The Chains of Routine

I hadn’t realized how addicted to routine I’ve become.  As much as I love spontaneity and adventure, the older I become, the more I crave order.

The past week and a half, I’ve been working on a major DIY project- repainting my kitchen.  It’s really not hard, it just takes time!  And right now, my kitchen looks like a tornado went through.   All the doors are off the cabinets; newspapers are scattered everywhere; tools and paint supplies litter the surfaces.

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Don’t judge…=)

But it hasn’t been confined to the kitchen.  Oh no.  It’s leaked into the living room, two spare rooms, and the basement.  There’s stuff- just piled around…and it’s driving me nuts!  The kitchen chairs are in the living room since I don’t want paint on them, the utensils are also in the living room, and I’ve been finding brushes back in the spare room where I’ve not been doing any painting…?!  I’ve come to realize I’m not the most organized person around. =)

Now, I know that a big DIY project is enough to throw anyone off.  It’s just not fun to smell paint fumes all day or to deal with the dirt and clutter for days or weeks.  But do you know what pushed me over the edge?  This morning I had some time off and the house to myself.  I was so excited to spend some Jesus-time at the kitchen table.  Even though it’s piled full of half-painted cabinet doors, I was able to clear a spot, sit down with my coffee, and gaze out at the freshly fallen snow.

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So pretty!

But…I started to complain to myself.  I had to sit away from my usual spot at the far end of the table.  The windows seemed so far away and it was harder to see outside.  I couldn’t prop up my feet on an opposite chair as usual…everything felt all wrong.  And I’m ashamed to say that it made me grumpy.  Even just writing it makes me embarrassed- it seems so ridiculous!

And then, my mind flashed back to a clip I’d seen on facebook.  Someone had posted a short video of Christians in China opening a box of Bibles for the first time.  And oh! Their excitement!  Their joy was evident on their faces and in their actions.  I’d sat there with tears in my eyes, awestruck at their thrilled wonder.  It was such a holy moment!

Fast forward several days, and here I sit- a spoiled American in her cozy warm house, having eaten a healthy, filling breakfast with a hot cup of coffee and God’s Word open in plain sight before her.  And I cried again.  This time, it was tears of shame.

How selfish I was being! How it must hurt my Father’s heart when I don’t take the time to worship and BE in His Presence…just because my routine was being thrown off.

I hope I don’t forget this lesson too quickly.  I want Father to keep the faces of my brothers and sisters in Christ impressed upon my mind.  Because they have it right.  All this mess and chaos, all this paint and clutter doesn’t matter.  All that matters is my Savior loves me, and He died for my selfishness, grumpy attitudes…ALL my sins.  I don’t want to fight battles that have already been won.  I want to focus on the One and His Love that won them for me!

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  1. Hey there 🙂 Just came across your blog yesterday, and I added it to my favorites! I read back to the beginning of it yesterday afternoon, and found tears in my eyes different times. You are so interesting and honest, and I love that in a blog. You also have a very cool writing talent! So just wanted to thank you for blessing me with the things that you wrote! 🙂 ((hugs)) Elsa 🙂

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