Monday, May 24, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "Clean out the Closet"

Have you ever been caught off guard by an unexpected visit? I'm talking about the kind that sent you running around the house, cleaning up all the little messes as fast as you could. Maybe you didn't have time to run the vacuum or wash all the dirty dishes, but somehow you were able to make the place look rather presentable and welcoming.

Has this ever happened to you?

Unless you're a Martha (either of the Stewart name or of Bethany fame), I am guessing you know what I'm talking about. Even if you are a Martha, I bet it has happened a time or two. ; )

My favorite tactic for speed cleaning is stuffing any extraneous items in the closet. What's yours?

In the same way our physical clutter gets stuffed into the closets of our homes, our spiritual clutter finds its way into the closets of our hearts.

When you run into a friend at Target, do you grab the bitterness that is showing on your face over a fight with your loved one and hide it in the depths of your spirit?

When you run into your pastor at the grocery store on aisle 9, do you automatically hide the discontent you were just showing your kids on aisle 4? Chances are, discontent found itself behind a closed door at the sight of your earthly Shepherd.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't think there's anything wrong with setting your feelings aside for the sake of a pleasant conversation; however, the problem remains in the closet of your heart and needs to be dealt with at some point.

If you continue to stuff your feelings inside the closets of your heart, pretty soon there will be no room left and we all know what happens when the junk flows out of the closets and clutters up the place... there is an overflow that causes major congestion. We then tend to blow up and all the stored up, stuffed in emotions come bursting out of our closets (or chest).

Often times this leads to the "ugly cry." You know the one I'm talking about. You are so distraught and so disheveled that you can't even make coherent words between sobs because everything is just too overwhelming. Other times, the emotions come out in one big fight you later regret.

The emotions do come out... eventually.

What would happen if you dealt with your emotions on a daily basis? Better yet, what would happen if you tended to them the moment they surfaced?

In Chapter 13, you may have discovered some feelings you didn't even know existed. I hope you took the time to search the depths of your heart. I hope you found the ancient ruins of your past and drug them out of the closet... into the light... so you could put them in their place.

We all need to clean out our closets.

Isn't it always easier when we don't let them get out of hand?

Stop, Drop and Pray for the hearts of the people you care about. I hope you'll be happy to know that there is already an answered prayer on our list!


  1. This past week was amazingly healing for me... soul (mind, will, emotions), spirit (heart) and body (the physical self)!!! Starting with Chapter 13, I was able to examine some areas of my life that I had not previously given much thought.

    I have been aware of positive and negative things in my lineage, but I had not considered how they might affect me in the present. When I answered the study questions as well as the questions throughout the chapter, I was able to see how I had been suppressing ancient ruins and therefore allowing them a stronghold in my life. The most helpful part was assessing each grandparent, parent and caretaker in my life. This REALLY opened my eyes to how their actions have affected me... positively and negatively.

    Now, I realize the purpose of looking back at ancient ruins... it's HEALING!!! It contributes to total wellness.

    I think this can be a negative experience if we look back and become judgmental ... but if we can look to both the positives and negatives... gain understanding about own lives and actions... and forgive... then major healing takes place and it is a positive, good thing!

    Forgiveness is the key. It is (in my opinion) the hardest thing to do, but it unlocks so much freedom!!!!!

    It took me a few days to really think about and discern the major strongholds from my lineage (I wasn't finished with Chapter 13 on Monday the 17th... I spent several days on it). Through prayer and really taking an honest look at myself, God revealed the truth and set me free!!!

    I hope the same has happened for you!

    Don't be discouraged if Chapter 13 was difficult for you. These things take time. Just like Beth said in the book, don't get bogged down with it... just come back to it as you can. Put a marker in the book... or dog ear the page so you know to come back and reassess.

    Revisit the ancient ruins when it's right for you.

  2. Not sure where I am with this. I have read all our readings, but I think my heart is still in Chapter 13. I feel exhausted mentally and physically from this and some other things in my life. Just pray that I will feel God's peace in my heart.

  3. Dear Anonymous,

    Thank you so much for opening your heart and sharing your prayer request and thoughts. I am praying for you. I just did... and I will again and again.

    It took me several days last week to deal with Chapter 13. It wasn't an easy chapter, at all.

    I am so sorry to hear that you are mentally and physically exhausted, in part from Chapter 13. While no one should feel mentally and physically exhausted for an extensive period... this could be part of the healing process for you.

    I cannot speak about the other things that may be going on in your life... especially not knowing what they are... but I can say that I, too, experienced some mental exhaustion from Chapter 13. Once I was able to work through it, sort out my feelings, pray a WHOLE LOT and extend forgiveness... I felt MUCH better. It was not an easy or instant process... but it was well worth the effort.

    Just so you know, the blog is a safe place where you can post anonymous comments and get these things off your chest. Sometimes the dialogue helps. I'm always here to listen.

    Matthew 11:28 and 1 Peter 5:7 (paraphrased by me)...
    Go to Him if you're tired and heavy-laden. He will give you rest. Just cast all your cares upon Him. Lay them at His feet.

    You are His Beloved and He loves you and cares for you! His throne-room is available 24/7/365 and you are always welcome.

    You are welcome here, too.

    I am praying for you and will continue to...

    Peace be with you...


  4. Joy comes in the morning! As I was getting ready for bed last night, it came over me. I cannot do this without God. I know this, but the reality and value of this statement hit me so hard. I cannot do this without God. Put the rest of it aside. I cannot do this without Him. As a child, I was victimized. I have only ever told two people and it took me about 25 years to get there. I never told my parents and I never would. I could never hurt them or cause them that much pain or guilt. However, it has dawned on me recently that on some level I am mad at my parents for not knowing and in general mad at the world for me having to carry the load of this secret. It is funny, but I feel like I forgave the abuser long ago, but instead have secretly held my parents responsible. This is a complicated topic, but I need to let go of this burden, and the only person I can give it to is God. He can hold my hurt, pain, anger, sadness, disappointment, and loss. I am so tired of being colored by this and starting today I will not be! I know God can help me move on! Oh, so right before bed I had that epiphany- I cannot do it without God, and guess what- slept like a baby! Love you Lord! Praise you! I will not give up!!!!

  5. HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!! Praise be to God!!!!! I rejoice with you!!!!!

    Sweet Mercy!

    Thank you for sharing such a sensitive part of your heart. I admire your courage. While I am in tears over your hurt, I also have a great big smile across my face over your breakthrough.

    FREEDOM comes from this type of honesty!!!

    Thank you so much for being so vulnerable and transparent. I cannot imagine that any of this "digging" has been easy for you, but I appreciate your patience and perseverance. I think God does, too. ; )

    I hope you are enjoying the sweet taste of freedom that comes from being completely honest with yourself about past hurts and current burdens. It sure sounds like you are!

    Sometimes what we know in our head doesn't always translate to our heart. I just recently fully realized that I can know something in my head all day... but until I believe it in my heart... it's just a thought taking up space in my brain ; )

    Thank you so much for sharing! I am praying for you... that God will help you move on. I know He will!

    That night, I imagine that as you admitted in your heart... " I cannot do this without God"... He must have whispered a blessing over you....

    Proverbs 3:24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;

    when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

    You go on with your brave self!!!!

    Trade those sorrows in for the joy of the Lord!!!!!