Tuesday, May 29, 2012

creature of change

you know how some people are creatures of habit?  they like to have a set schedule that they follow everyday.  they find the most efficient way to do something and then continue to do it that exact way EVERY time.  they order the same thing at restaurants.  they put their keys in the same place when they walk in the door.  they find something they love doing and then do it forever.

i am not a creature of habit.  
never have been.  never will be.

all of my days look different {i hope this isn't completely scarring my children for life}.  
i never run the same route in my neighborhood {thankfully it's big and has a golf course so there are lots of options}.  
i rarely cook the same meal twice {i know this is ridiculous and creates way more work for me but i can't stop trying new things...and pinterest is not helping matters}.
i don't ever buy movies because i would rather watch something i've never seen before {clearly my children are not of this mindset since 'how to train your dragon' has been viewed 50 times in our house}.
i have at least a dozen projects going on in my house right now {i'm so good at starting things...it's the finishing that gets me}.
and finally...to completely prove my point...
i never know where my keys are.

there is so much value to being a creature of habit.  thankfully for our family - my husband has some of that in him {just watch him the next time he pops his trunk to load or unload at the golf course...everything has it's place and it's set order for putting it there...even down to the perfectly bunny-ear tied golf shoes...and he always knows where his keys are}.  it's endearing...really.

but...i, on the other hand, really get excited about anything 'new' and 'different'.  i have a list a mile long of skills i'd like to learn, places i'd like to go, people i'd like to meet, and recipes i'd like to try.  i think it has to do with creativity and being able to step outside of the box.  but i also have to be careful that it does NOT have something to do with running away.

here's what i mean...
there was once a time in my life that whenever i felt like i had royally messed something up i would feel the need to leave it behind as fast as i could and start all over again.  i applied this to small things {like a painting project gone wrong} and big things {like my marriage}.  if i didn't return a friend's call within a couple of months i cut ties...figured i had failed as a friend and they probably didn't want to have anything to do with me anyway...it would be easier to move forward than to look back and try to fix something that seemed damaged.  i could not give myself permission to mess something up and then try to go back and make it right.  my garage {and sadly, my life} are full of half-finished projects that i abandoned when i faced my own failure in creating something good...something worth keeping.  

as i type those words i shudder...
half-finished projects abandoned
failure to create something good out of something damaged
what if my God took this posture with me?  what if he looked at the life he created in me and saw all the broken places and rather than walk through the grueling and tedious process of picking up the pieces and putting them back together he just left me behind?  i shudder.
during that time in my life i was really just a prideful coward.  i am so thankful my God is not.  he is a God of order {like my husband} but he is also a God of redemption and of grace...and going into those places gets messy.  my God is not afraid to get messy.  the work he has done in my life is proof of that.  and he has taught me that my love of change and 'new things' can be applied in the messy places of life...that's where he's led me...to take my gifts and use them in the dark and dirty trenches that people find themselves in every day.  

for a while i thought that my constant desire for new things was dysfunctional and weird.  i've learned that i am partly dysfunctional and weird but being a 'creature of change' is not entirely a bad thing.  {as long as i can avoid the running away part.}   

twelve years ago when i asked jesus to take my life and make it about Him, and not me, he gave me the very first of many verses that he has so lovingly crafted for specific seasons of my life {have you noticed him doing that for you too...giving you the words you need...when you need them?}

at that time in my life i needed to know that he had made me new.  i wasn't the one that was bringing newness into my life by starting another project or walking away from something gone wrong.  he brought the new.  and he brought it right in the middle of the mess.  he taught me that projects {and people} don't have to be abandoned when they don't turn out perfectly.  newness can come right in the midst of dirty, ugly, and broken.  and when newness comes at a time like that the end result is so much more beautiful than anything we could have ever created on our own.

and you know what's so incredibly cool?  i read in the bible that our spirits are being renewed every day.  and our God is so faithful that his mercies are new every morning.  and perhaps one of my favorite promises of all {recorded by the prophet isaiah}...

our God is a God who embraces change...he is the God of 'new' and i'm so thankful he created me to share that trait with him.  his ever-flowing rivers wash over this dry heart of mine and make it new...every day.

sorry about the long post...can you tell that i have been itching to do some 'real' writing lately?

how about you - creature of change or creature of habit?  and how are you making that work for you?