keep your hands off

Well, this is a struggle for me. 
When you know you struggle with idolatry in something - you have so many choices about how to react. You can just shut down His voice in your heart, and do what you want. Maybe explain it away and put some sort of Jesus-shaded-light on it. You can knee-jerk react and run from the thing that you've placed higher than necessary. Or you can live. In the tension. In the blessing of whatever it is that you're going to wrestle with. Daily laying down. Prying your fingers open. And that's where I think the Lord has me. 

Here's our short story with home. The idea of home. 
When we got married, I was still a baby. At the ripe old age of 20, I thought we were so incredibly cool to have an Ikea sofa that I didn't seem to care that we never actually assembled it. And we lived for a year with our sofa on the floor. THAT is a true story:)

And then really quickly, we were plunged into the world of NICE STUFF as I went from being a sales associate to an assistant manager at Anthropologie in one day. And we had the money for nice stuff and we developed a taste for nice stuff and NICE STUFF yelled at us all the time. If there was any conviction in our hearts about the idolatry of NICE STUFF, we were doing the shutting-down-of-Jesus'-voice option. We didn't hear it. And at the ripe age of 21 and 22, we bought our first home, not knowing what an accomplishment that was and not knowing that it was the last home we'd own for awhile. 

But just like a good deal of the rest of America, our story changed. Some by finances, some by choice. You add in a few babies and sell most of what you own to move cross country, run a maternity home out of an old outdated farm house, leave that ministry broke and spend the next few years without NICE STUFF and you know what? If you're like me and you do all that, you may just find some freedom from the quiet. 

But then, you start praying Psalm 18:19 - that the Lord would bring you into a spacious space, not necessarily a large house - but just a new season that is less cramped spiritually and more open, with more freedom and more love and more joy and more grace. And you feel him prodding and pricking your heart to treat Him like a Dad. Ask Him for what you need, ask Him for what you desire. Hold your hands open to Him - because it's His stuff, but yeah - girl, ask Him. 

And if you're like me and that's your story, maybe you do. Maybe you ask Him. And maybe in the midst of that He moves you to Indiana in a matter of weeks and it's psalm 18:19 in the flesh. Wide space in your heart and gracious correction from Him, that makes you want to just give Him all you've got. All He's given you. 

And maybe He provides a beautiful home. Not flashy or new or expensive. But just right with all the things you've lived without and learned to live without. Microwave. Enough bedrooms for all three kids to not be on top of each other. Dishwasher. Office. Front porch. Clean. Working plumbing. Working heat. Two floors like your five year old has been praying for. More than two closets. A beautiful bathroom. A backyard. Sidewalks out front. Room to have visitors stay forever if they want. 

If you're me, then you break away on a Saturday to go clean before the big move in and your heart just sighs and sighs and sighs and sighs as you recognize all the little details that you've lived without and could so easily take forgranted. And as you scrub that beautiful floor, you realized what a brat you've been for each time you complained about not having a dishwasher or described your last house as "400 square feet". It's all grace, girl. 
It's all undeserved. 

And then you ask Him to help you live in the tension. 
To keep your hands off this beautiful blessing of a home. 
To share the gospel all up in it and to use you and your family to spread the gospel out of it. 
To hold it loosely. 
But yeah, Lord, thank you. 
You're too much.