A thought has been coming to mind as we work to clear out what is old, broken and not useful and bring new life to this old house. We as people can be like an old house, we let things get cluttered, we hold on to the past, to hurts, grudges, even good moments we try to continue living in after they have passed. It’s easy to let things build up when our thoughts and affections go unchecked for years. And, honestly, it’s easier to just leave things the way they are and have been than to sort through them and see what is actually useful and what needs to be let go of. I play that I have been trying to “Marie Kondo” my life recently, really sorting through the things I invest my time, money and affections in and seeing what is actually useful or brings me joy and getting rid of the other stuff that maybe isn’t helping me take care of what really matters. In my personal life, I have realized I need 3 things to be healthy and balanced : I need to have my “quiet time” with God daily and meditate on His word and make a bit of quiet to listen to what He might have to say, I need to do some kind of exercise regularly, whether its going for a walk, running on the treadmill or some yoga, and last but not least, Deborah needs to paint or at least do something creative. I have listened to myself and learned that these are the 3 things I need to feel balanced. What are yours? Another image that comes to mind relates to who I believe the person of Jesus to be. Bear with me if you have a different faith because it relates to any healing process. If we invite (and we have to invite Him because he is a gentleman and won’t just barge in and do something we are not ready for) Jesus Christ to come into our “house” (life/heart), He comes in to heal and restore the house to its original or intended glory and purpose. He might find a house that is only a shadow of what it was or should be, falling apart (we are all broken in one way or another) , cluttered with old, damaged, useless things that make it hard to move around and sometimes even breathe. The first step is to clear out some of that old junk and even though it’s gross and dirty, there might be someone who has a hard time letting go of it. There might be things that are not bad, per se, but maybe they are excessive or we have let them take over or maybe they just aren’t useful for growth and health, not bad, but not good either and they are taking up space. Then, repairs need to be made. We can’t see where the deepest cuts are until we clear out the junk, shed light on all the walls. This last week, we had to mend and rebuild several walls in the house, many of which were covered or blocked and once we moved things out of the way, we could see better. And it looked and felt terrible. But sometimes things need to be exposed in order for healing to begin and it’s rarely pretty, but we need to let God deal with that before we start painting. Once the mess is swept away and all the patches are dry, the fun part begins! New color for the walls, paintings and decorating, new life that reflects the uniqueness of each person is made visible and arranged in a way that brings new value to it. Sometimes a few carefully chosen things on a shelf is better than a bunch of stuff cramped together in a way that no one can even tell what it is or if it’s valuable. I find that God often uses much of what we already have but heals and refines us, frames our strengths and abilities in a way that only He can. I hope that makes sense. It’s something that’s been on my heart for a while now and just thought I’d share.