By Michelle Wallace
Many times when people come into our home they comment how they wish they had a home like ours. They tell us how beautiful our home is or share how it makes them feel. When they ask me if I’ll help them with their space, I’m always happy to do that. But one of the first secrets I share with friends or clients is the reason they love my home––its simplicity. Walk into a space that is open and light with a few well-appointed touches and you feel good. That’s my secret sauce—nourishing minimalism.
My home is a reflection of what I’d like the rest of my life to look like. Unfortunately life is not always simple. Some seasons are a struggle. Life can get chaotic, complicated, and challenging. We’ve been in such a season. We have aging parents who need our help transitioning to a senior living home. My husband and I have been in the automotive repair business for a number of years and found it necessary to build a new facility. Our son started college last year and our daughter got married. We were supposed to be empty nesters but my daughter and son-in-love, along with all their dogs, temporarily moved in so that we could launch a new business. This is just the highlight reel. There are so many new beginnings.
For a number of years we enjoyed margin in every area of life—financial, emotional, spiritual, physical, etc. Today, I find myself wondering, “What happened to my life?”
Here are some things I’ve learned as we’ve been in so much transition.
- In order to regain margin you have to remain dependent on God. It’s the Matthew 6:33 principle. I love the way The Passion Translation phrases it: Treat worry as an enemy you never let into your house. “So above all, continue to chase after God’s kingdom-realm and His righteousness, then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly. Refuse to worry about tomorrow but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.” Matthew 6:33-34
- Stay connected to people who are life giving. It is easy to grow weary and isolate. It’s also easy to find people who would like to just commiserate. But when we surround ourselves with people who cheer us on and cheer us up, we’ll stay encouraged.
- Keep perspective through it all. Even when it’s hard, maintain an attitude of gratitude. Bill Johnson explains that there are opportunities to worship God on Earth in ways that we won’t be able to worship Him in Heaven. See the bigger picture. And don’t give up! If God has called you to it, He will bring you through it.
Practically speaking, I understand what I’m called to during this time. If something comes up and it doesn’t answer my why, then I don’t take it on. I don’t have time to be distracted from what God has called me to build. So when the enemy or any other distraction comes my way, I simply don’t take the bait.
However, I do have time for fun! When life is heavy or stressful we don’t have to lose our joy! I heard a young missionary, Jason Chin of Love Says Go, share the story of his recent move to Switzerland. He’s had challenges finding his sea legs. It’s been an adjustment in this new environment. He started to learn German but was fearful to speak. He decided to take a risk and begin talking to people. He said it’s so important to celebrate baby steps. The Bible says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.”
Jason sold his Ford Mustang before moving and one day the Lord prompted him to buy a Ford Mustang Lego set. He felt a little silly but decided to just do it. He really loves Mustangs. Jason said, “As I was building the model, I really felt so much of God’s pleasure over my life.” He actually started tearing up and wondered what was going on. The Lord started speaking to him and this is what He said, “Son, this is what it’s all about. I am here with you while you’re building this Lego model. And son, you are enough, just as you are. Not because you’re changing the world, not because you’re winning all the lost. But you are enough because you’re my son.” God really impressed upon Jason not to feel guilty about enjoying what he was doing. He told Jason that it was for moments like this He inspired the creation of Legos.
There’s something so precious about knowing the pleasure of God in and through everything we do in life. He wants us to enjoy our life, on the mountaintops and even in the valleys.
After one very long and rough day, I was quiet enough to hear the Lord speak to me like He did Jason. “I am with you, I have been here every step of the way.” That was all I needed to hear. His love is all I need.
Today, wherever you are in life, I pray you will nourish this simple truth, you are deeply loved, and you are enough.
To learn more about Michelle and see what she’s up to, visit her page on Facebook at “Michelle Wallace––Hand of the King.”