I spend a crazy amount of time planning how to decorate our century-old farmhouse when we are finished restoring it. I have many items that I have collected over the years from family members, thrift stores, and the like. I prefer to decorate with things that have an emotional connection, a well-known-and-often-told story that goes with it.

Most of the items in boxes and crates in storage belonged to someone I treasure in my life. Someone who spoke into who I am today, someone who taught me a better way, or someone who loved me in spite of myself.

My spiritual journey is much the same. I surround myself with things that impacted me and challenged me to grow. Something that touched my heart and helped change the way I relate to God and to others. Each item, each person is authentic, true, there are roots, depth, stories, laughter, and tears connected to each one.

When it comes to my faith, I don’t want window dressing. I want substance. I need it, too. I don’t want to decorate my faith with items and things that fill space, but don’t fill my heart and my relationships. I have been to visit people whose homes look like a photo shoot. Perfectly matched items from the paint on the walls to the fabric on the chairs to the pictures hanging on the walls. I searched for items that had a story, something with a history. But each item was generic, beautiful yes, but shallow, and easily forgotten.

As my walk with Jesus continues, I want to assess what surrounds me. Is it something I picked up because it would make me look like a spiritual giant? Or is it something that I picked up, like a memory stone in the Old Testament, to recall where the Lord met me, challenged me, or stood in my place? I can have everything be perfect on my outside and still be terrible disaster on the inside. It is my choice.

O Best Beloved, what about you? Are you trying to make your life look like you are a spiritual person, grounded in God’s word? Or are you actually allowing the Holy Spirit to take you on the journey and draw you to the stones, the vistas, the difficult places where you will gather the items that will remind you of the merciful, gracious, loving God you have chosen to follow in this life?

Is your legacy going to show your faith was decoration? Or is it proclamation of the great God who loves you and who you will follow all the days of your life?



About gretchenr17

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Writer, farmer, fellow sojourner... at every turn I learn a bit more about God's wild mercies.
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