What do gardening, laundry, physical therapy, and clutter all have in common?

It’s random, but stick with me…

Recently, we have had a lot of annoying little things going on in our happy little world that have been a real drain.

Cars breaking down, my neck locking up, Joel spraining his ankle, computers¬† blowing up only when we need them, 2 bushes we just planted dying, etc. like I said, lots of meaningless little things that have been a drain but God’s been using them to teach us some really good lessons.

(Disclaimer: I know there are MUCH more serious things going on in the world…I’m just sharing from the heart.)

Gardening: My mom came to town this weekend and I was convinced that she would “save the day” as she always does. You see she can get some stuff done. She has SUCH a green thumb and since I have managed to kill some of our landscaping, I thought she could help.

She asked if I’d been watering the plants on a daily basis or weeding somewhat regularly, to which of course, I replied, “No, but it rains a lot here. Plus, I let Joel do all the outside work.”

As I piddled, pulling up some weeds, I realized that the same can be true with my spiritual life. I just want the landscaping to magically appear and be beautiful in every season, and yet I don’t want to have any part in the labor! At times I can just put my spiritual life on cruise control and just wait for it to naturally “rain”, or for someone else to do the work of consistently “watering” my heart or “digging” up the roots of weeds/sin issues.

This was a source of conviction.

Laundry: I’m allergic to bleach and have some seriously dingy white laundry that my mom had agreed to bleach for me. When she asked if I’d been consistently using Shout or Oxy Clean on them, I replied, “Well, on most of them, yes, but sometimes I just throw them in the wash and hope for the best.”

AGAIN, I sensed the conviction of the Holy Spirit showing me that it’s the consistent laborious “stain-removal” of both our laundry, but more importantly, the heart, that keeps us from turning dingy and ineffective!

This was a source of conviction

Physical Therapy: This morning in church the worship leader was likening the continuous, hard labor of physical therapy to our continual need to go to God with our pain.

I got to thinking about the neck pain I’d been experiencing for the past 3 years. I was immediately reminded of my need to consistently and laboriously commit to caring for mine and Joel’s body & soul, so as to continually be “eating, drinking and doing everything to the glory of God.”

So often, I just want the one-time cure instead of the long obedience in the same direction.

This was a source of conviction

Clutter: One are of the OCD tendencies in my life is that I love to purge clutter from our house. (Poor Joel doesn’t know what happened to most of his earthly possessions.)

I have a continual “purge pile” in the guest room that is always growing so that our house isn’t taken over by things we don’t need. This morning when I dropped off the pile at church, I was reminded that when we are consistent to labor and deal with the little “piles” in our lives, it helps us avoid the need for a complete hoarder’s overhaul…

You can fill the blank in on what the physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, financial, relational “piles” are in your life…I know mine and I am off to pray about and deal with them!

So, what do gardening, laundry, physical therapy and clutter all have to do with each other? They are just ordinary tools that God is using to create extra-ordinary sanctification in my life. Let’s cooperate and labor together with the Lord as He completes the good work He has begun in us.

Thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “Labor.”

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