The Cluttered Life vs the Full Life

IMG_5217Meet my Dad….Sam Elliott.  Now really…how many dads do you know that would help you make burlap bows for a wedding after standing in the 101 degree heat of the day?  But that he did….last summer for my niece’s wedding.  He and I have a lot of fun together…just this past weekend we stood in line for over 45 minutes to get into an Estate Sale, and while that may not seem like much to you, to him it means PAIN and a lot of it.  His diabetic state does that to his body, but you will not hear him complain.

He’s an example to me of how to live a full life.

I am sitting in my office which has now become temporary home to my booth items because my own aging and arthritis makes it difficult for me to climb the stairs to my loft like I used to do effortlessly many times a day.  Seeing what lies around me makes me feel like I am in the midst of clutter, but I wonder….

Is not all of this the reason my life is also full?

I walk to my kitchen where nearly 75 plate chargers threaten to topple with just my passing by, nestled tightly in the midst of about 20 silver coffee pots waiting to be polished.  All of this is a result of my son’s upcoming wedding and my desire to make the rehearsal dinner a night of majestic wonder for him and his soon-to-be bride.  And again I ponder…

Is not all of this the reason my life is also full?

So I challenge my own thought processes tonight, and I beg to challenge yours as well.  As you trip over the toys that your toddler left all over the den floor, think about how empty your life would be without that tiring bundle of energy that runs circles around you all day long.  When dinner sits ruined on the stove because your husband had to work late tonight, lift hands of thanks to the God who gave you a husband in the first place…one that works hard to provide for you and your family.  And when you don’t seem to find time to fold the laundry, but only go to the drier day by day to grab out what you need, remember that it is because your life is full of sports games with your children, gardening with a friend, or lunch with the lonely widow that you can’t get it all done in a day.

As I have struggled over many things lately that I feel I am neglecting or leaving undone, and wondering what “job” I should give up first, my husband has challenged me to remember and hold fast to these three occupations that I have been given:

(1)  My first and primary calling is to my God.  Spending time with Him will not only refresh me, but will cause me to think rightly about my situations and how my time is spent.  When I take time to take care of me and our home, I am fulfilling the first thing God called me to and that I love so much…being a wife, mother and homemaker.  This he called my “nurturing” work, and what I do daily for us as office manager of our home, housekeeper, chef, gardener, bookkeeper, banker, grocer and laundry supervisor.

(2)  Spending time with others throughout the course of my day usually seems disruptive to what I have planned for myself.  He reminded me that, although my other “jobs” might seem neglected, this is primary to what God has called me to do, and I should not neglect those things I do…taking time to visit with that neighbor who is housebound, doing outreach to the members of our church body that are struggling, writing the book God has put on my heart to write, taking time to pray with that woman whose husband just left her.  This, he called my “kingdom work”.

(3)  I have been given a job that earns me a paycheck  and a passion for creativity that earns me not only a paycheck, but provides me with a source of fulfillment.  These things, also, cannot be neglected.  This, he called, is my “income work”.

The challenge lies in prioritizing…and so I challenge you as well.  Is yours a full life, or a cluttered life?  Maybe it’s simply your attitude that needs adjustment (like mine!).  Or even more so, perhaps your quiet time with the One who has given you all….and His all through Christ, is what needs sharpening.  Think about it, and choose to live the full life that Jesus freely gives.

~With love and a grateful heart,


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