About Encouragement for Today

Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ. With Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries reaches women right in the middle of their busy day through free daily devotions, radio program, speaking events, conferences, monthly magazine, resources, online communities, and Gather and Grow groups. We are real women offering real-life solutions to women who are striving to maintain life’s balance, in spite of today’s hectic pace and cultural pull away from godly principles. Wherever a woman may be on her spiritual journey, Proverbs 31 Ministries exists to be a trusted friend who takes her by the hand and walks by her side, leading her one step closer to the heart of God.

Make Room for What You Love - Encouragement for Today - June 16, 2016

Melissa Michaels

June 16, 2016

Make Room for What You Love

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

As a young newlywed, I’ll admit one of my worries was kind of ridiculous. Don't laugh, but my fear was that paramedics or firemen or neighbors would show up at my door without fair warning.

Not that I feared the help or the friendly visit. Rather, I was worried I wouldn’t be prepared. I wanted to have at least a moment's notice to clear the clutter and put my lipstick on before I had to swing open the door.

I was often frustrated because I couldn't make our home the sanctuary I wanted it to be. Since home is where we do the holy work of loving God and caring for our people, it should feel like a place of refuge and safety, a place of peace. 

But so often I just felt overwhelmed. The daily dishes, clutter, responsibilities, busy schedule and the desire for order — mixed with the resulting chaos of having no clue how to manage it all — weighed on me.

I couldn't seem to get myself organized, let alone organize my home or manage anyone else. Sometimes it felt like my shining accomplishment when my kids were little was getting everyone out the door with pants on! It was all too much: the piles, the clutter, the dishes, everything.

Considering my fear of being unprepared to answer the door, imagine the night I asked my husband to call 911 because I thought I was dying. I felt like the room was closing in on me and I couldn't breathe. I shut my eyes tightly and tried to calm myself down while we waited for help. Who had time to prepare or put on lipstick? Not me!

I'm relieved to say I lived (and, ironically, the paramedics didn’t care about the clutter or the lack of lipstick). Panic attacks are no joke, but the good news is I learned something from that stressful time. God reassured me He didn't need me to manage everything, just what He’s called me to do.

Part of that faithfulness was me learning to let go of things that added unnecessary stress or chaos in my life and home. I got serious about clearing out the clutter so I could create a more peaceful sanctuary. Out went the stuff that overwhelmed me: the busyness, the hurry, distractions or idleness, disorganization, perfectionism or any other roadblocks to peace.

Thank goodness perfection isn’t the goal! Different seasons of life bring change to our home, and change brings the need for continual refinement. Loving people well is messy business! God gives us grace when we open the door to welcome people, whether we feel fully prepared or not. As today’s key verse reminds us, God offers mercy in our weakness and strength for our weariness.

Disorder in our home life brings so much stress because we try to hang on to more than we can handle.

I learned that I find more peace when I let go of the clutter and focus on the joy of being a faithful steward of the life and home God gave me. 

Dear Lord, help me to place my trust in You even at times when everything around me feels out of control. Help me to let go of what clutters my perspective so I can find joy in creating a sanctuary. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Colossians 3:23-24, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (NIV)

Proverbs 24:3-4, “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” (NIV)

Start letting go of clutter to create a peaceful sanctuary for the people you love. In Melissa Michaels' new book, Make Room for What You Love, you'll find a fresh perspective for your home and simple ways to declutter what weighs you down.

Find a plan to jump-start your progress with the Make Room Challenge . You can also get inspired with practical ideas for beautifying and organizing your home at Melissa Michaels' award-winning home decor blog, The Inspired Room.

Enter to WIN a copy of Make Room for What You Love by Melissa Michaels. In celebration of this book, Melissa's publisher is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We'll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one, by Monday, June 20.}

What areas of your home or life feel overwhelmed by clutter and stress? Ask God to help you simplify. Let go of what you don’t need, so you can create a more peaceful sanctuary for your family and the people He brings across your doorstep.

© 2016 by Melissa Michaels. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Harvest House for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

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