I'm taking a lunch break (while my little no nap wonder is actually taking a nap !!!) from a chore I've put off for far too long - organizing the boys' room. They share the upstairs bonus room, so, thankfully, I don't have to see the mess unless I trudge up the stairs, but something had to be done. To fully appreciate the state their room is in, you have to know something about these two boys. The 8-yr.-old is meticulous, mathematical, and a packrat. When he was just a little guy, he would line up all of his toy cars in long, neat rows and he could, for the longest time, tell us exactly who had given him each car and when. And there were a LOT of cars! However, the 5-yr.-old is whimsical, and just lets things fall where they fall with no further thought about it. We called him destructo-baby when he was little - perhaps Captain Chaos would fit now, I don't know. Those same toy cars would be scattered all over the house in no particular order by the time he had any say in the matter.
As I'm bundling up mounds of paper, that to me are trash, but I'm sure are treasure to an 8-yr.-old boy, I can't help but think about the parallel his physical packratting is to my own emotional packratting. I tend to hold on to things emotionally - epecially past hurts and things I've done that I regret. Just as my son's paper stuff clutters his room, my "stuff" clutters my mind and life to the same degree. I have learned to let many things go through the years, but I still hang on to some. Then I think of the times too often when I let frustrations or my own hangups get out of control by spilling the toxic waste of saying things in anger that I really do not mean. How much chaos do I wreak with my kids when Mommy isn't controlled. After all, one fruit of the Spirit is self-control. When I walk in the flesh, I waste another opportunity to point their tender hearts to Jesus.
Two scriptures come to mind:
Philippians 4:6-9 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
As I learn to be anxious for nothing and to pray without ceasing, then may I turn my mind to dwell on all those good, true, noble, excellent things rather than past hurts, sins, etc. Also, the past is forgiven. Praise God for salvation - the freedom from not only past sins, but from the bondage to the desire to sin. God's mercies are new every morning, and my children are in His hands. As I walk in the road to sanctification, may all the "stuff" begin to drop away and may I, like the hymn by Elizabeth Prentiss says, offer more love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee!