Friday, April 23, 2010

Spring Cleaning

Whether you are in transition by choice or by circumstance, seasons change and you must clean away the old to deal with the new.

Yesterday I spent some time in the yard cleaning away the refuse from the driveway & flowerbeds. It was a peaceful quiet time and of course there was a lesson that God had there waiting for me.

As I got out the lawn bags and looked for the rake, dustpan and broom I was real excited about getting the front of the house clean. I didn’t spend as much time out there last year and it showed. I vowed not to do that this time. I tossed all visible garbage first…the yard lights that no longer worked, the paper and wrappers left there by kids, the empty containers and bottles. It looked better already.

Lesson #1 get what you KNOW is out of order, out of the way first. By doing do so things may look a little better and it will encourage you to do more.

There was much to do and much God had to teach me. I begin to rake out the flower bed area and although we had beautiful mulch there last year it was now cluttered with leaves, pinecones and weeds. The more I raked the more I unearthed what should not have been there.

Lesson #2: If you stay on the surface things may look pretty, but underneath you will find much that should not be latched onto your life. You have to take the time and energy to dig into you to fix errors, edit relationships and take care of yourself to move to the next level. What was beautiful last year or last season…or 10 years ago, needs to be moved out of the way so you can see what you really have and have become.

Soon, I had little piles of leaves and garbage all over the driveway. As much as I had done, there was still more to do. The sun had set, the few people that were outside had gone back in. It was getting dark and cooler. My nose was cold and it was getting harder to see, but not impossible. My first thought was to stop, go in the house for coffee and finish another day.

Lesson #3: Just when you are about to advance, complete a project, lose the last 5 pounds, stop a habit..THAT’s when it gets hard. You will look up and noone will still be on the road with you. It will not be as easy to see how you will get it accomplished but don’t quit. If you leave it, it creates more work later. If you leave it, your health will deteriorate, or your habit will cost you more. So back to my yard….If you leave it the kids will kick the piles and you’ll have to start all over.

So in the waning sunset, I finished cleaning up the piles, swept the yard clean, put the bags and rakes away and breathed a sigh of relief with a smudge of pride that I endured until the end.

Then I begin to dream again…what flowers I want for this year…how I want the fountain area to look… paint for the porch…a re-do of the stairs and repaving the driveway. All of a sudden, I could see what I didn’t see before…a realm of new possibilities.

The last lesson…well..I assume you can see that for yourself now can’t you?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Facing the music on the results of choices can be tough. ..especially bad choices. Or even worse, dealing with choices that others made that are affecting you. I tell my son all the time, issues you are dealing with now are results of the choices you made two weeks ago, two months ago, two years ago, what different choices are you making NOW that will result in outcomes in two weeks, two months, two years?

Everything is a choice. Who you call, who you ignore, what you eat, what you put away, what you spend, what you save, where you go, when you decide to stay home, what rules you break, what ones you obey, what you say, what you hold back, what bills you pay and what bills you put-off....

I hate to see cycles coming look up and you are in a familiar place ..and its not a good one. I mean you are still cordial, polite, smiling and hospitalable, but deep inside you know...something is coming...something is not right...I will not be able to hold back this storm...this time its coming and I will not be able to stop it. Actually, I don't want to stop it..come what may...lets just deal with it once and for all....and THAT too is a choice.

I've figured out that sometimes the "run" wears you out. Running from your past...running from your future, running from the phone, running from the mailbox, running from those that can help, running from the fallout of previous choices. At some point you need to stop running, and that is a choice. You need to just stop trying to juggle all the balls alone. Take your superman cape off for a minute and be honest. Be vulnerable, be humbled. I know most of you are saying you must BE crazy..I'm not. I just know that continuing to try to hold it all together when the dam is about to break can kill you. This time make a different choice. Let the chips fall where they may, sincerely turn it over to the only one that really knows all the right choices ~God.

Or, you can continue to do what you've always done in your family, your job, your marriage, your church, your friends, your home, your relationships...hold it all together by the skin of your teeth...but if you'll continue to get what you've always had. If you want something different, DO something different-make a different choice. Ask for help!! I know "FOREIGN..."

Trust somebody, your spouse, friend, pastor or even if its nobody you can trust but God. But this time...don't go it alone...this time the stakes are higher and you may not make it me.. make a different choice. I'm working on doing the same.