rubbish

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.”

Philippians 3:7

I have adoration for pretty things. I suppose all of us do. But when I became a wife, I was awakened to a new world of beauty as I began to create a home for Dustin and me. I fell in love with furniture, drapery, candles, vessels, and various pieces that would make our small little apartment in San Diego feel like home. As newlyweds at the fresh age of 22, I had an incredible desire to paint the blank canvas of our home beautifully, but lacked the resources and experience. Struggling inwardly with these hurdles, I laid them before the Lord and will never forget the verse He gave me from Isaiah 54:2: “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.” He was speaking to my heart and giving me freedom to invest a little money and time into making our house a home. So I began decorating, cooking, creating, and often falling short but trying again to hone my skills as a homemaker. God was stirring up a tiny calling in my heart. Fast-forward to over 10 years later and I still have these same desires-maybe even stronger now. Still trying and failing, although a little less than I was all those years ago, I pursue my little dream to make our house a home for Dustin and our three little darlings.

This is one of the reasons I had the urge to start a vlog. But as I pursued it, filming segments of me in the kitchen or doing projects around my house, I began to wonder if this is really what makes a house a home. I also considered we live in a world of perfectionism and if we aren’t careful we can begin to think social media and Pinterest are real life.  They are NOT.  They are highlight reels.  At the same time, I love to see how light colors can really lift a mood in a room, how changing out furniture to create a better flow of space really helps to clear our minds, or how a healthy home cooked meal really does provide nourishment to my family.  All of this is incredibly rewarding and not to mention easier than we think to accomplish! I’ve also been a mom for almost eight years now and have learned some tricks in raising girls that I thought could spare others the tough lessons I have had to learn along the way (by all means I have not arrived…it is always a process). So what in the world is God calling me to? I prayed and contemplated this for a very. long. time. Then one morning He gave me the following verse:

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord…I count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:7,8b

The above verse is from the book of Philippians, written by Paul, an apostle or follower of Christ. Paul wasn’t always a follower of Christ. He was extremely gifted mentally and even walked uprightly as well. He was a Jew, and not just any Jew but a Pharisee, one of the most academic Jews of all. He was righteous, strictly followed the law and was successful in all his pursuits. But concerning these gifts God had given to him, he counted them a loss and rubbish in comparison to when he came to know Christ (see Philippians 3:8)!

Like Paul, you and I were created with different gifts, talents and desires. God’s will for us is that we would seek Him and use our unique gifts to bring glory and honor to His name. But first we must die to those gifts as Paul did to his. We must consider them a “loss” or “rubbish” compared to knowing Christ. Creating a home for my family is SO secondary to knowing Jesus. I would even take it a step further to say that if I don’t consider it rubbish, my pursuit of Christ is at stake.

What are your gifts and desires? Maybe you have a dream of a business you always wanted to pursue, or maybe it’s a dream of having children, or maybe you cannot even clearly see the gifts God has given you to use for His glory (ask Him to show you if you are unsure). My encouragement to you today would be to lay those dreams, desires, and gifts down. In a simple prayer, turn your heart to God and tell Him they are nothing in comparison to knowing Him. Ask Him to take them and use them for His purposes, and lay down your idea of what those purposes might be. Join me in dying to our dreams today in order to purse knowing God more. Because it’s in laying those things down that He is able to do the work through your willing heart. It is in dying that we live, in letting go we find freedom.

Be free. xo

Lauren

For further study and reading, meditate on Philippians 3.

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