Happy Monday!! If you joined us last week on our Facebook Group page (Interior Inspirations) you saw every day a fresh post getting us ready for a new series that I am SO EXCITED about!! “7 Habits of a Happy Household” – And below were the post images that I intentionally used to help us in thinking toward these habits … see if you can decipher what the hidden habit is in each photo??
I hope you share with a friend this upcoming series – You can simply give them the link to this blog and they can easily follow us here, or click to join the Facebook Group page. The series will start in only 2 days – on June 1st, and to get everything out of this series, you will need to have prepared in the ways I’ve listed below:
- Tell a friend – invite them (Rip and I have a great giveaway for the one person who Facebook “shares” the most this one blog post!!)
- Gather up 3X5 or 4X6 index cards – they can be plain white or colored..whatever is your preference.
- Purchase a journal or 3-ring binder – label it “7 Habits of a Happy Household” – you can either write out everything you will be discovering and doing, OR you can print off & punch into a 3-ring binder. You will be receiving plenty of opportunities to gather up some really great resources and PDFs.
- A big o’ mason jar – You can find one of these at any local Goodwill, thrift store, or buy a box of them at Walmart…because some of you (being the gigantic-hearted givers that you are!), will want to give some away when you see the purpose of the jar!
I can’t think of a better way to launch into this series than to share with you this little story …
She sat in church with her legs crossed while everyone around her was standing, singing, and worshipping God. Yet, she sat. Alone. With her little bible in her lap, glasses pushed back on her nose, and her pointy finger squirming its way down into a M&M bag, she sat … crying. Softly, there were tears running down her cheeks as she kept the softest expression on her face while popping in one M&M after another.
I didn’t notice her on my own. It took a friend standing behind me who tapped me on the shoulder and as I turned around and leaned in to her, she whispered into my ear, “Lisa, I have to leave early, but there is a woman beside Rip who is crying. She’s been crying for a while and I thought maybe you could check on her after church?” And of course … as soon as I caught a glimpse of this older woman, seeing her face wet with tears, I knew then …
God is at work here and He is inviting me to join Him.
As soon as church was over, I told Rip, “I need to go see that woman who is walking away by herself.” As I caught up with her, I gently took her by the elbow and as she turned to see my face, I said, “Ma’am, my name is Lisa Rippy. And I just noticed you crying during church. May I pray with you?” With tears beginning to well up in her eyes, she said,
“How may I pray? What is causing the tears?”
“I lost my husband of 35 years last year and I’m grieving.”
The moment she said that to me …. tears. Of my own. Tears now filled my eyes and ran down my cheeks with her because, I can’t imagine. I just can’t imagine my own life without Rip and her loss literally arrested my heart. God allowed me to feel her pain. He allowed me to hurt with her, at least to a point. And as I tried to be strong and fight back from crying too much, I lowered my head as she lowered hers and I prayed. Prayed for the compassion of God to embrace this woman’s heart, her mind and her feelings in the most personal and intimate of ways. For God to heal her. To remind her of and enable her to carry on in the good mission He has for her life, now. To help her remain steadfast in the call of her own life. To help her press forward in anticipated joy of the day of celebration when she will see her blessed husband again with Jesus. I prayed like I’ve never prayed before and then, we both lifted our heads and did what women do – we hugged. We sat there and embraced each other, swaying back and forth, having just met 5 minutes prior – but we hugged just like sisters in Christ do.
As we continued to sit there on the side step of our worship center, we talked and got to know one another a little more. We shared about our family life, where we worked and what we do during the week. (I loved watching her eyes smile when she talked about all the love and support she was receiving from dear friends among our church. FYI ~ Y’all, we NEED to be gathering regularly in God’s local church …. it’s going to be paramount, absolutely critical that we do, all the more as we see the Day approaching.)
I then told her that I noticed her enjoying her M&M’s and she said, “Oh you know, it keeps me distracted.” She didn’t mean distracted from worship … oh, no! Not at all. She was probably among some of those who were truly worshipping in spirit and in truth. She meant distraction from the pain, the heartache … from just going there in full tear mode.
But as we chatted, come to find out, she needs my physical help, too. She has sorting, purging, de-cluttering and simplifying that needs to be done and doesn’t want to do it alone. As we talked about all the things she wants to do as part of the grieving and moving on process, we saw clearly how God was at work and bringing us together in the healing of her heart.
Which brings me to this …
7 Habits of a Happy Household is a series like no other I’ve ever shared with you all…and one I’ve never felt more passionate about! It wasn’t a difficult series to title because of this one verse:
“O Lord, I am your servant; yes, I am your servant, born into your household; you have freed me from my chains,” Psalm 116:16. NLT
When we are born into the household of our Lord God, we are born into habits that are divine! Of Deity origin! Born into habits that are holy, and not just conducts that are habitual. No, these conducts are created at the moment of our regeneration! Created within the first breath of our redemption! Habits that are so holy that Satan wants to make sure we stay oblivious to, distracted from, alienated towards, and completely naive about. Habits that WILL impact our lives and the lives of people around us. That is why the enemy of Christ, the enemy of our life, will go to great lengths to make sure these habits do not define or purpose our days.
BUT HALLELUJAH!! – “Greater is He who lives in me than he who is in the world!” (1 John 4:4)
That one verse means, we can not only learn these habits, but we can leverage them!!! Use them to maximum advantage for the Kingdom of God and for the good of others!
I don’t want to get too theological here, but get ready! Get ready! Get ready! We are going to not only have so much fun in this series, we are going to GROW!! Grow in heavenly habits!
And as my friend and I discovered while sitting on altar steps wiping away tears and holding hands in prayer –
God is at work here and He is inviting YOU to join Him!