I used to love email. You know what I’m talking about, right? Those days when you’d open your inbox and it would have super fun and entertaining notes from people you actually knew…
These days, though, opening my inbox feels a lot like going to the real, physical mailbox at the end of my driveway: just one more “box” filled with junk. Advertisements, bills, political circulars, coupons, and catalogs from stores I’ve never heard of clutter to the point of “stuff-o-cation”. I almost hate to open it! Ninety percent of the messages in that box are from people/companies I don’t even know. Sometimes I delete 100 emails a day. It all just feels so…impersonal.
Letters, postcards, and once treasured emails from my beloveds have been replaced by text messages and snapchats and social media posts that can be seen by hundreds (if not thousands) of others. Don’t get me wrong, I love scrolling through Facebook and Instagram as much as the average person, but my heart aches a bit for that special feeling I used to get when a letter or email would arrive JUST for me. That excitement of knowing someone intentionally wanted to get MY attention and share a little love with me made my heart super happy. It was personal, in a good way.
Lately, I’ve been learning a lot about Jesus and the way He communicates. I’m learning that He personally seeks us out and actually cherishes time spent in our presence. Interestingly (and quite counter-culturally), He’s not in the business of mass mailing His agenda and platform out to the myriad of mailboxes (and inboxes) around the globe, and He isn’t sitting at His laptop waiting for Likes and Loves on social media, YouTube, and blogs. He’s in the business of dwelling with His people.
“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.”
I absolutely love the usage here of that word: dwell. Translated from its original language, it means “pitches a tent”. Can you even imagine?! JESUS came to camp out with us.
YOU and ME.
Camp out! As in, “Let’s do this together – in person. Face to face. Life on life. I’m intentionally pitching my tent with yours. You’re that special to me.”
We don’t need a mailbox, an inbox, a social media account, or television to connect with Him. But what we DO need is space for His tent and His Word in our heart so we can DO life alongside Him.
“Watch how I do it and learn my methods (…because you seem to make it all so complicated when you try to do it on your own).” Matthew 11:29 (my personal interpretation in parentheses!)
His Word is alive and well and begging for us to watch how He did it so we can replicate that love, that grace, that MERCY all around us. The problem comes when we stop looking to Him and instead clutter things up with all our own stuff.
This spring, in order to get serious about pursuing an intentional life of dwelling and camping out with Jesus, I’ve made it my mission to quiet down a bit and start the process of decluttering my own “space”, physically, mentally, and spiritually. It’s an ongoing process, sister friends, and often feels a bit slow-going! But one thing God has got very serious with me on is the fact that I have become laden down with “stuff”. On every level. And in order for Jesus to comfortably pitch that tent with mine, I need to clear Him room.
Maybe you do, too?
Take a minute and answer this question for yourself: what’s stuff-o-cating you? Is it physical clutter that needs clearing? A preoccupation with emails and social media accounts that needs to be curbed? A habit or way of doing things that just doesn’t serve you anymore? Is it a relationship that drains you more than energizes? Your physical being that could use to be cleaned up and cleared out a bit? Start with one thing, just one thing, that you can begin to clear a little space within to make Him a little more room. If there’s one thing you can be certain of, His deepest desire is to hang out with you.
“Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.’” John 14:23
Home sweet (uncluttered) home. Doesn’t that sound awesome?
- Pick one area (body, physical space, mind, spirit) where you feel stuff-o-cated right now.
- Pray this prayer (or one of your own): “Lord, I want nothing more than for you to come and pitch your tent next to mine! Right now, though, I’m feeling really overwhelmed and cluttered in the area of _________. I want to relinquish control of this area in my life to you. I want to clear it in such a way that makes more room for YOU! Jesus, help me to clean it up and let go of what doesn’t need to be there. Help me to use what You intended me to have in this area in the ways in which You have always planned. Show me Your way because I know it is better than mine. Forgive me for letting things get out of Your control. Thank you that You love me so much that You get personal! Help me not to feel guilt or condemnation over this clearing out, but instead to deeply know Your delight in my obedience to listening to this call from You. Lord, I am so looking forward to all our camp outs to come! In Your mighty name, Amen!”
- Get quiet and let God guide your next step. Accept that it’s always one step at a time, girls. And remember that sometimes things gets messy before they can be completely cleaned up. 😉
- Consider these scriptures as you start to “un-stuff yo-self” (pray them out loud, write them down, read them when you get up and before you go to sleep) to keep your mind focused: John 1:14; Luke 12:16-19; Luke 12:29-31; John 14:23.
Happy De-Stuffocation, sweet friends! I’m praying for you!!!
Peace, love, and JOY!
*PS – Today is the launch of a series I’m calling “First Tuesday”! It’s my intention to post here on the FIRST TUESDAY of each month with a fresh look at scripture alongside some practical life applications to make it relevant to YOUR life! The First Tuesday of the month is a special day around here because our local “emergency sirens” are tested at 10am! Our Tuesday Bible Babes have come to LOVE those sirens because whenever we are in session, we stop what we are doing and offer prayers of gratitude to God for the privilege and freedom to be worshipping together! It’s become our habit that (even when we aren’t in Bible study session) as soon as we hear those First Tuesday sirens, we drop to our knees and pray for one another! Check back here on Tuesday, June 6th for a lively post about How to Have a Good Summer, Spiritually Speaking! You won’t want to miss it! 😉