Lately I have been challenged with feeling overwhelmed by my home. Have you ever been in that place? With six kids and two dogs, it is a big job to keep it running smoothly. Over the last few months, there were a couple of areas in my home that had gotten not just messy, but overwhelmingly chaotic. It was the kind of unorganized mess that you know will take a large chunk of time to attack it, therefore, I had not even begun. It had gotten the best of me and I felt immobilized by it! It had even begun causing me to feel negative about my whole house! But this week I was given a whole new perspective of my home and my life so that I was empowered to tackle MY own overwhelming issues!
Monday morning I received a text from a friend who had organized a 2 hour work project for a woman in our prayer group. Although I didn’t know her well, I did know from our brief time together that she had many burdens and felt overwhelmed by her life circumstances and her home. Our group was going to come to her home and begin the process of helping her gain control of her overwhelming home. In our group, we call that "being the hands and feet of Jesus". Not just praying for someone’s problems, but doing something tangible if we can help.
I looked at my schedule and amazingly, I had exactly that 2 hour window of time available without any children! Because it is summer and I don’t have much alone time, I was torn as to what I should do with my brief freedom….run errands, attack my own house, OR help someone else in need! I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to go offer my hands and feet, so I gladly participated.
Most of the women helping had already begun to work by the time I got there, so I had to find my niche and dive in. Unlike my home where there were a couple of uncontrollable areas, this entire house was chaotic due to a remodel and a fire! As I looked around, I felt that familiar feeling of not knowing where to begin as I had in my own house. Finally I got my bearings and began a sort of categorizing of stuff and creating areas of like items. I then determined to create areas of visual order so that when they walked through the living areas it would feel peaceful and orderly. Every woman there was doing the same thing in their own areas. It was nothing short of miraculous to see what could be done in such a short amount of time!
Upon leaving, I felt such a sense of accomplishment and gratefulness that I had been given the opportunity to participate, only wishing I had more time to give! But to my surprise, I was given so much more. I now saw my home and my chaos as a small problem, where just that morning, it was an insurmountable nightmare! My situation suddenly became much smaller and I was grateful for my home…. imperfect and in need of attention as it is. Now instead of feeling immobilized by it, I am motivated to jump in and overcome! It no longer has the best of me!
Last week I had taken my kids to the dollar movie to see Soul Surfer, an inspirational true life story of a Hawaiian teen who lost her arm in a shark attack. As she fought to regain her life, at times she felt like she’d not only lost her arm but her LIFE! Then she was given the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Thailand after a tsunami devastated their land. One of the things she was able to do was help a little orphaned child be able to connect with people after loosing his family. To her surprise, she too gained a whole new perspective of what really loosing everything means. Now she knew her life was not over, but blessed! What she had seen as horrible and immobilizing was now small in comparison to what she had now seen in Thailand.
I’ve learned many lessons this week. Sometimes we need to step out of our own problems to help someone else. In both the movie and in my own experience, we can be given new perspective that empowers us to overcome obstacles in our lives, while also seeing things in their proper light. Your situation may be very difficult, but I promise there is someone else whose situation is worse.
I never dreamed that in helping Stacy that I would be helping myself as well. I challenge you today to step into someone else’s world to make a difference. In so doing, you will find a new perspective in your life and blessings that touch every person involved.
Giving and receiving,