creating space



So Monica moves in to our apartment today (!). The first two months were just Jess and I as we moved in, got settled, unpacked. We knew the whole time to keep room for Monica, but in reality we took over the cupboards and the refrigerator and the hall closet because we could– there was space, so we filled it. I spent the past couple days preparing for Monica, first by making room, second by cleaning. The last time I lived with Monica was senior year of college and she had to hide pots from me because I wouldn’t clean them out. But I have come a long way since then, and now every dish gets washed and everything has a home. Anyways, so making room for Monica. This whole making-room thing resonated in my heart. If we have space, we will fill it, it just depends with what. Just like in the brain when neurons die and new neurons grow in that space.

My heart and mind– what do I fill them with? I have the power to fill them with “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable… (phillipians 4:8)”, but sometimes I find my heart and mind it are filled with discontent, worry, doubt, fear. It’s best to just clear those feelings out and make room for Jesus to shine His light. And who doesn’t love perfectly organized closets and cupboards!? Things may be neat and folded for a couple days, but after a couple weeks of life and rushing, my drawers and God-centered heart things become less stacked and folded and more messy. I may center my heart and mind on God, believe that I am His child of God, and live loved by Him, but my heart is also prone to wander… back to guilt/shame/stress. My heart and mind (and drawers and closets) need constant restoring and reorganizing. Working on avoiding that literally in my drawers and closet but also figuratively in my heart; actively seeking out God instead of passively wandering away into mess. So how do we do this? 

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:1-2. That, that is how. Its so important to have space and breathing room and margin, instead of being always jam-packed, filled-up, hands full of all-the-wrong-things. Like the story of the child picking up shells and her hands were so full of shells she couldn’t pick up the starfish. It’s hard to not be super-busy. It almost feels selfish to take time for yourself instead of going, being, doing. But running around Chicago from place to place isn’t good for the state of my heart of mind. Going on walks until 11:30 pm and sleeping five hours can be wonderful, but so is staying in with blankets and my journal and sleeping seven hours. God wants us to have margin in our schedules, hearts, minds, finances for less of us and more of Him. Make space, create openness, and expect Him to show up right there. He will show up with His light and love and you will forget whatever used to occupy that space.

Dear Lord,

Help me (and my dear friends) to recognize the need to make space for you in our relationships, schedules, choices, finances, decisions. And out of your love and mercy and wisdom, help us to walk with you through and live this out. 

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