Hiding my junk

My husband and I put our house on the market this week.  We've been prayerfully considering moving back closer to our families, but couldn't settle in our hearts the ideal timing for such a change. On Mother's Day God answered our prayers for clarification when we discovered that we are pregnant with our third child.  For those of you keeping count, that's three babies, three pregnancies, three varied and growing sets of stretch marks in less than four years. God has been so faithful and gracious.  So we are moving closer to home. Here we grow...

Anyway we spent all of Memorial Day cleaning our house to get it ready to show. It's amazing how much more junk I notice when I think about perfect strangers walking through and critiquing our home.  It was a full day's work. We cleaned out, threw away and hid an obscene amount of really unnecessary stuff (i.e. junk).  I have watched enough HGTV to make this process a little bit easier.  I knew ahead of time that less stuff equals more open space. Without the visual interruption of clutter the eye can take in the full size of the room, the bones and beauty of the space.  We all know that buyers appreciate a clean slate.  It's easier to see the good stuff without all the junk. I know this, but in the midst of all the cleaning out I still questioned if people really care.

Let me be a little more specific. Could a buyer overlook the winter coats and hats dropped in the bottom of my pantry floor?  Would they mind the empty video game boxes stacked neatly in the corner? I know they'll look in my junk drawer to see empty medicine bottles, matches, broken sunglasses, playing cards and takeout menu's. But doesn't everyone have a junk drawer? Surely visitors won't mind tubs of the boy's winter clothes clogging up the closet space.

During the process I couldn't help but wonder if it was time for a spiritual open house. I sense that I've been storing unsightly clutter for far too long. It's a lot of junk really. I think I could make a better use of the space if I'd just let some things go. I'm afraid when people look at my life they see spiritual clutter (i.e. sin). Can they appreciate the bones and beauty of the work of God in my life or does their eye stop on all the junk? Do they see an overcrowded life that squeezes out the space the God longs to fill with His peace, presence and holiness. Will they notice good but unnecessary things that fill the void? 

Let me be a little more specific. Could someone look past my too-often indulged habit of gossip? Will they really mind the irritability I often display with my husband, and what about the petty jokes made at his expense? I know they will look at me and see gluttony, pride, a love of television and a lack of discipline. But doesn't everyone have stuff they struggle with? Do they wonder about a woman who leads small group, teaches women's conferences and disciples youth but can't regularly sit and be still before the Lord?

My personal challenge for the next few days is to look at my life not the way a perfect stranger would, but the way a Perfect Saviour would.  It's unlikely He will look past the things that I'm far too complacent about. Once I've taken a spiritual inventory I'm not going to just hide the junk. I don't know about you, but that junk always seems to reappear and at the worst possible time. No I'm going to do my best to let my junk go.  Friends I'm moving closer to my Father. Here I grow...

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Perfection Paralysis-an ode to my favorite bloggers

To the two of you who have checked my blog over the last several months only to find that nothing new has been added, I apologize.

But I've been sucked into this universe of blogs, and I have loved every minute of it. I have bookmarked more favorites that I can possibly read in a day-believe me I've tried. Blogging, or at least reading others' blogs is truly addicting. Unfortunately I don't need another distraction to feed my procrastination. I am not a disciplined person, and my new blog obsession isn't helping me be productive.

I'll tell you though it's not the vaccuum of time reading that annoys me. I've been thoroughly blessed by the journey of so many amazing women, mothers and families. The most debilitating part of this new addiction is what it does to my good intentions and self-esteem. And I have had good intentions, really good intentions. I even have several entries written and ready to post. Here's my dilemma-I now know the landscape of the world around me.

Now I'm not just the new girl who doesn't know anyone. I know who the cool gals are. I know better than to try and mingle or sit with them. They are too perfect, too polished, too poised for the likes of me. And lest they turn a critical eye my way I'd like to remain as inconspicuous as possible. posting. (I know what you're thinking, "No one reads this blog anyway. Why do you care?" I know you are right, but did you ever have trouble walking down the hall in ninth grade because you just knew all those seniors would stop their very important conversations to notice and make fun of you? Of course they never did. They were too busy with their lives to care, but the anxiety weighted heavy on your ninth grade psyche didn't it? That's how I feel.

Great writers must find their voice. That's what I love about the bloggers I read. Lysa is witty and warm with a passion for Scripture that comes through when you least expect it. Marybeth is as real as a cup of coffee and writes in a way that makes me think she could be my friend. Renee's life with two boys helps me dream about my future. BigMama is hilarious yet poignant-sometimes in the same sentence! The Nester is so perfectly imperfect that I'm jealous. She writes her passion with such humor and wisdom that I know she is who she says she is. It's too good to be fake. Lots of Scotts reminds me to see Jesus in everything...what perspective she has, and she's a mother of triplets!

Me? Well I'm still looking for my voice. And I kind of hate to do that in front of all you nice people. But saving my thoughts under file and folder sort of defeats the purpose of having a voice at all. So bear with me. I'm trying to overcome the paralysis of perfection.

We'll chat tomorrow, I promise.
Oh, but make sure you check out Lysa's blog. She's doing a Mr. Linky for all the chicas headed to the SheSpeaks conference in a few weeks. Oh the pressure meeting most of these gals live and in person. I'm sure to have pimple explosion from all the anxiety. And oh heavens, what on earth am I going to wear? I don't have to be perfect; I dont' have to be perfect; I don't have to be perfect.

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