New house, new start

This week my family is moving into our new house! After nearly 10 years of marriage and seven moves, we are ready to be finished with packing boxes and tape guns.

Knowing that this move is our last for a very long time, it is very exciting for me to finally unpack boxes I haven’t for years and find a place in our home for everything. I have a new living room to rearrange furniture and a chance to give away what we don’t need.

A new home is like a fresh start. In about an hour, my husband will be arriving with all our kitchen appliances, cookware and dishes. All of my kitchen cabinets are empty and ready to be filled. I have a blank slate to work with as I decide the best place to store each item.

The kitchen is ready to be unpacked! Now where to put everything...

It took us an entire day to paint our great room. This was taken right after we were finished (and I was resting on the couch!).

Sometimes we wait too long for our “new beginning”. It’s easier to do things the way we’ve always done them. There is a comfort to having everything a certain way, even if it doesn’t make sense. It’s our routine, and we can easily navigate in the dark without stubbing our toes.

Instead of waiting for that “shake-up” moment, or move, to force the evaluation, maybe we should make our own opportunities to take all the dishes out of the cupboards and consider if there is a more efficient arrangement or another drawer for the silverware.

Maybe it’s time to lay our lives before our Savior, give Him the full authority to inventory our spiritual houses and let Him rearrange our priorities to line up with His vision.

We don’t have to wait until the clutter is out of control or other circumstances compel us. Jesus is waiting, ready to help make sense of our lives, strip the sin from our walls and put on fresh paint.

When is the last time you have allowed Jesus in to rearrange the living room of your heart?

Dancing in the Living Room

If life is remembered by firework moments, its satisfaction and true joy are found in the everyday.

We watched Toy Story 3 together, and both kids were immersed in the movie!

Take for instance cuddling with my little girl or dancing around the living room with my son, sharing a bowl of ice cream with the kids, all of us bracing for the sprinkler in the kiddie pool, curling up to watch a movie as a family, listening to my boy pray or realizing that my baby is singing the words to Jesus Loves Me for the first time. Though none of these moments were cataclysmic, all of these events in the life of our family this week made me realize just how blessed I am.

Last night we watched Toy Story 3, and at the end of the movie the character Jessie starts a song that brings out Buzz’s Spanish mode and they begin to dance. My son Jackson jumped to his feet as the music began, and turned excitedly in my direction. He dashed toward me and grabbed my hands. Around the living room we twirled. Jackson’s eyes danced as we locked our gaze and laughed, spinning and leaping about. I knew as we danced, these kind of moments would not always present themselves as he continues to grow up, and I savored each step of unconstrained joy. After all, he chose me to dance with him.

Life is full of “dance-in-the-living-room” moments. When gathered together they often bring clarity to God’s great design for our lives and propel our perseverance in faith. They are the moments that give us hope when trouble comes.

God wants us to have a full, satisfying, amazing life — what John calls the “abundant life“. He blesses each of us with “dance-in-the-living-room” moments to remind us each day of His love. God reveals Himself to us in everyday occurrences because He wants to be a part of every detail of our lives. He wants us to enjoy Him and live life with Him. We can’t have abundant life without Him.

When was the last time we truly enjoyed God? When have we let Him grasp our hands and twirl us around the living room? How long has it been since we’ve been unable to contain our love and affection for Jesus? What is holding us back from unabashedly dancing with the Lord?

After all, He chose us to dance with Him.