Motivation, Organization, Procrastination

One Room at a Time Part 2

“Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” Matthew 9:17 NIV

So I’ve started my process of spring cleaning that I spoke of last week.  What seemed so easy in theory is soooo not! I keep coming across things that I can’t bring myself to throw away. I can truly understand how people become hoarders because EVERYTHING has sentimental value–that movie ticket stub, the Valentine’s Day card, my first driver’s license.  If it doesn’t have sentimental value, it’s something that I’m going to need at some point or it’s something I am going to use eventually.  Needless to say, thinking like this is slowing down my cleaning process.  I am frustrated with myself and really thinking about throwing EVERYTHING out and starting over.  As I take a break and sit in silence, God reveals to me the lesson in this experience: “This is why YOUR process is taking so long!!”

At first I did not understand but as I reflected on it more, I realized that the same things I was doing with my external “stuff,” I was doing with my internal “stuff”.  I am getting in my own way!  Just as my friend was trying to throw stuff away and I said, “NO!  Not that,” God has been trying to throw some stuff away and I keep saying, “NO! Not That!”  My reasons have been:

1)       It has sentimental value! — It’s a reminder of something in the past but while I’m trying to hold on to it, God is saying, “…Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See I am doing a new thing!  (Isaiah 43:18-19a NIV)

2)      I need this! – I can’t live without this! What kind of life will I have without this??  God is saying, “…Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge [me] and [I] will direct your paths…” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)

3)      I’m going to use this at some point! – I have to keep this around just in case!  God is saying, “…lay aside EVERY weight, and sin which clings so closely…” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV) “…For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you…” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

The more I continue to keep the stuff that God is trying to remove from my life, the longer it will take for this “room” or area in my life to get clean.  This means that it will take longer for me to reach the destiny God has for me.  With renewed purpose and tears in my eyes, I’m about to get up and recommit to this process both externally and internally.  I don’t know what the outcome of all this will be and this is truly a struggle for me, but God has already said, “…my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness…” (II Corinthians 12:8 ESV)  Alright Lord, I have the garbage bags ready; let’s go!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your patience and persistence.  Thanks for not letting me go forward until I get rid of the junk that is holding me back.  Lord, please give me the strength and the wisdom to listen to You.  Help me to understand that no matter how hard it is to give things up or let things and people go, that it’s necessary in order for me to be everything that I am to be in You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to do some REAL spring cleaning! Are there things in your house that you need to get rid of?  Don’t delay, throw it out or give it to Goodwill TODAY!  God can’t give you the new until you get rid of the old!  That same principle applies internally as well.  We must let go of old soul ties, old grudges, old bitterness, old hurts, etc.   God can’t implant something new with all that other stuff in there because those old things will abort the newness God is trying to give you.  Ask God to purge and cleanse you TODAY, and whatever He tells you to let go, LET IT GO and DON’T go back and retrieve it again!  There is a blessing in the cleansing!!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Bag Lady…Let it Flow

Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

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Encouragement, Growth/Maturity, Inspirational, Organization, Righteousness, Self-Control

One Room at a Time

It’s that time of year again, SPRING CLEANING!  Every year I go into spring cleaning with extremely high ambitions of demolishing the clutter in my house, organizing everything into its proper place, and throwing away or giving away all un-needed items.

I always set out to implement a 3-step process:

1) Take EVERYTHING out

2) Go through everything, throwing things away or putting them in the goodwill box

3) Put things back into place in an organized manner

I always had good intentions but mostly my efforts only resulted in chaos, personal frustration and the end result of me giving up.  My house ended up looking worse than it did when I started and I would just throw everything into a closet or a spare room to get it out of the way.

NOT THIS YEAR! I am determined to complete my mission of spring cleaning my home.  I have done away with my old process and adopted a new one–ONE ROOM AT A TIME WITH HELP!  Instead of trying to do everything for every part of the house all at once, I’m going to go room by room purging and organizing.  I am also going to enlist the help of friends.   As I was putting the finishing touches on my spring cleaning plan, God revealed to me how this strategy also applies in my spiritual walk.

When I became saved, I tried to implement the three step process to “cleanliness” or sainthood:

1)      I took everything out and exposed everything in my life that did not line up with Christ

2)      I  tried to get rid of everything that was not like Christ – ALL AT ONCE

3)      I put myself back together in a way that was pleasing to God

My efforts to do this only left me with a feeling of hopelessness, frustration, and not much cleaner or “saintly” than when I started out on my mission.  As He saw me grasping at straws not getting results, God pulled my coattail and gave me a new strategy…ONE ROOM AT A TIME WITH HELP!

Paul told the church at Philippi to “…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…” (Philippians 2:12b NIV)  This statement would not have been considered necessary if as a Christian you were expected to get everything together all at once.  God taught me how to see and set goals for growth in the various areas (rooms) of my life.  God calmed me when I was discouraged that my “rooms” were not getting clean fast enough, and He reminded me that the race is not given to the swift nor to the strong but to the one that endures to the end.  God instructed me to keep going, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV)

Lastly, this strategy imperatively depends on the WITH HELP piece.  I had to learn that I needed God’s help in everything I do; I could not clean myself up alone.  God has specifically told us that, “… I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me and I in them will produce much fruit.  For apart from me you can do nothing…” (John 15:5 NIV)  I thank God for giving me this strategy and I have seen so much growth in my walk with Christ since WE started to wholeheartedly implement it.  Now it’s time to apply this strategy to the cleaning of my house; let me get to work, this might take a while!! *Rolls sleeves up* ONE ROOM AT A TIME WITH HELP!!!!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for being my “…help in the time of trouble…” (Psalms 46:1b)  I thank You for helping me to clean out every area of my life.  I thank You for being patient with me and helping me to persevere through the process of life change.  Please help me to stay the course and not stop until EVERY area of my life is ENTIRELY pleasing in Your sight.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to CLEAN your spiritual house one “room” at a time.  Be sure to constantly enlist the help of your friend, THE friend, the one who sticks closer than a brother, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to help you get it all done.  Our ultimate goal is to be just like Christ; we are not to stop working until we have reached that goal!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Cleaning for Company

Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Growth/Maturity, Miscellaneous, Organization, Preparation, Singleness

In Preparation…It’s More Than Just Spiritual!

Like many saved, single, young women, I constantly profess to be “In Preparation!” I am putting myself in a position to get “CHOSE”…as the expression says!  I am constantly asking God to show me ME, seeking God to remove anything not like Him.  My constant prayer is that He clean me up spiritually and help me to let go of anything and anyone that is not connected to the destiny I have in Him.  I am involved in church; I keep myself busy at work and pursuing my personal interests.  I am doing everything the singles’ books say to do.  I am living a successful single life RIGHT?? I wish I could say yes but unfortunately I cannot.

While pursuing all these wonderful endeavors, I drive around in a messy car, work in a messy environment and live in a cluttered house.  It has become the running joke among my friends that I live out of my car.  My co-workers have justified my messy, paper-strewn classroom with statements like, “Well there’s REAL learning going on in there!”  OH and my house?! I reached the point where I justified the clutter by saying, “Well my kitchen and my bathroom are ALWAYS clean, and that is all that matters!”

God is a God of ORDER!!!  From the time of creation, God set everything up in divine order (See Genesis 1-2) Later on in the book of Leviticus, God set up the order of the church.  In the New Testament we are told, “…that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s spirit lives in you…”(I Corinthians 3:16 NIV) If God required order in the Old Testament church where His spirit dwelled, it makes sense that He would also require order from us today.

This order goes beyond the spiritual. While I was going after the things of God I was dismissing this simple but VERY important fact.  God also revealed to me that I was also holding up some things and divine connections that He has for me.  How do I connect you with this influential person and you let them come visit you in your messy classroom?  How can you drive up to a black tie event with papers strewn all in the backseat of your car?  Better still, how do I send you a mate and you have not learned how to organize a home yet?  “For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace!” (1 Corinthians 14:33 NIV)

This realization was a hard pill to swallow especially with how I portrayed myself to have it all together! I’m a woman of God, a prayer warrior, I.N.D.E.P.E.N.D.E.N.T. etc. etc. blah blah blah!! However, I had to accept this truth about myself in order to move forward.  I have made a commitment to clean and organize my car, my classroom and my house.  Being in preparation for what God has for you, whatever it may be, is more than just getting your heart right!  Your habits and behavior must line up with where God is taking you. God must know that He can trust you and that you are ready.  God needs to be able to say,  “…You have been faithful over a few things…I will make you ruler over many…” (Matthew 25:21 NIV)

God said to me, if you are faithful in cooking, cleaning, and organizing when its just YOU, you let me know that if I bless you with a husband and children your home will be in order and your husband and children will be taken care of.  With the behavior that I displayed, my actions were telling God the exact opposite. I am on the road to being prepared for the next phase of my life, with not only a clean heart but a CLEAN HOUSE!!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for being a God of order.  Thank You for ordering our steps.  Thank You for knowing the plans You had for us even before we were born and knowing exactly how You were going to lead us to our destinies even before we took our first steps.  Thank You for always being a loving Father that not only convicts and corrects but also leads us in the right direction and remains with us as we go on our journey.  We ask that You continue to show us the areas in which we need to grow.  We bind laziness and we ask that You give us the strength and energy to do what we have to do to get and maintain clean and organized surroundings. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Sisters I EMPOWER you today to clean and organize your surroundings:

1)    PRAY and ask God for guidance and wisdom as you start this process
2)    Trash and/or Recycle anything you do not need
3)    Break out the bucket and bleach, clean and disinfect
4)    Invest in organizational materials (file cabinets, bookshelves, storage bins etc.)  If you don’t know where to start www.lifeorganizers.com is a great resource; it has wonderful ideas that are also very inexpensive.

Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, IL.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11 — “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”