Starting is the hardest part of anything. Go ahead. Think of anything that seems a little overwhelming (my teenage son’s bathroom), a bit difficult (getting a 13.1 sticker on my back car window), or challenging (coming up with an awesome secret #13).
There are things that are overwhelming because they have to get done. My son’s bathroom comes to mind. Then, there are things that are dreams for us – the somethings we wake up thinking about and have a passion to do. These dreams are mostly hidden and just for us. Your parents might know because it’s been on your heart since you were three. Your husband might know because you have to share it with someone or you might explode! One or a few of your closest friends might know because you are that fortunate to have someone you can trust with your deepest secrets, hopes, fears and dreams.
But, we all have a hidden something – a dream that gets lost in our everyday lives. We don’t want to pursue this dream because it’s a risk. The older we get, the more control and assurances we want that what we will attempt will succeed. Failure is not an option because we cannot afford the time and money that could potentially be lost on our dream – time that we could spend doing something practical like cleaning the bathroom.
Christmas of 2013, I decided I was going to make some drastic changes. Perfect timing with the new year in front of me and resolutions to be made. I’m still not on time – ever.
I was in fact a hoarder (not quite like the tv show). I am a sucker for sentimental. I can attach a memory to a paper clip. If you are one as well, then you know what I mean. I had a storage tub (the $20 one – so you know I am talking big tub) of clothes that I wore from our dating season and first year of marriage. I wanted to start somewhere and create a home of peace and space. So, I decided to start with this tub. Rip the bandaid off. I had all of those clothes chopped up and made into a quilt. I love this quilt! And, whenever I USE it, I have the warmest feeling and I tell my kids about it- even though they could care less.
Next, I went through the tubs of my kids’ school years and threw away stuff and put the keepers in the largest 3 ring binder I could find for each of them. It felt great! It feels great! I still have a LONG way to go. But, I started. You have to start where you are. Ghandi said, “The best way to get something done is to begin.” So the year of 2014 was the year of decrease instead of increase.
The best way to begin is to release. Release creates peace. Go ahead. Put that motto on anything you’ve got going, and it is true. Let’s start with the closet. Jam packed and full of crap. It is crap that could become someone else’s blessing…except maybe the pajama pants. Why, oh why, do we hold on to that shirt we will probably might wear?
Put that motto on something a little bigger – like that one room in your house that collects everything that you don’t know what to do with. It houses items that you might one day pull out again to decorate with. Honey, that ain’t coming out again. It should have been given away in the 90’s. And, why in the world do we need 27 half used seasonal Yankee candles? I know the 2nd coming could be getting closer. We might truly loose our electricity. But, I am going to gamble a little bit and throw away 21 of them, so I can have some SPACE!
Isn’t space nice? Freedom – you can stretch your legs and BREATHE. Breathe peace and life into others.
Romans 5:1-2 says, “By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.”
God wants peace, space and freedom for us. Release creates peace in the most important spots in our lives (not just our closets) – – our relationships and our souls.
When I release obligations that are not on track with my goals there is time for the ones I love most. There is time to focus on the dream that God has placed inside of me. I can clearly see the next best thing I can do for Christ no matter how small because I have the time to be aware.
When I release bitterness and focus on what is good, noble and pure then loves exudes out of my heart. I can forgive no matter how deep the wound. I can allow God to examine my heart. He can show me where I need to grow and change.
When I release fear I can experience living a life of surrender and freedom. 2 Timothy 1:12 says, ” …because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.”
When I release pride and insecurity I don’t have to take myself so seriously, and I can appreciate others for their gifts and talents. I can learn and grow in wisdom.
When I release my perspective, I can look at people and things with God’s perspective. I can pray for His love to abound in me. I can pray for wisdom and understanding that He promises to give if I’ll just ask and believe Him for it.
When I release greed then contentment comes. I am able to focus on treasures in Heaven instead of some more shoes on earth. I am able to give to those who are in desperate need and pray they will come to know Him.
Release isn’t for sissies. It’s for women who are serious about real change and making a colossal difference in the lives of those who intersect with theirs. Release creates peace but also leaves a legacy. I want my children to say about me that I wasn’t just a talker. I want them to say she lived out what she read and said. She put everything…no, she released everything, into the capable hands of her Father.
When I release all of these things, I’m simply obeying and trusting. The very thing I have always known to do.