Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Home is Wherever I'm With You

Living out in the country has it's merits for sure - freedom, space, slower pace, tranquility, closer to nature, the stars - how I've missed seeing them so clearly! It does, however, have a few drawbacks this five year city-girl has grown accustomed to - high speed internet, ATT cellular service, grocery store two minutes away, fast food two minutes away for nights when you don't want to cook (this is really a good thing, we relied on that way too much). I am so much happier being here though, it is truly a blessing for my family. Lucy has so much more freedom and space to play safely. I am cooking more delicious food for my family instead of quick meals or fast food. Tonight I made pork chops simmered in a honey-butter reduction with sweet potatoes (TJ called them yams! What in the world?! Weirdo!), corn, and pasta salad. But the question is, how am I posting this without high speed internet? Well, ATT has done one good thing while we've been away - uverse! High speed internet service for us bump-kins! :) It is great to have it just so we can actually use our iMessage on our phones. Actually calling is another story, but we are working to remedy that.

I am still working on un-packing and getting our house set up. Lucy's room and the living room are the most completed rooms, but they still have some work that needs to be done. It is tough work figuring out where things need to go! We are painting the dining room this week so that will be another room checked off. I found some whole-house color schemes on Pinterest and we are painting our home according to that. I picked a calming color scheme and am in love with the living room color already. The original pin was a little different, so we changed what colors we thought would work best for us. And Lucy's room is SW Lilac and Frost. We decided her room color could be different and it just fits her so well. It is a light purple and really brightens her room. She loves it! We let her decide between purple and green, she had green in her old room and thought she may pick it since it was familiar. Nope! :) She's an adventurer. Haha!

One thing I am slowly working on is cleaning up the outside. It had gotten a little out of hand. I was working on clearing out the vines that had surrounded and started choking the crepe myrtles. There are five that line part of our property and to be honest, I butchered them when we lived here years ago. I got zaw-saw happy and trimmed them a little too much. But they are looking much better now, except the choking vines.

While cleaning out the vines that had wrapped themselves around the branches, I got to thinking about sin. Sin is like that vine, it grows and grows. And when left unchecked, it starts to kill the healthy host. A couple of things about sin and this vine... First, that vine left deep cuts in the branches. So deep I could fit my pinky in the channel it dug. Sin does that, too. When we realize the sin we are in, we either stop right there and ask forgiveness and turn from it or justify it somehow. I have been on both sides of that scenario. Whatever side you choose, you will have consequences. The consequences are like those cuts. Even though we ask forgiveness and God is faithful to forgive, we are left with the aftermath, the consequences, the scar, the cut. Sin always has a consequence that is not easily gotten away from. When I start to compare my life to other's "perfect social media life", I tend to get jealous. And it is because I have messed up, I have compared my life to someone else's perfect, glossy, filtered moment. When I confess my sin and ask forgiveness, He forgives. But there is a nagging feeling left behind. A little voice saying that I am not good enough. A scar left from my sinfulness. Eventually the crepe myrtle will grow and the cuts will become less visible, if I keep those pesky vines in check.

Which brings me to my second point - I can keep those vines cut away, but if I don't take it out from the root it will keep coming back. I have to start from the top of the crepe myrtles and work my way down the bush until I reach the bottom. Then I will have to dig out the root. Much easier said than done. Again, sin is like that. We can cut away and we can try our very best to get out of that choking, binding, scaring sin. But if we don't get to the root of the problem, it will likely keep coming back. Problem is we can't do this ourselves. We need help. We must truly repent and seek God's help to eradicate the root system. If He doesn't remove the root, then we are at risk. That particular sin will keep coming back; encroaching on our healthy branches until it takes over. All of this reminds me of one of my favorite chapters in one of my favorite books, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS Lewis. Eustace is turned into a dragon because he did something he shouldn't have. He is visited by Aslan and Aslan tells Eustace that to get the scales off they must be ripped off. Eustace starts the process and it hurts. But he isn't getting down far enough into the scales. Aslan, then, takes over. He rips and rips and Eustace is in much agony. But it was the only way. Aslan then instructed Eustace to get into a pool to soothe his skin. Lo and behold, Eustace is a boy again. We can try and try and we will always fall short, we will never measure up. But Jesus does. He always does and always will. No sin and nothing we can ever do is too much for Him. When we surrender to Him and His will, we will be cleansed. We will be new. Not to say we aren't going to sin anymore, because we will. We are fallen human beings. This has been on my mind for a while to blog about and because God is awesome, our preacher spoke about God and His renewal process Sunday and TJ spoke about brokenness and sin last Wednesday. Just confirmation for me. :) Below is the scripture Jason used Sunday. I made it into artwork because I like doing things like that.