caroline holzberger

Keepin' it real about motherhood, Jesus, life, and everything in between.

Replace the Space

We are in the middle of will forever be known as The Great Purge of 2014. Lord, help me. The toy room is done my kids have too. much. crap. Their bedrooms are done. Kitchen cabinets, done. Pantry, done. But, there’s still the garage, the attic, the shed. It’s all gotta go. Nothing is safe.

Oh, and we have our bedroom too. Ok, technically we have my side of our bedroom.

You see, my darling hubs and I have some things in common. We love God. We love each other. We’re crazy about our kids.  We like sports. We love the outdoors. Our core truths are lined up, our parenting styles are very similar – and most importantly, we both could eat Mexican food four times a week. Yep, I think that pretty much covers it.

Other than that, ladies and gents – we are completely opposite. Like black and white, or night and day – it’s Ryan and me. We read the Five Love Languages book early in our marriage. It is a great book! I loved how you rank your love styles in order from #1- #5. So, there we sat, giggly and in love meaning young and stupid…and I kid you not – in the order – my #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 were his exact #5, #4, #3, #2, #1. Awesome.

My step-dad does this type of stuff for a living, and used us a guinea pigs recently. He gave us a personality test that breaks your personality make-up into one or two of the four main groups. Either social, methodical, controlling, or melancholy. Most people have two dominant groups, the first being about 35% and the second being about 25%.

Not us.

No way, man, it’s go big or go home in the Holzberger house. Anything worth doin’ is worth over doin’ is my personal mantra. The results didn’t shock us. I tested as 55% social duh. and 5% methodical. My college roommate is nodding in agreement on that last one. And my dear love-bug tested 55% methodical and, you guessed it, 5% social.

It was somewhat encouraging though, that when he combined our two results and averaged them together, we, as a unit, were almost perfectly split 25% in each area. (See, honey, there’s potential, here. Hug, hug. Kiss, kiss.)

There is one major area we have the most ‘spirited debates’ over – and that, my friend, in our house is considered the seven letter curse word.

C-L-U-T-T-E-R. Also known as my middle name, until my mom changed it to Amanda. Thanks, Mom.

Ryan hates clutter. I can create it in my sleep.

It gives Ryan genuine anxiety. I can look past it for days months at a time.

If Ryan picks up, and leaves space on shelves, desktops, counters – I fill the space. And I’ve even been known to do it within the hour. God bless that man.

Clearly, this is not my most desirable trait, (Hey, I’m fun at parties!) and it has truly been something that’s caused much stress in our marriage. He leaves space. I replace the space with stuff. In all fairness, it is my children’s fault. If they didn’t come home from school with seventy-three pieces of paper every flippin’  day and if they didn’t own 8.4 billion Legos, it wouldn’t even be an issue. See, honey, I say we kick them out. Not me. 🙂

So, in an effort to keep the peace, and learn to be a more organized grown up girl, I have made a conscious effort to not replace the space, but leave the space. Just let it be, man.

Except here.

photo 3

This, my friend, is My Own Little Concordance of Truth.

Really, it’s a journal a dear friend gave me in one of my many hospital visits. She knew I loved to write, but she also knew I couldn’t sit upright and type on a computer there in the hospital. So, she bought me the journal so I could still write. I have the best friends, ever.

But, during that time of my life, while uncertainty, fear and doubt consumed my world, I didn’t have it in me to write. All I could do was lie there in that all too familiar hospital bed and pray. I would read prayerful texts from my precious friends. Facebook posts of encouragement. And, friend, God used all of that to sustain me. I would ravishingly search His Word for promises I could cling to as my only life line.

So, I began to organize these verses into my own little concordance. (For my accurate and precise friends weirdos – I will say, it is more like a Topical Index than it is a concordance…but My Own Little Topical Index of Truth didn’t flow off of the tongue very well. 🙂

But, during that season, please note the first two categories I chose to seek Truth on.

photo(9)During that season of my life, fear and worry, along with healing, were the areas I so desperately needed Truth on. I needed to build a strong foundation if I was ever going to survive this madness.

So, I folded down the corner of page one and titled that section Fear/Worry. Then, I’ll never forget, I sat there (or really, lied there) and wondered how much space I would need for those verses. I looked ahead at the then-empty journal, and knew this section would need to be a big one.

Twenty-eight pages.

Front and back, I had the space on fifty-six pages to fill with His Truth.

I still wondered if this was enough.

photo 1

Fast forward a few months and I’d found a way to fill most of the journal.

Faith in God, Faithfulness of God, Peace, Love, Obedience, The Holy Spirit, Humility/Pride, Patience…

I would hear a verse in a sermon, or read it as encouragement from a friend, and immediately I would find a place for it in my journal. I realized I needed more and more Truth in all of these areas. Each of them requiring their own amount of space in my life. And this time, I wanted to replace the space. I needed to replace the space – with His Truth.

Fast forward a couple more years and I had run out of room. What!?! How can I not have any more room for more sub-categories!? How is this possible?

The next section I felt led to start was  Promises of God. How can I not have room for Promises of God? That ain’t right.

Wait a minute…that first section, the one on Fear and Worry. It’s awfully big. Much bigger than any of the rest. And while, yes, I have filled the first five or six pages with dozens of verses to remind me not to fear, and not to worry…I wondered…

Maybe I could fill the space I’d left for fear and worry with something else? Maybe I could fill that space with Promises From God.

That’s when it hit me.

God’s loving 2×4 to my head.

Of course, my child. That is exactly what I want you to do. Take the space in your life that you have left for fear and worry and replace it with Promises from Me.

Thank you, Lord.

Thank you that you can turn my ability to fill any and every space, and turn it into one of my life’s greatest blessings.

I kicked satan in the teeth that day. And, I loved it.

photo 2

I split that Fear and Worry section in less than half and folded me down another corner – a fresh start – Promises from My God. (Quickly followed by a section on knowing my enemy!)

Precious friend, I have watsed so. many. years. of my life living in fear. I have clinched so hard, with white knuckles, to hold everything in my world so tightly, all at the same time, hoping I could control it all. Needing to control it all.

And, it almost killed me.

Oh, how I pray you don’t do the same.

You cannot control life. You cannot really control much of anything. The weather. Your children. The ecomony. Your spouse’s fidelity. Your health.

None of it.

You, my dear, are not in control.

But, don’t let this be cause for fear.

God is in control. And He loves you. He made you. He is for you. He knows you better than you know yourself. And He wants for you what you would want for you, if you knew what He knows.

Don’t let fear and worry clutter up your thoughts, your decisions, your life.

Replace the space with Promises From God.

You will be blessed by it.

I know I was.

And, this time, my husband was blessed too.

The office desk, notsomuch.


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One thought on “Replace the Space

  1. Claudia on said:

    So today I have been purging and cleaning Davids’ room, kids are staying at my parents, and I have been convicted in my own way. Girl, there was so much hidden dust/dirt and suddenly I thought “what kind of mom am I ? How have I missed all this? Are there areas in my walk not pleasing to the Lord affecting his little heart and soul like dust affecting his lungs?” While I am glad that he still loves his little boy books, toys, and movies it only takes a few instances of taking my eyes off the Lord for a mess to occur. Sigh… I just thank the Holy Spirit for speaking to me, warning me, and leading me to prayer. I want nothing more than the fruits of the spirit to ‘sit on his shelves’ and the promises of God to pierce his soul…
    See your blogging is a blessing to us!

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