The “Look Inside” Mentality Will Change Your World

What’s In Your House? Weekly Link-up

Oh, friends.

I’ve been doing a lot of “looking inside my house” lately.

I made a commitment at the beginning of the year to change some things that I didn’t like about the way I was living life. Primary was to strengthen my relationship with Christ and pursue him more doggedly. I was also determined to find ways to feel better and work smarter (within the framework of God’s will and guidance).

Have I perfected this? Absolutely not!

Have I persevered and am I making baby steps every day? I think so.

I’ve decided to slightly change the direction of the weekly link-up. I still want you to link-up (if you want to), but just write about whatever you wish. Look inside your house, your heart, your garbage can—whatever.

This “look inside” mentality is changing my world. That’s why I want you to try it, too.

A look inside my heart reveals a deepening need for my Savior. A look inside my pantry reveals too much junk food. A look inside my computer reveals a love and zeal and gift for the written word.

I hope you get the idea. Looking around, inside, and up and down is something I don’t often stop to do. I’m way too distracted with “junk” to actually notice what makes me feel good, productive, and helps me meet my goals. I’m way too satisfied with cheap imitations of happiness to pursue something deeper, more meaningful, and more glorifying to God.

So, each week, I’ll simply challenge you to “look in your house” in whatever way works for you. Just take inventory, dig deeply, sit quietly. Listen to God. Listen to your body. Listen to your family.

Are you really and truly “stuck” in a rut? (I have been.) Do you feel as if you’ll never break free? (Yep. Me, too.) You know what?

Life doesn’t have to be a rut.

I have been taking an online whole life cleanse course from Lisa Byrne. I signed up almost as an afterthought. Thankfully, God prompted my husband to encourage me and assure me that though it was a monetary investment, it would produce results that the whole family would enjoy.

It has been incredible.

Once I’m finished with the course, I’ll post an entire review for you and instructions about signing up for Lisa’s materials. She’s a busy mom, so she knows how to teach to busy moms.

One of the main benefits of taking the course has been learning more about how inundated my life—physically, emotionally, spiritually—is with “junk.” Noisy, useless, bankrupt, deceptive garbage. It poses as nourishing and satisfies for a short time but then leaves me hungry and tired—whether it’s food or media or culture or self-seeking efforts.

For me, the real way and best way to a healthier and more satisfying experience is by Christ. Through that filter of Christ, then, I’m liberated to explore ways to break through the bondage in the other areas of my life.

So, take a look inside, write your post, then link it below.

What’s in your house that’s informing you?

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Blinders Eliminate Distractions and Fear

Put on blinders to avoid distractions and pursue God's will.Have you ever seen those little eye pads attached to a horse’s bridle? I’ve grown up around horses, so I don’t remember when I first noticed them or learned what they were for. But show horses and race horses sometimes wear them.

The little leather flaps are called “blinders.” They cover the sides of the eyes so that the horse’s vision is restricted to what’s immediately in front of him. He, therefore, can’t be distracted with other horses on his sides or be frightened by cheering humans, such as in a race or show. For “work horses,” the blinders help the animal focus on the task at hand.

I’ve said “no” to several requests recently. I was asked to serve on my neighborhood homeowners’ association leadership team. Even though the officers meet only once a year, I just didn’t want another responsibility. I didn’t want the possibility of the time and energy commitment, especially after I decided that being the President of the HOA didn’t serve a purpose aligned with my goals.

I also decided to bail on selling in the consignment sale. I just didn’t have the time to put into it. I had worked about 3.5 hours on getting some items ready, but I knew that I still had several hours ahead of me, in order to even make it a little bit worth it. Our winter schedule has been hijacked with snow days and illness. I just didn’t get to work on it, as I thought I would have.

But you know what? That’s life. And it just wasn’t a good use of what few hours I had this past weekend to try to cram them full of consignment sale prep.

The consignment sale and the HOA officer nomination were just two potential distractions to take me off track and divert my attention from the race I’m running. In saying “no” to those opportunities, I wrapped those blinders tighter against my temples and focused my gaze more passionately forward.

Put on the blinders. Eliminate distractions.
Focus on what’s ahead—what’s in your house.

What’s your biggest temptation to distraction?
How do you put on the blinders?

Photo credit: Irish_Eyes from morguefile.com

What’s Really Necessary in Life?

Do you remember Martha?

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42 (ESV, emphasis mine)

Most of my life, I’ve bristled at this passage a bit, believing that Jesus was somewhat harsh with the trying-to-please Martha. But more recently, I’ve seen it with new eyes. I believe the Holy Spirit gave us 21st century women (with our busy families, homes, and jobs) Martha and Jesus’ gentle rebuke.

I find it interesting that it is Martha who welcomes Jesus, yet she is too busy to enjoy his company.

How many things, people, or opportunities do I invite into my life, only to be “too busy” to give them proper attention?

In this portion of Scripture, the Holy Spirit tells us serving is a “distraction.” Isn’t it interesting that an action, normally commended, is discouraged. Why? Because even “good things” can distract one (especially us women!) from the ONE THING.

Jesus says Martha is anxious and troubled. All this serving and doing and busyness reap anxiety and trouble. Does anything good come of all this work? Nothing except that Jesus uses the opportunity to point Martha to himself.

Jesus calls the ONE THING “necessary.” It’s as if he’s saying, “Martha, you don’t need to be doing all that other stuff. There’s only one thing that you need to do and that’s to worship me, learn from me, talk to me, and listen to me. I am your one necessary thing.”

Had Martha just taken a closer, more deliberate look in her house, perhaps she would have rearranged her priorities.

How is your busyness distracting you?
How is Christ your ONE THING?