Category Archives: True Freedom

A Poem for B

A bird fell from the sky today,

Its broken wing, so hard to see.

The rain like tears washed its body,

As we gathered round deciding what to do.

 

It chirped and pecked to keep us out.

We stood confused not knowing what to do.

Too long, too long and our worry grows

Our prayers and sighs slowly rise.

 

Please heal, restore and mend, we pray.

Keep this sweet bird within Your hand.

So many tangled webs around it,

and only You can set it free.

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Declutter and Detach: Two Steps to Freedom

Our remodeling project is moving along swiftly. The entire kitchen is gutted and looks tremendously large now that it is just studs instead of walls. Tomorrow, we start tearing out a section that will take the roof up about 9 feet. It was a fake drop ceiling over an old bar area. Next, we will demolish a wall which was between the kitchen and bar area. I cannot wait to see the sunlight come pouring in from the giant sliding glass doors off the bar area. What felt closed off will be now airy and spacious!

Also, I have discovered the joy of clearing out old furniture. Craigslist is my new best friend. I have been selling pieces of hodge-podge furniture that we never really bought. We just were given it or it was left with us in the family home. I’ve learned that there are people who are looking for all kinds of furniture (no matter the condition) and they pay cash for it. Lovely!

All of this to say that having less is really feeling nice. Our house felt so cluttered from combining households many years ago. Freeing up space seems to free up my mind and my spirit. I’m really enjoying letting go of these “things”, detaching, and gaining some breathing room. I’m realizing that having order around you does affect you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I think I will plan my new rooms around this concept and see how it feels. So excited to see the results for me and my family.

I Found the Hidden Treasure

Remodeling is hard work! My son and I just finished ripping out most of our kitchen. We also pulled up carpeting in our front room. In my earlier post, “What Lies Hidden Beneath?” I was sharing that I was a bit afraid of what I might find underneath the carpeting. I found myself comparing the carpet removal process to our spiritual lives.

To recap:
Pristine carpeting yet full of dust = our souls  partially clean, partially murky
Carpet pad (with crumbling sections) = our hardness of heart/unforgiveness
Hardwood floor = beauty of ourselves (body and soul) made in God’s image
Staples (brittle, stuck deep) = sin that needs to be removed

So, we started working on the staple removal process. And let me tell you, it is S-L-O-W going! You cannot stand to do very much at a time because it overwhelms you. For every few staples we can easily remove, the next few break in half, right at the wood floor. Our knees and elbows hurt and are bruised (and we are even using knee pads!)

This was the most mentally demanding work of all because it was no fun and felt like progress was at a snail’s pace. This is much like getting rid of those long festering sins in our lives. When we finally decide to work on them, we think it will be easy. It is not. It can definitely be discouraging at first. Perseverance becomes a real word that means something more than you ever realized before in your life!

As you can imagine, my son and I were high-fiving each other when we pulled the last staple and swept up the final, horrible remains of the crumbling, chalk-like carpet pad. We were so proud of persevering and finishing the job. That’s when our friend arrived and pointed out to us that when they sand and refinish these hardwood floors, all those little holes from the staples will show right back up. We will have to use a special tool to tap the tiny staples that we could not extract back down into the wood. I suppose these small, unextractable “sins” are like what St. Paul refers to in 2 Corinthians 12 when he says, “Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”

But that’s not all! After tapping these down, we have to carefully find each single hole created by the staples or nails along the edges and fill them with a special filler. Aha! Now this is exciting and makes tremendous sense. I feel like I found the hidden treasure! It just came to me that once we are cleansed of sin, we must always remember to ask the Holy Spirit to fill those places we have emptied. I think St. Paul says it best: “I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.” I think we’ll keep that as our prayer in mind as we are on our knees slowing filling each little hole…

A Puppy and His Freedom

Freedom is a wonderful gift, but it can be very dangerous. This thought reminds me of one morning when I went to let our new puppy outside. The beginnings of dawn were hinting through the woods as I cracked open the door while leaning over to grab his leash. Our puppy who had sighted some deer slipped between my legs and into freedom! Away he went, chasing the deer as fast as his short puppy legs could follow.

I let out a gasp, as my youngest child, rubbing her eyes, came into the room and saw her puppy running away. She began to cry, “Mom has lost the dog! We’ll never see him again!” Each cry, getting louder, and soon all of my children gathered, crying and upset. Since my husband was out-of-town for work, I told them to quickly get dressed and we would drive the neighborhood and find our puppy. Meanwhile, I put a big coat over my pajamas and ran outside to the woods. I started yelling, “Come on, pup, come back home!” and clapping and whistling very loudly. I’m certain the neighbors were loving me at this point.

I understood why my puppy wanted his freedom, but I also knew he had no idea what dangers were out there for him. This “freedom” wasn’t true freedom. It was the dangerous kind. And all I could do was pray and hope and yell.

Just as I was turning to head inside, I heard something. It started quietly, then grew louder. It was our puppy whining like a lost child! I will never forget that sound. It was so forlorn and sad and puppy-ish. I could imagine how he looked, sitting on his little bottom, crying his heart out in the middle of the woods. I imagine that’s how God sees us at times. We choose to seek “freedom” at all costs, never stopping to understand what true freedom is, and at what cost it was bought. Then when we get lost, we are just like little puppies crying for help.

The children joined me outside to help call our little pup back home. He came running and hopping and jumping, but we all ran to meet him halfway because our love for him was so great and we didn’t really care that the woods were muddy and that it was freezing cold outside. He was lost and we just wanted him home.