It is Finished!

Incomplete. Again. Never quite finished, again.  The book started, the exercise program left by the wayside, the refinishing project not finished, the bachelor degree never earned,  course work  started to become a nutritionist stopped after 3 courses, the seven blog posts sitting in the draft tab can’t bring to a conclusion. Cursed by an inability to finish things.

Careers in restaurants, store management, multi-level marketing (Amway) left unfinished.  Work at pregnancy centers, homeschool co-ops, church positions; never stayed long. Oh and my children, I wish I could say I completed them and made them ready for the world, but no they too are incomplete at my hands as a mother. Can anyone relate? What have you left unfinished that follows you around like a curse and beats you down, whispers to you that you are worthless, unfit, undeserving?  Those whispers are lies.

Even though the facts might be true it is not the whole of a life.  The path traveled is not a straight line to the top of some imaginary ladder of success in which you will know that you’ve “arrived”.

To counter the lies I could give  a list of what I have accomplished. There are a few things. Is that the point? Put everything on a scale and hope the good done out weighs the good started but left undone? Is that the measure of a life?  or that the good done out weighs the bad done?  Oh, I have bad done …I have completed bad. Would rather not even put those on the scale.

No, God’s word informs my thinking. I can replace those lies, those whispers of worthlessness with truth. God is not weighing my actions, intentions, or what I’ve done or not done to determine my worth. On the cross Jesus finished the work of reconciliation and bridged the  chasm between me and God.  I no longer have to work to enter into God’s presence or to earn God’s favor or to complete God’s work  to live eternally with Him. He declared “It is finished!” He is the maker and completer of us. Paul was confident when he declared this to the Philippians:

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

He is the starter and the finisher and perfecter of our faith:

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-3

We may struggle against sin, we may struggle with  weaknesses but this does not define our worth or our status before God. We need not be afraid!

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.b 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

We may leave many things unfinished in this life.  But with Jesus our hope is not in this life! We will not be judged by how many things we finished. Love, Christs love covers and completes and compels us to love above all.

10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4

The creator of the universe lives in us!! Completing us and making us perfect in His time, but not in this lifetime! We need not worry, be condemned or fret. He has us in his hands!

I’m reading a book, You’re Loved no Matter What, Freeing Your Heart from the Need to Be Perfect by Holley Gerth with some ladies. This is what has me thinking about being complete, because I think all the things left undone and feel condemned by are a manifestation of perfectionism and the lies I’ve believed. How does perfectionism manifest itself in your life?

Yard Sale of the Mind

yard-sale

I love the minimalist philosophy of traveling lightly through this world. Less stuff, less debt, less house to take care of.  How freeing. Time to spend in relationships and more meaningful pursuits rather than taking care of all the stuff.

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”

I first heard this now often quoted phrase over at The Art of Simple and it’s a helpful guideline for the purge. The past few months and weeks have been a constant questioning of possessions: useful or beautiful,  avoid over-sentimentality.

This morning while walking the dog, my racing mind cluttered up with all that needs to be done, how I was feeling, the troubles of the world, the troubles of  friends. The wave of thoughts were sure to overwhelm.

I had to have a yard sale of the mind…it wasn’t  monetarily profitable, and I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to have those goods, but I did profit in a better way. Purging all the thoughts that distract and overwhelm and replacing them with beautiful, useful thoughts brought me close to God and His peace.

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4

Just as the minimilists promise peace through first simplifying your outer world God promises peace in our inner world through His Word. A peace that transcends understanding! I want that!

No matter if you de-clutter your home and life and stuff and relationships or not you can still draw close to God by thinking pure, lovely, admirable, God-rejoicing thoughts.

This doesn’t minimize the real often traumatic events of life, or the hardship everyone faces at some point in life. What it does though is turn our eyes to what is eternal rather than temporary.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

How do you de-clutter your mind?