Friday, August 29, 2008

Hospitality Part 2

In my Wednesday post I reviewed Karen Ehman's book, A Life That Says WELCOME. If you didn't get a chance to read the post, just scroll down and check it out.

One of the things that Karen talked about was de-cluttering your home. I have been moving from room to room and de-cluttering as I go. The purpose in purging is to have a manageable home.

If you were given a 15 minute warning from your hubby that some company was coming over, would you be able to make a quick sweep through the house and make it presentable? If there isn't much clutter the answer would be, "yes". I love this concept. De-cluttering is an ongoing process. If you haven't tried it, buy a copy of Karen's book.

Another thing that Karen talks about is opening up your heart to others. This is the part that can be a little tricky. If we are opening up our heart to others that means we have to be transparent.

I see that the Lord has me on parallel tracks. He is showing me how to purge my home and also how to purge my heart. Purging my heart is a much more difficult task! You see, there are things in my heart's closets that have been there for a long time, and I'm quite attached to them. But if I'm going to be transparent, they are going to have to go! These are mostly selfish thoughts which lead to bad attitudes.

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak! I can so relate to that statement! The minute I was willing to open up my house to hospitality, the Lord brought to the surface relational issues with some people who are close to me. Why does it seem so much easier to be hospitable to strangers? Maybe because they don't know me. LOL!

Another key ingredient in Karen's book is this: Take care of your own first, then you can take care of strangers. I know this is important because God is showing me relationships that need to be strengthened. He's trying to teach me how to clean out those closets. You know, the ones with past hurts and resentments piled high! OUCH! I feel like I'm going to literally lose weight just cleaning out these hidden closets!

Keep me in your prayers, this is a tough process and I need to learn how to let some of these past hurts go. I feel so much more vulnerable if I do. There seems to be a false sense of security in holding on to the bitterness. I'll be praying about this myself over the next few days to try and figure out where the insecure feelings are coming into play. I do believe that God will give me the victory in this area, it's just a painful process. Thank you for reading this long post! I love you all very much! God Bless.


The Patterson 5 said...

I will keep you in my prayers as you go through this process- that your vulnerability becomes strength through Christ! I was pondering your Wed post just yesterday as I was checking out at Target. I ran into an old aquaintance and I felt like I just did not say the right things-that I was so wrapped up in my world that my heart was not hospitable. I prayed that should I get another opportunity to reach out to others God would give me the words to say. I even thought I should pray about being hospitable before I run my errands instead of just hurrying to complete the task-closing myself off from the people who may need to see Christ's love. Thanks for writing about your lessons you are learning as they are helping me!

Chatty Kelly said...

I have to agree that often it is easy to be nice to strangers - they don't know what buttons to push to get you going.

I too believe it God is working on you in this area, you will have victory. But remember, even Jesus was rejected in his own home town. And as he sat with his disciples and followers he said "HERE are my mother and brothers." What a blessing that our God understands every thing we go through. He has walked in our shoes.

Bless you as you develop a heart of hospitality to all.

Sue J said...

Realize this the purge process is not something that will take days or weeks. Some things will be easy Craig's list sales; other things will sit out on eBay auction for a long time as you and God work out how to deal with them.

But, in His good timing, you will be at that place in which you can receive those who are now challenging for you to see, and you will receive them in love, as God knows love.

Talking it out with friends helps you through, because if you put your self-reflection magnifying glass too close to yourself, you won't see anything clearly. His grace is enough....

Sharon said...

I can so relate to that message too, My house needs purging big time, such a pack rat, I would love to have a huge garage sale, to get rid of all my junk, wouldn't it be nice to have a garage sale/heart sale to remove all the things we either hide in our hearts, or just need to get rid of. Yes, cleaning up sometimes can be a tough process.
I think on this long weekend I should consider cleaning out my closets/heart Both!
Thank you for a great post, God Bless, smile God Loves You!!

On Purpose said...

Just remember for going through the yucky and tough get such a beautiful reward...being closer, and more initmate with our Lord! It's so hard yet so worth it. I am here to encourage you, pray with your and support you!

Bonita said...

Are you listening in on my quiet times with God. He's dealing with me on some of the same issues- decluttering, heart issues, forgiveness, and relationships.

Debra said...

Wow! I'm glad I came here. Sonya, this was so good, and I need it so much.
Love, Debra

Julie Gillies said...

What a good post. It's such a good feeling for me when I unclutter a drawer, closet or counter...and even my heart!

It sounds like the Lord is doing a deep work here, and He will be faithful to complete it.

Blessings to you!

Tammy R said...

I can relate to wanting to hold on to things that 'we' think gives us security.
There has also been things in my life that I've held on to so I could jusitfy my feelings and reasons for my actions.

I know it's not easy to allow God excess to the 'closets' were the doors has been shut tightly but,if you give Him just a crack,He'll do the rest.

I will be praying,

Pennies In My Pocket said...

This is such a great post! We've recently moved to a new house and I do NOT want clutter in this one. I have half of our garage still filled with boxes that I know just have JUNK in them. I don't even want to bring them we're keeping them in the garage until our next huge neighborhood wide garage sale. They will go from the boxes to someone else's house - hopefully!

Since being in the new house, we've had several, no, tons of people over for dinner. Our last house was really small and this one is large. I missed entertaining friends and family. It really is quite a blessing to be able to do that for others.

Thanks for stopping my my glad you did so I could check yours out!


Anonymous said...

So how is this going for you?
Have you cleaned out you your hidden closets yet? I know it can be hard, but really you need to pray and let God guide you. You have not written about this is a while. and we were wondering if any issues have been resolved from you past? We have read the book and we are working on this ourselves. The family relationship seem the hardest. How about you?