2205 Ventricle Drive
Your address is important. Anyone is real estate will tell you, it is all about location, location, location!
When I was growing up, I lived it two homes. First was the childhood home of my Mom and Dad before they got divorced. I loved this address for one reason; it rhymed. If you don’t know this about me already, I am very easily amused. From birth to age nine, I lived at 1105 Atlanta Drive. And with a good south’un accent, it sounds even more fun! (Try it, you’ll see!) Then, I lived with my Mom and Step-dad at 3510 Shelley Lane. Or maybe it was 3510 Shelly Lane. That subtle spelling difference depended on which side of the street you entered. On one side, the sign was spelled with “ey” and on the other side, it was spelled with just a “y”. I always thought that was a bit peculiar, but not significant.
That is, until my brother got married… to Shelly. Not Shelley. I messed that up quite a few times, until my clever brother came up with a way to help me remember. “Just think of Old McDonald…but instead of E-I-E-I-O, you can remember Shelly by singing E-Y-E-Y, NO!” Ten years later, I still sing that little song every single time I write her name.
But, I digress. Shocker.
Ryan and I now live in what we consider our ‘forever home’. God-willing, we will live here for decades and have our grandkids visit us here. Now, the only drama with our address is the zip code. I mean, seriously…the city of Keller is retarded about this. We pay Keller taxes, have Keller City water and trash, are in Keller schools, all of it. We live in Keller. Yet, they told us when we moved here that our address is Roanoke, Texas.
I called the Keller post office and the Roanoke post office to figure out this dispute. Basically, they told me that the Roanoke post office ‘helps out’ the larger city of Keller by picking up these few streets for them. Gee, thanks Roanoke. This issue has caused shopping online nightmares. And, in the spirit of full disclosure, I am totally over it. I am tired of having to clarify this for Blue Cross Blue Shield. I am tired of having to explain it to friends. I am tired of the confusion it causes in my otherwise healthy relationship with Amazon.com. I. Am. Over. It.
Unfortunately, my best friend, Shelley (yes, for her, I sing E-Y-E-Y, YES!) bought us a very cute stampy thingy with our address on it for a housewarming gift. I love it! The ‘chuk-chuk’ noise it makes when I stamp it makes me happy. I love the circular shape and the monogram letters. Remember, I’m easily confused amused. Another thing you may not know about me is that I am the most frugal person you know. Unless you know my husband, too. Then, I’m a distant second. Therefore, I can’t bring myself to get a new one and throw this one away. Having drama about my address is not enough reason for me to waste this perfectly cute and functional stampy thingy to get a new one.
And, then there’s the fact that I’d have to call pretty much everyone and make the change – kid’s schools, church, Ryan’s work, my 134 doctors, and of course my BFF, Blue Cross Blue Shield. I guess I am not over it completely after all. I know where I live. I know I’m Keller proud. I know where my home is, so the fact that confusion swirls around everyone else, is just going to have to be Ok.
The same goes for Jesus.
His desire is to live within you. Our common “Christian-ese” says phrases like ‘ask Jesus in your heart’ and ‘Do you have Jesus in your heart?’. I’m not exactly sure where this ideal came from. Some people guess it was from the great old hymn by Alfred Ackley written in 1933. “He Lives” ends the refrain with “You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart.” I don’t think Ackley originated the idea, he probably was only reflecting what was already being said around him.
I prefer to believe that this ‘phrasing’ came about based on Scripture. Ephesians 3:14-18 says “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
And John 14:23 “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”
One commentary by David Guzik put it this way “Two ancient Greek words convey the idea “to live in.” One has the idea of living in a place as a stranger, and the other has the idea of settling down in a place to make it your permanent home. Dwell (from Eph. 3) uses the ancient Greek word for a permanent home. Jesus wants to settle down in your heart, not just visit as a stranger.”
Jesus wants our heart to be where He, the Master resident, makes His permanent home.
That’s the good news.
The bad news? My heart is a wreck! No seriously, the kind of mess that makes you rush straight from normalcy to sheer panic at the sound of the doorbell. You know what I’m talking about. You hear someone is going to “drop by real quick” so you throw the kids and the toys in the other room, vacuum the areas they might see, wipe down the bathroom they might use and spray Febreeze to cover up the lingering smell of funk. And that’s just for someone you don’t even like that much. This is Jesus. And friend, get this…Jesus ain’t ringing my doorbell. He already lives here. There is no hiding this mess. Dangit.
My anal and uberly methodical sweet hubby is a neat freak. Maybe I should say was a neat freak. Then, he married me. Poor guy. And then we had three babies in four and a half years, and as it turns out, “we” have “them” out-numbered. “Neat and methodical ” = two Holzbergers Vs. “Where are my shoes?” = three Holzbergers. Sorry, baby.
But, I can’t blame the disorderly state of my heart on Ryan. Well, I guess I have tried numerous times could try. But, he and I both know it isn’t his fault. It’s all me.
In the last two weeks alone (brace yourself) I have:
Cried three times in utter despair at my sin and my seemingly impossible ability to be well again.
Argued with my husband a few times more than normal.
Dug my heels in the ground to ensure I was right.
Yelled at my kids twice.
Debated in my head whether I really wanted to follow God’s will or if I just wanted to be healthy and ‘back to normal’ again.
I can’t believe anyone is still reading.
Envied numerous people who seem to not have it nearly as ‘bad’ as we do.
To say that my heart has been a mess, is a gross understatement.
And all this, at Christmastime, too, nonetheless. Sheesh. I should be shot.
The repentance I have done these last few days (yes, it took days) could very well have worn holes in the knees of my jeans let’s be honest, pajama pants had I been able to kneel for very long.
That’s the thing, friend…I can’t clean this stinkin’ house up. And not just because I’m not built that way. But, because I don’t have the right cleaning supplies. Only God does. The thing is, I have to submit (so not good at this) and allow Him to get to work. I have to give in to something heavenly. (Great song by Sanctus Real) I have to open the door to every dark closet and let Him in. He knows the junk is in there. I ain’t hiding anything. But, He wants me to admit that it’s in there.
All of this spring-cleaning-in-December has caused me to recall one of my favorite songs, ever. It isn’t a new one, but it’s a great one. It’s by Shaun Groves, called “Welcome Home” and it so perfectly describes my thoughts these last few days. In fact, I love it so much, I am asking you to PLEASE click below and listen to it on youtube and while you do, friend, please read the lyrics below.
(Disclaimer: The first three minutes of the youtube video are him talking, so you could skip that part, but it totally made me laugh!! So maybe it will make you laugh too! Like me, Shaun Groves has been given the spiritual gift of sarcasm :))
Take, me, make me
All You want me to be
That’s all I’m asking, all I’m asking
Welcome to this heart of mine
I’ve buried under prideful vines
Grown to hide the mess I’ve made
Inside of me
Come decorate, Lord
Open up the creaking door
And walk upon the dusty floor
Scrape away the guilty stains
Until no sin or shame remain
Spread Your love upon the walls
And occupy the empty halls
Until the man I am has faded
No more doors are barricaded
Come inside this heart of mine
It’s not my own
Make it home
Come and take this heart and make it
All Your own
Take a seat, pull up a chair
Forgive me for the disrepair
And the souvenirs from floor to ceiling
Gathered on my search for meaning
Every closet’s filled with clutter
Messes yet to be discovered
I’m overwhelmed, I understand
I can’t make this place all that You can
I took the space that You placed in me
Redecorated in shades of greed
And I made sure every door stayed locked
Every window blocked, and still You knocked
Take me, make me
All You want me to be
That’s all I’m asking, all I’m asking
Prideful vines? Check.
Guilty stains? Check.
Souvenirs from floor to ceiling gathered on my search for meaning? Um, check times a thousand.
Redecorated with shades of greed? Don’t get me started.
Friend, I don’t know what your address is. I don’t know if you rent a broken down apartment, or have the fanciest home in the most elite gated community. But, I do know that it doesn’t matter at all. I guarantee you that Jesus cares more about His address than yours.
How is your heart?
I’ve told you how mine has been lately. Whether you want to remain my friend or not after that, is up to you. But, I feel like God is wanting me to be so open and honest about this because He is sick and tired of us stinkin’ people caring FAR more about our earthly home than His.
I’ve seen what kind of mess can come with just a few weeks of mediocre quiet times and warped priorities. It don’t me long, friend. So, can I encourage you to do what I have NOT been doing these last couple weeks? Spend good, quality time reading and soaking up His Bible. Spend good, quality time praying and sharing your heart, His home, with Him. Serve others. Walk humbly. Let Him lead.
And your own heart’s address, whether it’s like mine, on Ventricle Drive, or somewhere like that, Vascular Court, or even Artery Way…doesn’t matter. It’s all the same. It is your heart. And if you have accepted Jesus as your own personal Savior, then it is His home. And, if you are anything like me, it needs far more than just a Spring cleaning. It needs a 10:15am cleaning, and then a 10:45 cleaning, and so forth! It’s His home, friend.
Clean. That. Thing. Up.
In Jesus’ Name.
All God’s children said…