by Candace Cortez
Nobody would ever confuse me for a domestic goddess. I have been known to fold laundry on my dining room table and pick articles of clothes from that very pile for a few days until the pile magically disappears. It’s ok, you have permission to judge me. I try to keep my kitchen and living room “ready for company” but I would warn any random pop in visitors to not visit some of the rooms on the edges of my house! I’m a clutter bug. I blame my overly creative brain.
However, out of the basic laws of house management, there is one area that gets cleaned out more than most: my refrigerator. Around once a week, I find myself pulling out leftovers, checking labels on bottles, and generally making sure there isn’t anything hidden in there that may scare me the following week. I pretty much can’t handle mossy foods and feel responsible to make sure my family is safe from whatever can happen after vegetables start getting slimy. Now before you start believing there is some hope for my domestic lifestyle, I must confess the primary reason I keep things clean-ish is to make sure that when I bring in fresh groceries, there is room for it all! Gathering groceries is a big enough chore, I don’t want to have to clean the fridge every time I purchase a new bundle of produce, milk, and eggs.
As we are in full swing in the holiday season, my question for you, myself, and for my family, is this: is there room for Jesus in our lives? In our hearts? I talk very regularly to my young children about how Jesus really is the main reason we have Christmas. He’s the main reason we get to have fresh beginnings, hope, and peace in this life. He’s the source of all things good, and the redeemer of all things rotten. I do not have a problem understanding these things to be true in my thought process. But is this evident by how I make space I my life to point to Him? When the Holy Spirit gently asks for me to move, is there room in my schedule to make that happen? When the Spirit of the Lord gives me something new to take care of, do I just add it to the pile of old things not taken care of in a timely manner?
One of my hopes for this season is that our community would make space in their hearts, schedules, and spirits for the Lord to do something incredibly special in their lives. There have been times when I know the Lord has asked me to wait, or give, or do something just out of the ordinary, but I didn’t make space in my schedule or my level of faith. I do believe that I may have missed out on miracles because I didn’t make space for Him to work in me and through me.
Here are some of the things I regularly need to evaluate and potentially get rid of in order to make room in my heart and life for the Hope of Jesus.
1. Old habits. Some habits are great for life. Some habits are great for a season. Some habits are never great. Looking at the repetitive routines in your life as unfixed is important. Not everything you do has to be done. Not everything that is important right now will be important forever. For example, when my husband worked nights, I developed a habit of staying up way later than my mornings should have allowed. This habit cut out morning devotions, morning peace, and my patience with my kids as we got ready for the day. Recently, the Lord has asked me to go to bed earlier, to make room for His presence in the mornings. Do you have a habit or choice you’re making regular that keeps you from saying yes to Jesus?
2. Unhealthy relationships. I am very rarely pro getting rid of relationships in your life. I am, however, pro shifting what shelf of importance or influence those relationships carry in your life, and time=influence. If I am not strong enough in my walk with the Lord to overcome the negativity or yucky habits a person brings with them, then I have to decrease the influence that person has until I am more full of the Spirit.
3. Lingering doubts or misunderstandings about who/how God is. Life can teach you a lot of things incorrectly. Sometimes if a child prays a prayer to the Lord, and does not receive what they ask for, they doubt the goodness or power of our Heavenly Father, and potentially stop asking for big things. It is good to keep discovering who God is, how He is and moving out the old doubts about His character.
Make room for the Lord this holiday season. Don’t let the mold creep in. Never get too busy or full of old ways for God to hand you another blessing, another call, another bit of who He is.