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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spring Cleaning My Heart

It seems we’re all ready for the promise of spring. People are just plain tired of polar vortex’s. They long to throw open the doors and windows and scrub everything inside our houses clean. But what of our own insides?

I went to church on Ash Wednesday. The day which marks the beginning of Lent. A short season of 40 days to prepare for Easter through prayer and penance. A period of time when we lay out all our ugly and confess it to God.

My hands are shaking as I write this. I have SO much ugly. Do I dare share it? What will people think? Does it matter? No, it’s what God thinks and He already knows about my ugly. He just wants the confession. He knows that I can’t really rejoice in Easter if I don’t come clean.

Everyday I try to be the best person I can be. I fail over and over in little areas. I raise my voice a little too loudly. I think an unkind thought. A million little things. For those things, everyday, I seek God’s grace and mercy. He gives it. Easily.

But I know there is some dirt hiding in dark, dusty areas.

I am trying to remain cheerful, upbeat and faithful, so faithful, about my husband’s employment situation. But the unknown is scary.

When another month goes by that the condo doesn’t sell, draining money we don’t have, I try to repeat the mantra over and over “God has perfect timing.” 

But as I shuffle into the 6 pm service I find that I am irritated, weary and almost completely out of patience. I want to DEMAND a deadline from God. “How much longer???”

Then I become angry at myself because the bible is loaded with stories involving time. You know them. Moses and his 40 YEAR journey. Job’s trials.

My life, by most of the world’s standards, is completely blessed and yet I am STILL complaining.

There is an inner struggle as I walk into the narthex. I shouldn’t be here. It’s too much ugly.

Holy Spirit nudges me and says, “That’s why you should be here. Stay.”

So I do.

As the service begins and the words to “The Old Rugged Cross” float through the air I can feel all the ugly bubbling up in me. It catches in my throat and I try to force it back down.

But a voice says “Let it go.” So I do and a hot, messy tear slides down my cheek. They come faster than I can wipe them away.

I feel as if people are staring.

But it doesn’t matter. It’s more important that I lay it out before God.

He is there. Just as He is always with me. Always.

I am comforted.

And soon Sunday, that glorious Sunday, will come!!!

 

“Create a clean heart in me, O God, and renew a faithful spirit within me.” ~ Psalm 51:10

“A voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way for the Lord; make His paths straight!” ~ Mark 1:3 

Laura

15 comments :

Jen W said...

Laura,
Thank you so much for your post - your honesty and the love you show for our Lord!

Vicki said...

Oh Laura, the unknown is just so difficult, it truly is my worst subject. But, when I pause and look back I can see God's hand in all of my past unknowns. You know it in your core, He WILL work it all out to His Glory (but why does it have to take so dang long, sometimes?!). In this Phoenix Buyer's Market I'm praying for the condo sale at a good price. In this uncertain economy and job market I'm praying for the best job at the best location with the best salary at the best time. I'm also thanking God for your faith and your willingness to share it with us.

linda t said...

Thank you Laura. Needed this.

Dayle Allen Shockley @ A Collection of Days said...

Beautiful post, Laura. God gave us tears for a reason, and I love it when they just start flowing from somewhere way down inside.

I've discovered, through experience, that if I can praise God, with my heart and not my lips, during the heat of my trials, there is a sweet relief that comes. He inhabits the praises of His people.

May the coming week hold blessings abundantly.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, sweetie... I wish I could reach through the computer and hug you. I pray that God answers your prayer rapidly.

You are one of the sweetest bloggers I know, and I hope and pray that the Holy Spirit quickens that to your mind. Continue to stand and stand firm in Him. He will bring you through every step of the way.

I read something today that made me weep. A mission team was in India, and they were laying hands on people and praying for them. One elderly man said, "You are so like God." ANdLaura, your light shines brightly. Don't you ever forget that... You are so like God, your Father.

xoxoxo

Sheila

Lory Owens said...

Be encouraged Ms. Laura God knows all and sees all. Below are some scriptures that comfort me when I am going through a difficult time.
Psalms 34:9 Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the LORD delivers him out of them all. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you and expected end. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever! Be blessed,I am praying for you!

Louise said...

You're a good person. Not perfect, but you ARE good.

GARAGE SALE GAL said...

Your heart is in the right place and that is the most important thing! Patience isn't my strong point either, but God already knows that.
Answers to your prayers are already in God's hands!
warmly,
deb

Laura Santos said...

Love is patient. Sometimes we get so focused on enduring so that we can say "we endured" when really our enduring, our waiting, is not for our benefit, but God's. We are in a relationship with Him after all...give and take. Waiting is our opportunity to give to God for all He has done for us...how we show our love for Him. Your "lack" is also your "abundance" to put in the pot. Remember the widow and her two mites? Jesus said that she gave more than anyone because she gave out of her need. Your patient waiting is giving to the Lord out of your need. God bless you, Laura as you continue to serve and love the Lord with all you got. We both know it is worth it and we cannot out-give God.

The Boston Lady said...

Big hug to you Laura! I can relate to your distress about the condo as we still have our Florida house to sell. Renting it was a way for us to not lose money on it while we wait for the housing market to recover more. Perhaps that is an option?

I think things are going to break your way very soon. It is during these times that we are tested the most. Keep your faith, as you do. I admire that very much about you.

Big hug!

Ann

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

Still praying for you and your family as you travel through this unknown territory. I know that He has gone before you and has prepared the way! Like you, I, too, am ready to see what those plans are! Hold on and remember that His grace is sufficient!

Cherie said...

Bless you, Laura, for you are good. Hugs and prayers, it is hard to sustain a positive mood with money matters so heavy. You are loved.

Jane said...

Praying for you and your family, Laura. You bless so many with your posts!

Bonnie said...

We all fall short every second! There is nothing we can do for God for him to love us more and nothing we have done that he loves us less. Our sins have been bought with a price on the cross. 1 John 1:9.

Ephesians 2:8

Wait on the Lord and he shall renew thy strength. The condo will sell. He knows our needs and in His time he makes all things good in His time.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Laura, I do know how hard this is. YOu are in my thoughts every day. Hugs, Marty