Straight from a Restored Heart
By Lisa Elliott
Since the New Year I’ve been on a restoration project. Wait, let me RE-state that. I’ve been on a RESTORE-ation project. Beginning with, nothing less than, my storage room!
What started as a RE-storage room project has turned into an entire house RE-storage project! I’ve been mercilessly going through closets, cupboards, cabinets, drawers, clothes, linens, kitchen items, toys, pictures, decorations, recipe books, and any kind of books. I’ve filled boxes, bins, and bags full of things to RE-duce, RE-use, or RE-cycle—in someone else’s possession. As a RE-sult, I have ended up with more empty storage containers than full ones!
A part of my RESTORE-ation projection is to prayerfully go through and RE-read all of my prayer journals. My initial thinking was that my children and my grandchildren and maybe even my great-grandchildren (when that time comes) would appreciate reading my personal record of the thread of God’s faithfulness in my life. But do they need to read all 54 of them?
You see, my RE-storage isn’t simply a matter of RE-moving all my storage to RE-place it with more. Rather, it’s to cREate space, or in some cases RE-create space if you will, to RE-claim it. And I’m recognizing that that space doesn’t simply appear! Rather, in order to create it, it has to be…well, created. Space that, over time, has been crowded by unnecessaries, or corroded by unwelcomes, or invaded by unwanteds, or simply stored for unreasonable reasons!
I’ve been asking myself questions such as:
- What am I storing?
- If I’m not using it do I need to store it?
- How am I storing it?
- If I can’t see it, do I need it?
- Do I really need it? Or do I just think that I need it?
- When will I need it again?
- If the time comes that I need it again, could I buy or better yet, borrow another one?
- And of those things that I need, do I need so many of them?
It occurred to me while I’ve been RE-storing my living space that it’s not just a storage room issue. My entire house is a storage bin! Moreover, it’s not just my living space it’s my emotional space, my mental space, my social space, my activity space and even my bodily space that can accumulate too much stuff.
Funny enough, even as I was computing this, my computer crashed due to—you’ll never guess—storage space issues! No joke! When it came back to life, it asked me if I wanted to RESTORE my pages (hahaha)—which made me take another look at what I actually wanted to RE-store. And I was RE-minded that what I really need is to clear and create space for even my computer in order to properly store the essentials.
For years I’ve sensed the Lord’s beckoning me to a “spacious place” (Psalm 18:19a). And I believe that with all this freed up space I’m finally beginning to have a glimpse of what it looks like. Its creative space, breathing space, freed up space where obligation turns into opportunity and pressure turns into pleasure and privilege. Where “I have to” turns into “I get to.” He wants to REstore my soul (Psalm 23:3). He wants to REstore the joy of my salvation (Ps. 51:12). He wants to REstore my relationships and ultimately my life (Ps. 71:20). For no other reason than because He delights in me (Ps. 18:19b) and desires that I have room in my life to delight myself in Him!
What’s the condition of your storage room? Perhaps you’re storing up non-essentials like worry or fear. Maybe you’re hoarding unresolved conflicts or harbouring resentment. What would it look like to clear the space of your heart and mind by ridding yourself of guilt or shame?
Consider embarking on a RESTORE-ation project!
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
About this Contributor:
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple and Dancing in the Rain. Additionally, she has written articles for Just Between Us Magazine and devotionals for theStory. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (3 on earth, 1 in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
To book Lisa for a weekend retreat or day conference contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org