Last night I got myself set. I gathered all of my devotional books, my journals and my bible and put them back in the livingroom...a place they haven't been since the day we evacuated for Hurricane Katrina nearly 5 months ago. This morning, I did what I'd done the day before we left for Katrina...I woke up, put the coffee on, prepared breakfast and then brought it all in the living room for my time with the Lord.
Once I had all of my stuff in order, I hunkered down in the corner of my sofa and dug in...both literally and spiritually. It was amazing to me the clarity the Lord brought to that time, and how he tied all of the different devotional materials and scripture readings together.
I left for the office, excited about what had hapened and looking forward to many more mornings like that.
Later that afternoon, I got a phone call.
I was going to have house guests...again.
My brother Joey and the couple he is living with in Tennessee are coming in for a wedding and need a place to stay since all of the hotels are charging double their regular rates (and booked solid, mind you) and my parent's have a full house (though it is still partially destroyed).
My apartment still hasn't fully recovered from my 4 month absence and my last house guests...so aside from losing my routine, I have a few evenings of heavy duty housework ahead of me.
When Joey called to make sure it was ok for them to stay with me, I told him "Make sure they know this isn't going to be the Hilton, but you guys are welcome. My home is your home." He assured me they wouldn't mind a bit of mess, because they live with 2 toddlers and know nothing else right now. So, it is somewhat comforting to know that my house un-beautiful may make them feel more at home while they are here.
As I walked around my apartment, picking up, throwing out and trying to get organized, I thought how funny it was that since Katrina, my routines have just had to continually and consistently take a back seat. It's as if the Lord is saying "hold nothing...not even the things you want to do for me...too tightly." It is equally clear that He has a plan...an agenda...for my life right now and it isn't necessarily going to involve a seamless daily routine. And judging by the rest of my life, it isn't going to involve much of me planning my own time.
This coming weekend, its house guests, last weekend it was a family function, the weekend before that it was babysitting. These days, I can plan nothing. And again, it is a reminder to hold nothing so tightly that I can't or won't let it go.
I have to be willing to relinquish my plans, schedule and my very time at a moment's notice with joy. Going even deeper, I have to be willing to relinquish my plans and hopes and dreams if the Lord moves or speaks to the contrary...and I must do that with joy. Again...what I hear him saying through all of this is "hold nothing so tightly that you won't let it go."
It is a scary...and also freeing thought. I am also encouraged to continue holding this loosely and relinquishing as needed by how he has met me in those moments. Though there are moments when what I was called to do or give up for another was a burden, it was never more than I could bear and always ended in blessing. I am so thankful for His help, because without it, I would be a big whiney baby right now...and my family wouldn't want to be around me at all!