I like counting in fours.
I have always have.
Every time I walk somewhere, I count my steps on fours. Seriaaasssly.
Maybe I shouldn’t be admitting this on a public blog – my little “blog box”. Uh, just how many followers do I have? LOL – but I like fours. I like the number four, I like counting in fours, and I like arranging my life in fours. As in four sides – you know, a little box. I have a little box for everything. My marriage and family boxes (two very distinct and separate boxes in my mind) are my two most important boxes. If those two boxes are functioning well and are happy, then all of my other little boxes are happy. Those two boxes have become the foundation of how I judge my life.
Marriage box – all good and happy? Check.
Family box – all good and happy? Check.
But, God has been talking to me about my boxes. This is another aspect or thought pattern I kinda knew I had, but not really because you see, I don’t allow any one box to intersect or connect with any other box in my life.
My work box is filled with issue to do with work, but I don’t really include my husband or daughter in my work box. I chat a very minimal amount of shop when I get home, and very rarely do I share about my home box at work. I keep the two separate.
And my family box doesn’t really have a bearing on my marriage box.
My extended family box doesn’t even feature in my marriage or family box at all.
Doesn’t all this sound just a little too weird?
As I was praying about these new revelations this morning, God spoke to me through two very distinct passages. In other words, I cannot doubt what God is telling me.
The most important was from Proverbs31.org about when you need a script to get somewhere in life.
After all, a script breeds confidence. When we follow a script, we know exactly what to say and do. We can play our part with poise and avoid the possibility of failure. A script reduces risk. When we can anticipate what’s coming next, we don’t have to worry about being caught off-guard or feeling unprepared. A script creates comfort. Once we master our lines, we don’t need to navigate unexpected plot twists or sudden scene changes. Reference here.
And you see – that is exactly what I do with boxes. If everything is all neat and tidy in their little boxes, then if one box falls apart – all the others remain unaffected. I know cognitively that it doesn’t work that way, but I really like to set my life up like that. In fact, I could rewrite this quote from Proverbs31.org like this:
After all, a box breeds confidence. It is sturdy, and strong, and keeps everything from getting messy. When we compartmentalise our lives into boxes, we know where everything is kept. It keeps everything organised. It helps us deal with life in a neat and orderly manner. We can handle whatever comes our way in a neat and orderly fashion provided we’re dealing with the right box. Life is never messy. It is always organised. And we don’t have to worry about the box with the messy business of life – because that box is piled right on top and can be dealt with whenever I am ready to deal with it.
Doesn’t that sound a little too convenient?
The second place that God spoke to me is through a delightful book from Linda Dillow called Calm my Anxious Heart, and in it Linda speaks about allowing God to paint His brushstrokes across the canvas of our lives. It is messy, it can be hard, but when we trust God and allow Him to work a masterpiece across our lives, there is no room for boxes. Here is what I am realising – God doesn’t work in boxes. If you stack a pile of boxes covering various aspects of your life, what are you left with? You’re left with a pile of boxes. However, when you allow God to create a masterpiece, there is no room for boxes, but plenty of room for the creation of a masterpiece. He works in you, in your heart and in your life to create a magnificent masterpiece –
If only we will trust Him enough to let Him.
I cannot keep my marriage box separate from my work box – what happens in my marriage and who I am will affect my performance at work. What happens at work, if I have a really bad day, will impact my marriage. And so it is with all the other boxes in my life.
I think what God is doing is helping me to unpack all these boxes and helping me to start viewing my life as an integrated, blessed and beautiful existence.
I am very much aware that often we will not see all the blessings we desire in this life, God works on the heart and the attitude of the heart that we truly reflect Jesus to the world. Without a box in sight…
MY WORD FOR THE YEAR – 2016 / Intimacy – Time / Intimacy – Climbing a Wall / Intimacy – that one move! / Intimacy – Talking / Intimacy – Saying Sorry! / Intimacy – that one word / Intimacy – touch / Intimacy – those awkward moments / Intimacy – a sacrament… / Intimacy – Resting / Intimacy – Seven Red Flags / Intimacy – being separate / Intimacy – Never Giving Up / Intimacy – Honour / Intimacy – God / Intimacy – A new day… / Intimacy – Being True / Intimacy – Changing You / Intimacy – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Intimacy – Letting go of Fear / Intimacy – Rest / Intimacy – Knowing / Intimacy – A Gift / Intimacy – healing / Intimacy – Cleaving / Intimacy – Love Casts out Fear / Intimacy – Feelings / Intimacy – Attitude / Intimacy – Acceptance