In 2010, after finishing our very first – “Making Your Home a Haven” Fall Series – I wrote this post.
I wrote this post because I know…I know that there are many who lit candles, prayed, tried to plan game nights and prepared cozy dinners …but you are discouraged. Your home STILL does not feel like a haven.
There is a self-talk that rattles around inside the brains of women – yes, even Christian women who long to live out God’s word in their homes. I know because my brain does it too…and here’s what it says…
I turn to Psalm 23…
1 – The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.
(want. want. want. I want…)
2. He makes me lie down
(lie down…if only I could lie down for just 20 minutes…if only if only if only)
in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.
(quiet. quiet. quiet…this home is so loud…television, ipods, cell phones, chatter, I can’t get a moment of quiet here).
3. He restores my soul
(my soul. needs. restored. …it hurts).
He guides me in paths of righteousness.
(I am so alone…I have no one who understands…if only I had someone to get me out of this mess. mess. mess. Someone besides me please clean up this mess!).
4. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil
(what if. what if.what if. what if I’m not enough?)
for you are with me
(you are? why are you so silent God?);
your rod and your staff they comfort me.
(comfort. who needs comfort. I am strong. I will pick myself up and press on. I am not weak.)
5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
(overflows. overflows. overflows. Dirty dishes overflow, closets overflow, my trash cans overflow, my laundry baskets overflow, my calender overflows…if everything is so full – why do I feel so empty?)
6. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.
(follow. follow.follow. I feel like difficulties, trials, disappointments, bad relationships and financial problems follow me… goodness? love? follow me?)
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
(put on fake smile. I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever…BUT…I want. I want. I want. if only. if only. if only. my soul hurts. mess. mess. mess. I am weak. no. I am strong. empty. empty. empty.)
Do you hear the self talk? Do you hear what is happening between this woman’s two ears?
She is saying rotten things to herself about her life, about the people in her life, about her circumstances, and even about God. And then she wonders…why? don’t? I? have? peace?
The problem is not out there – it’s inside of her.
Romans 12:2 says, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Do you want to see a change in your home? It starts in your mind.
Are you in a storm? Do you need help?
At the core – I am empty, ugly, self-seeking, insecure, questioning myself to death regularly – even to the point of tears over fears and failures. I hurt. I struggle. I wrestle. But then – I lift my eyes up to the maker of the heavens and the earth and this world pauses for just a moment and all my ugly thoughts and self talk are washed away by his love, grace and peace.
Psalm 121:1 says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
The storms do not disappear but seeing a glimpse of the sunshine that awaits me, lifts me up when I am weak. He is strong. And so I rest. And he restores.
If you are discouraged – I encourage you to get alone with Psalm 23 for 5 minutes today.
The Lord is indeed your Shepherd and you shall not be in want. You must claim these truths. Let him lead you by still waters…are you thirsty? Sit still. Drink a tall glass of his living word! Let him restore your soul. He is with you. He loves you. You will one day dwell in His house- His Haven – forever.