 (seek Him first), 1Thessalonians 5:17 (pray always), Psalm 119:11 (hide His words)

Now for the practical de-cluttering of your home:
If you are in need of some guidance on organizing a room in your house, or really just need help with the whole house, please know that I am available to sit with you and talk about what the specific ways I can help get you started.

You know the feeling when you have cleaned the bathrooms, dusted from ceiling to baseboards, the laundry is put away, the dishes are done and you just mopped and vacuumed? You know that moment when you sit on the couch and a smile comes over your face, knowing that your house is finally clean. Oh, but then you start to cry because reality just sank in, and you know that this feeling will only last until your children wake up or your husband comes home from work.

I would love to come along side you and help start you on the path of organizing the little things, so the big things don’t feel so overwhelming. I can walk you through my home (which is NOT perfect) and then get you started on your home. I have practical ideas that I actually use in my own kitchen, living room, playroom, and even my car that you can use as well.

God is calling all of His daughters to live in this moment with Him, so whether that means creating a playroom that works for both you and your children, or letting go of the past, I invite you to meet Him in the middle. Hope to see you there!

About the Author –
I chose to be a follower of Jesus when I was only 5 yrs old. My Kindergarten teacher led me through a prayer to accept Jesus’ offer to be my Lord and Savior, but it was not until high school that I really understood the life change that needed to happen in order to fully devote my life to Him.

Kevin and I have been married for thirteen years now. We have walked through some low valleys during the years, but we have also learned to trust God as He guides us right up to the mountaintops. He has given us three incredible blessings shaped like little boys. They remind me daily what it means to love unconditionally and how I need to rely on the power of Jesus alone to raise these boys to be men of honor and integrity. 

If you have spent any time with me, you know that God has given me the desire to organize –a lot! That may be why I was asked to write this blog Before becoming a mom, I led a classroom of 3-4 yr olds, taught in Kindergarten classrooms, and I have a perfectionist as a mother. So I am willing and able to organize just about anything! Please know that my life is an open book. If you have questions, or need clarification on ANYTHING I share, please do not hesitate to ask me. I am here to help you in any way God allows. Just email me!

Your sister,
Carrie Brown 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Carrie. I love when God uses the women in my life to filter amazing and great wisdom. Very encouraging. I tend to run (very fast) into the future. God is constantly having to reign me back in. :D