The Empty Box

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I got this prayer box necklace from my aunt years ago and recently it got me to thinking.

Looking at the empty box, I could have worn this as just a pretty necklace over the years, or I could take my prayer and place it in the box, close to the heart. I chose to write my favorite scripture and put it in the box and whenever the necklace moved or I saw it in a reflection I would meditate and believe that word was qualified in my own life.  The empty box did not remain empty.

I use this, as an illustration, to show how we may take the time for our empty box during our downtime. We have spent all day, pouring out our energy and when we stop we are depleted. When we take the time to recharge,  we make choices. Those choices are to leave that box empty, fill it with distraction, or fill it with life.

For a season I found myself filling the empty box with distraction. Such as binge-watching Netflix or spending hours on my social media accounts when I wanted to just ‘chill’. Not before too long it became habitual and without any thought, I pick up my phone first thing in the morning and throughout the day, all day, and mindlessly scroll.
Then there is the other box in the room that grabs my time. As soon as I sit on my couch I would reach for my remote and scroll for an hour looking for something to watch.
Then one day it hit me, did I really just waste an hour (or hours)  scrolling nothingness?

There is a danger for me personally to use ‘nothing’ or distraction during down time. Before too long it becomes same old’ same old’ and if not careful I slip into the melancholy of nothingness and the empty box turns into a life of meh.

Think of your own life, are you working and going home and doing nothing? Is the place that you want to be in 5 years? I ask this because if you are filling your free time with nothingness or distractions, then in 5 years time, you will accomplish only keeping your box empty.

I know this may be an extreme thought, but for me it became extreme. I was created to write, paint, minister and to be present, yet I filled up a season of my life with nothingness and wondered why I was not getting anywhere. It all turned so quickly and without notice went from a few minutes of decompressing daily, into a lifestyle.

I am being exposed here. Not because it is fun to admit it, but because I know I am not alone and my hope is that others will see before the melancholy or time thief sets in. The thief of your time can also be a thief of your joy.

So what can you fill the empty box with?

I am determined to fill my life with things from the Lord through prayer, worship of all forms and pursuit of my future that He has planned for me. I want my empty box to become filled with life. So that I may pour it out onto others and not be running on a nothingness.  So that I may remain young and strong.

Psalm 103:5- He fills my life with good things so that I stay young and strong like an eagle.  

The smudge on the mirror

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Last night I had a dream of a perfectly shined mirror, with a smudge of dirt across  a portion of it. I woke up and immediately thought about how that smudge can ruin the perfect shine, it does not matter how clean the rest of the mirror was, with a mark across it the mirror was messy. On more prayer and reflection God pointed out that I can not fully see my self as He sees me, when I have a smudge blocking my vision.

The smudges can come in all kind of forms. Lies that others have told us, sling some mud on the mirror. Disobedience or sin in our life, sling some more mud up there. Keeping shame and worthlessness on our shoulders, yep more mud.

Instead of cleaning the filth off the mirror, we may try to see through it, or maneuver around it. Our vision is blocked. God knows how He sees our worth. He knows how He sees our gifting and abilities. He can even see where we will go when we have our clear vision and take the steps before us.

The enemy wants nothing more than to keep our vision blocked, but God says, “it is time to clean up those areas and wipe the mirror clean.  See yourself as I see you, as I have created you. I am HE and I KNOW what you are and what your  worth. Take of the mud that has been slung before you, that either you or others have placed in front of you. I give you all you need to see clearly, it is time to wipe it all away!”

A scripture that sits on my heart as I ask, Lord how do I clean this mirror???

Psalm 139: 23-24  Search me O God and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties; and see if there are any wicked ways in me and lead me in the way everlasting.

Be encouraged brothers and sisters. He has so much for you to see in yourselves that you have yet to discover! I am so excited to see what He has for me to behold.

Psalm 51:10- Create in me a clean heart o God and renew a steadfast Spirit within me.

The Spirit reminds me as I cry out;

Psalm 139: 13-14 For you formed my inward parts, you covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well.

Be encouraged brothers and sisters. He has so much for you to see in yourselves that you have yet to discover! I am so excited to see what He has for me to behold.