Whew! It's hard to believe winter is actually over (especially with the extended cold and snow season). Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years passed. The pages turned on Valentines Day and St Patricks Day. Even the Easter Season has come to a close. And I have been missing in action from blog-land. In an effort to catch up, I am posting some articles that should have been posted a few months ago. Please forgive the time lapse. But...its a new season! Here is the first, published in the Winter edition of the Victorious Woman newsletter I am honored to be a part of.
Unless the LORD builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Like many 9 year old boys, my son is a certified Lego fanatic. Grandiose fighter jets, intricate submarines, and transforming robots captivate his attention. He is meticulous about following the manual and assembling each tiny piece in the correct place, in the proper order, to make a masterpiece. A few years ago, we had a Lego mishap in our home that rocked his world. Friends visited while he wasn’t home and found their way to his room. Before I realized what was happening, in mere minutes, his masterpieces had become true fighter jets. As they crashed together, the pieces became a jumbled mess. Kevin and I spent hours sorting and separating the pieces, the best way we could, to begin the repair. When we broke the news to Jaedyn, he was devastated. He didn’t even want to look at his beloved Legos. For over a year, they remained in the bags we had sorted. He refused to touch them.
Recently, we discussed redecorating his room. With a vision in mind, he finally was coerced into opening a bag containing one of his ships. It was painful to watch as he began the process of reconstruction, instruction manual in hand. Most things had to be torn apart to be put back together. It was exciting to see his hard work pay off with the first finished project to display in his new room.
One day, he called me into his room. There was a brick missing. He could not continue building without it. I dug through bag upon bag, trying to find the elusive piece. Several times, I thought I had the one. Each time, he pronounced it the wrong color, shape, or size. In frustration, I wondered why he couldn’t just substitute the piece I offered. But, even though it looked good to my eye, it didn’t do the job properly. It didn’t fit. Other pieces couldn’t build on it securely to make the envisioned piece if it didn’t have the attributes called for in the instruction manual.
Sometimes, I feel like one of those Lego ships. Sometimes, I feel broken after a battle and feel like I’m in a bag fighting for air. Other times, I try to order the pieces of my life without consulting the “instruction manual” God has given me for success. His Word holds the key to wholeness. Studying the manual is my only hope for finding the right pieces to fulfill the vision God sees for my life.
As women, our hearts are pulled in many directions. Our minds run a thousand miles a minute with a never ending task list to be accomplished. We wear many hats and fulfill many roles. We may feel as if there aren’t enough hours in the day, or enough love in our hearts, to accomplish our goals and succeed in the many facets of our lives. Out of frustration, it is easy to hastily build with pieces we think will do the trick. However, when using counterfeits, we soon find ourselves out of balance and dysfunctional. Like a car running on unbalanced tires, our life becomes a bumpy ride.
At the beginning of the year, it is customary to refocus and examine the things in our lives that need attention. We set goals, dream, and determine to “start fresh”. It is a good time to return to our manual, the Word, to see what God is speaking about building us. He desires that we live a life of wholeness and purpose that can only come from proper balance and the right pieces in the right place. Don’t be dismayed, discouraged, or disillusioned if your current season doesn’t feel very purposeful. Purpose defined by the world is counterfeit, like using the wrong Lego. Wiping snotty noses, sorting smelly socks, and teaching bedtime prayers are purpose in the life of a young mother. Holding an aged hand, sitting quietly by a bedside, and listening to stories are purpose in the life of a caretaker. Whatever season you’re in, live it and build on it with the pieces the manual instructs.
We must remember that building a masterpiece is a process. The stuff epitaphs are made of at the end of the journey is built upon colorful bricks from different life seasons. The finished product may have been torn apart and rebuilt numerous times along the journey. It is tedious work, and sometimes trial and error. That’s why it comes with a manual.
The manual helps us recognize the pieces we need and where to activate them in our lives. It helps us recognize counterfeits that well-meaning others suggest as a substitute for the real thing. It teaches us about the fruit of the Spirit. It shows us how to build a firm foundation for ourselves and our families. It teaches us about moderation, modesty, grace, forgiveness, marriage, parenting, evangelism, health, giving, and prioritizing. Within its pages there is a formula for success in every area of our lives. It is steady and sure. Though seasons change, His instructions remain the same.
This year, I am making a concentrated effort to return to foundational truths, even if I need disassembled to be reconstructed the way He planned. His masterpieces are complete and whole, lacking nothing. There are no “misfits” with the Brickmaster!