The last eight days have been crazy. Or shall I say, cray-cray. The walk in love. Christmas order has been trickling in, a dozen or so boxes a day, so naturally we had boxes on boxes that were filled with thousands of shirts that needed to be folded, counted, photographed and put away. We had to clean the studio, keep up with orders, take care of June, love each other, eat something other than Saltines and raw almonds, all while Brooke was on voice rest might I add. (Many posts to come about that.)
What we didn't have was a lot of time to get all of this done. We had six days and a deadline of an event we were hosting with NFL WR David Nelson, founder of I'M ME - an organization trying to end the orphan cycle around the world. Long story short - the event was amazing and you should definitely take some time and see if you can get involved in what they are doing!
But, anyway, six days before the event the studio looked like this...
As you can see we had a lot to take care of. Boxes and chaos around every corner. Some of you might be having a panic attack just looking at this photo. Well let me add to that panic by saying that what you can't see even in the photo above is all of the bags of trash and boxes already taken out to the dumpster, and the back room/closet equally shoved full of mess.
Here is what I continue to learn while running and working on walk in love. We can do it. We will get it done. We can work hard and take care of the chaos.
And so, this is what I want to tell you today. You can do it! You can do the hard things in life. You can do the things that seem impossible and overwhelming. Will doing those things happen in one fell swoop? Will you be able to snap your fingers and finish them? Absolutely not! And that is not how we took care of the studio. We didn’t snap our fingers, hang out for five days and have the event. We worked, we labored and we gave our time and energy.
We took it one box at a time.
And man oh man that is life! Isn't it?! There are times in life when all we can do is take it one box at a time. We have to pick it up, open it, take everything out, examine the contents, and deal with it. Sometimes the boxes are light and filled with cotton candy and gummy bears. I love those boxes! But sometimes they are horribly heavy, gross boxes, filled with snakes or spiders or crap. Those boxes aren’t as much fun.
But to clean up your life you can’t leave a single box unpacked. So often we, as humans, do that. I know too many men who have such great lives, but they have a box tucked away in the corner filled with all the lust in the world. It’s there because they are afraid to open and unpack it. They are afraid to deal with the contents. There are people who have boxes that are covered in dust and cobwebs, because they refuse to look at their past and deal with things. They have those boxes under lock and key because they refuse to let them go. They want to hold onto that stuff until the day they die.
We all have boxes of crap that we don’t want to deal with and if we keep letting them stack up your life might end up looking like that photo of the studio. CHAOS. It’s very difficult to work in a studio, or a life, that looks like that. It’s hard to get around, it’s hard to stay focused and it’s hard to do anything productive. I don’t want to be at the studio when it looks like that. I don’t feel creative, inspired or very passionate at all!
It’s the same way when we have so much crap in our lives. We are so bogged down that our lives are filled with apathy, depression and anxiety. We aren’t living the full and free lives we were created for.
But the boxes aren’t going anywhere until you deal with them.
So this week in the studio, that’s what we did. We took care of the boxes one at a time. Open, unpack, fold, put away. Over and over again. There was nothing glamorous about our jobs this week. It was monotonous, grunt work.
And after a few days the studio looked like this…
Because when we work on things progress comes. It’s when we ignore things that we stay in exactly the same place - usually a place we don’t want to be, because I don’t know about you, but I always want to become better and closer to God, and that is going to take a lot of work and even more grace.
Something else really cool happened this week. We had help.
That’s what you will need, too, to deal with your boxes - help. Whether it’s someone to listen to you or hold you accountable. You will need help. Reach out to someone and ask them to help you unpack the boxes in your life. Talk to your pastor or find a mentor.
We didn’t take on the studio mess by ourselves because it was too much for us to handle. We had help and we are so thankful for that help. When you need help sometimes the first step to attacking a box could be asking for help. Start there.
All week I was reminded by a verse in the Bible that says, "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30). I love the way the message bible translation says it - “I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
If we walk hand in hand with Jesus He will deal with the root of the boxes. He will touch our hearts and souls and obliterate some of the boxes that we thought would never move. He brings dead things to life, He heals, forgives and covers us with grace upon grace. A few boxes are nothing for Him. When we walk with Him we end up living “freely and lightly.” I LOVE THAT! I want that life. I don’t want to feel like a cluttered studio that takes the wind out of my sails. I want to live freely and lightly. And I realize over and over again that it won’t happen unless I am dealing with the things boxed away in my heart over and over again. I must look to Jesus daily to help bring those dusty boxes to light, empty them and fill them back up with His goodness.
So if you are reading this and thinking, man I have a lot of boxes to deal with. I know. I am right there with you, but I know that as I walk with Jesus I get closer and closer to dealing with them.
And I know if I can keep going my heart will end up looking like this….