I have been an unpacking machine (even though I hate it! :-P) the last few days. It's a lonely chore. Kitchen & family room done first. Master bedroom, bathroom, & guest bath second. Today I did the kids' rooms (holy tornado!) & guest bedroom. (I should have taken before & after pics! It would have been awfully impressive. ;-)) Tomorrow: the play room (a.k.a. former formal living room) & formal dining room. Maybe if I feel super ambitious, I'll add the little laundry room, too...but I also might play hooky & take the kids up to the neighborhood pool. School doesn't get out here until NEXT Friday (insane!) so I'd rather them get as much quiet time in the pool to learn how to handle the water as possible. I'm going to try to teach them to swim. Ha. Ha. Ha. I just want to get them to the point where they can be in the water on their own, with me in a lounge chair on the side. ;-) We'll see how the tide of motivation rolls...
I really AM proud of how much I've gotten done, and I do love the layout of this house. One day we'll live somewhere (SOUTH! ;-)) long enough that moving in won't have to feel like a sprint; but in general, I don't like drawing things out. I want everything done & taken care of ASAP, so I can get on with life. I like my changes quick...
...which segues nicely into the timely devotionals I've read this week!
When I was feeling a little down, I got this gem:
From Today's Turning Point with David Jeremiah:
The Bible tells us to give thanks in all things. We're not always thankful for all things; but in the midst of trouble we have flashes of joy, unfailing compassion, and mercy without ceasing. Don't be discouraged. God is at work even in times of great tribulation.
D365 has been talking about "Change" all week. I loved what this had to say re: Luke 7:11-17 about God coming to change > fix us & deliver us from hopelessness:
A dictionary.com definition of change is “to make the form, nature, content, future course of something different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone.”
The widow who is watching her son’s body being carried has no hope that the lifeless form will change back to her breathing, laughing, living son. But what she doesn’t know is that the very nature of God has walked into the scene. Jesus’ tender compassion and comfort call out and a gift is given. Jesus doesn’t leave the mother’s world of death and grief as it is. It is changed. The lifeless form is breathing, living, maybe even laughing within minutes. Everything has changed: a dead body being taken away is now a life being given back to his mother; a sad crowd is now filled with awe and praising God. A change has taken place and recognition is made; “God has come to help us.”
Where has God been a help to you recently? Where do you need God to come help you? Through Jesus, God came to change... everything! God doesn’t want to leave alone what is broken, hurt, hungry, trapped, and forgotten. - Cindy Gaskins
Dear God, you know what is dead in me. You know what needs to be awakened and resurrected. Thank you that you have come to help. May today be a day filled with awe and praise because you are near. Amen.
And even though I actually hate home improvement shows, (I don't ever live one place long enough to consider investing the $$$ in redoing anything!) I LOVE this re: Galatians 1:13-17 talking about God's transformation & restoration of our lives. I know He is working in me and that this new season will be one of continued restoration in our lives, too:
I love home makeover TV shows. The "before" scenes capture the broken down, falling apart, and messed up houses that people are living in. For a variety of reasons people have come into hard times and they are chosen because someone thinks they deserve better. The "after" scenes are amazing, a work of tearing down the old and watching transformation take place. The change happens right before our eyes.
That is the power of the Good News. All of us are broken, falling apart, messed up. For a variety of reasons we are where we are today. The life-changing words are "but when God." "But when God" is welcomed into our messes, when God breaks into the hurt, confusion, disappointment of our lives, the old can become new. Change can take place.
Paul often told his "before and after" story of the change Jesus had begun and the way it continued to shape him. Consider the broken places in your life that have been transformed. Remember the "but when God..." moments when you knew divine change was happening. Give thanks that God is always able to renovate. Pray for a willing partnership in the renovation work! - Cindy Gaskins
Dear God, thank you that I am your workmanship, created, redeemed, and gifted in Christ Jesus to do good works that you planned before time began. Renew and redo the places in me that need your restoration. I trust your continuing work in me. Amen.