March 12, 2008


I'm saying goodbye to my 30's Saturday. I've got mixed emotions. I'm sad to see 39 go, because God has done such an amazing work in my life during this year. Ending the decade with a bang somehow seems very appropriate. And I'm looking forward to what He's going to continue to do. When I look at the changes He's brought in my heart...well, it's indescribable. He's radically redefined my sense of home and family, and what I know is my calling in create a home.

Until this past year, practically every day I would come home only to feel like 10,000 flaming arrows were being hurled at me. I looked around and felt utterly overwhelmed. When I'm overwhelmed, I shut down. It was a vicious cycle. I justified it all in my mind, giving the excuses of being a full-time working mother, with a part-time job, a husband who works swing shift, and church obligations. People would ask how I did it all, and I liked to make it look like I did. In truth, I was spinning my wheels. It was complete chaos.

There are three types of clutter that demanded my attention.

The first, and most obvious has been the physical clutter. January and February were dedicated to removing all the things that were making it impossible for me to genuinely serve my family and focus on the Lord.

I also sense that I need to work on relational clutter. I've got to assess the relationships in my life and determine which are God's best for me. I must face my need to please others, and commit to pleasing just One.

For now, I've shifted my focus to temporal clutter. Do I use my time wisely? Do I control my calendar, or does it control me? White space on my calendar has become precious real estate, and I'm not giving it up lightly. Empty days are the fullest, because they represent time I can enjoy my home and family, rather than moving from one activity to another without any true sense of purpose.

These days, I come home and breathe a sigh of relief. It's so good to be home. I'm creating a haven of peace and refuge, and there's no place I'd rather be.

Older, but wiser.


Joanne (The Simple Wife) said...

Hey Melissa,

Saturday is my birthday too!


His Girl said...

you can't even know how inspiring your journey is for mine.

happy happy birthday to you!

Chris @ Come to the Table said...

Happy Birthday Melissa!

Embrace the forties, they truly can be some of the most wonderful years personally and spiritually. We are no longer the overly optimistic 20 year old, and the stretching and changing and growing up of the thirties is complete. There is something about turning forty that says, Ok, I think I am ok with who I am and I also have a deeper understanding of who I am in Christ, which is all that matters.

This post has a powerful message. I have been working on mnay of the same things personally, but for a few years.
Thank you for sharing this and encouraging me today.

Again, I pray your birthday is a beautiful celebration of God's work in your life and the woman He has created you to be.

Many blessings my sweet friend, and welcome to the forties!

Tiffany said...

Happy (early) Birthday! Great post!
Blessings for a wonderful weekend!

Kimberly said...

It's my birthday Saturday as well! Blessings to you on your new decade!

Alana said...

Happy Birthday, friend! Wish we were closer so I could take you out to lunch and celebrate!

The calendar thing has changed dramatically for me this past year. By the grace of God I have been able to clear my calendar, he has also given me some free passes and done a little clearing for me (I am also a people pleaser). I'm hoping to keep a lot more white space in the future and to be very intentional with how I use my time.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Melissa,

I hope you have a wonderful day...I have your book already for mailing on Monday...I had hoped I would have it mailed and to you by your birthday but had out of town family this week...and you know! But expect it midweek...

I completely agree with Chris' comment...have just dipped my toes into the 40's for a few years but there is a shift...and it is a good thing...and I am not just talking about body!

So embrace this new chapter!

Much love,


Leah in Iowa said...

Happy belated birthday, Melissa. I hope you were able to savor the day with friends and family, and I pray the God of Order will help you clear the clutter in your life in the year ahead. Best wishes to you!