Daily Dedication

At Rest_16x20Oil_Lynn Abbott

© 2018 Lynn Abbott

I am a housekeeper’s nightmare.

It’s not that I am a messy. No, if anything, I’m a neat freak. It’s just that I cannot seem to complete home keeping tasks with anything like proficiency.

Please don’t misunderstand me; my failures do not result from any lack of trying.

And granted, the matriarchs of the family did try to instill in me the finer points of the home keeping arts. My very, proper, English-Scotch grandmother was the first to tackle the impossible.

I remember Grandma taking my domestic education in hand when I was just eight years old. She was visiting our home, and my mom was at work. Thus, there was no one to shield me.

And the ironing board stood formidably in our family room.

That day’s lesson would include the proper methodology for ironing linens, and in particular, bed sheets and pillowcases. Each fold must be ironed into the offending cotton in order to insure the tidiest and most efficient stack in the linen closet.

I held my breath as Grandma examined my work, which all too often had to be repeated. I was much too dreamy-eyed to pay attention to my task, and it’s a wonder I didn’t burn more holes in that bedding. But once burned, twice as careful. And Grandma’s watchful eye probably prevented any further catastrophes.

I am a housekeeper’s nightmare.

Yes, Grandma followed a precise plan. And every Spring required the turning over of mattresses, the beating of area rugs, and the washing of kitchen cabinets with fire-house red paint. A rhythm regulated it all.

But I had no knack for any of it, and frequently Grandma caught me in my day dreaming crimes:  my mind drifted to the books that lined my parents extensive library, or to my next “doodle.”

You can well imagine, then, that these past several weeks have been an extraordinary trial for this book-loving artist.  You see, the plan was to simply move my art studio.

However, the move required some down-sizing and rearranging of spaces.  My office would be split from my studio space. Thus, as often is the case: one thing leads to another.

In addition, I had allowed dust bunnies to proliferate as I created paintings in my studio.

And you know how it is with dust bunnies…Mine had grown to “killer” proportions.

Grandma most certainly would have been horrified.

Soon, my simple studio move morphed into a 5-room reshuffle.  Once the dust bunnies had been removed, I could see all that had to be cleaned, organized and reappointed.

My spring cleaning was obviously long-overdue.  The Good Will staff and I became fast friends.

Yet, by the grace of God, I completed the move over the weekend.  Well, nearly.  At least, enough has been done that last evening, my husband and I prayed and dedicated the new space to the Lord.

And you know how it is with dust bunnies…Mine had grown to “killer” proportions.

Indeed, I marvel at how far Abba has brought me in such a brief period of time. What began as a path through heart-wrenching grief now serves as a platform of hope and grace.  And moving my studio reflects my journey–the studio has migrated from a room that holds memories of my mother’s death to a fresh, bright, hope-filled space.

At Rest_16x20Oil_Lynn AbbottWith all of this on my mind, I opened my Bible for my morning meditation.  And today, chronologically speaking, my reading plan directed me to 2 Chronicles 29.

If you are familiar with 2 Chronicles 29, you will most certainly know that God’s timing could not have been more perfect.

I definitely relate to the young king Hezekiah.

In the first month of his reign, he made a clean sweep of it.   No, he didn’t destroy enemies as was customary in the ancient world.  Rather, he ordered some radical, physical house-cleaning; the Lord’s temple had been allowed by Hezekiah’s father to fall into disrepair.

In fact, Ahaz had been an extremely evil king.  Ahaz actually followed the pagan god Baal, and encouraged worship in pagan centers called “high places” that had been established throughout Judah.   Scripture records that he “sacrificed his sons in the fire.”

Truly, his was a brutal reign.

Indeed,  killer dust bunnies ain’t got nuthin’ on Ahaz.

Moral filth, and paganism had taken over the kingdom during Ahaz’s tenure.

But God in His grace brought Hezekiah to the throne, and the 25-year-old king “did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done,” (2 Chronicles 29:2).

First, Hezekiah opened the doors of God’s temple and repaired those doors.

And as is usually the case,  one thing led to another:  the priests consecrated themselves according to God’s very specific Levitical law, and the temple was purified.

Just over two weeks of purification passed.  When all had been completed, Hezekiah organized a dedication service.  He called together all the city officials as well as the Levites and priests.   Animal sacrifices burned once more on the altar and the Levites, priests and singers led the assembly in worship.

Killer dust bunnies ain’t got nuthin’ on Ahaz.

And there were sacrifices of thanksgiving as well.  The celebration filled the city.

At Rest_16x20Oil_Lynn AbbottChapter 29 of Second Chronicles closes with these words, “…So the service of the temple of the LORD was reestablished.  Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced at what God had brought about for His people, because it was done so quickly.”

In the first month of his reign, Hezekiah had restored Yahweh’s temple; destroyed the pagan idols of the false god Baal and invited all of Israel to return to Yahweh.

Without a doubt, God blessed Hezekiah’s thorough “house-cleaning.”  And what appeared overwhelming became “do-able.”  After all, God was in Hezekiah’s work.

Sometimes, we must take time out for a spiritual house-cleaning. As believers, after all, we “are God’s temple,” (1 Corinthians 3:16).

Perhaps,  dust bunnies have slipped in the back door as we have been busy persevering through trials or serving others.

Or clutter, junk and even dirt have crept into God’s house as we have become preoccupied with work in the field.

Our temples may have fallen into disarray through simple neglect… and it is time to repair the doors and put everything back in working order.

Or maybe, we have been simply unaware of the baggage that has followed us into our lives of faith. Similar to Hezekiah, we may have been recipients of an unhealthy, family legacy.

Whatever the case, killer dust-bunnies can be downright scary. Yet, when God enters the house, the efficiency of His clean-up is truly miraculous.

Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised.  Our heavenly Father  makes it His business to renew and restore those He calls (2 Corinthians 5:17).

And so, after becoming a new creation in Christ, we simply require a daily “foot-washing,” (John 13:10; 1 John 1:9).

Yes, after just over two weeks of cleaning and then, after the actual moving, I now rejoice over my completed studio.  Its bright white walls and organized space signals a fresh start.

Undoubtedly, Grandma would have appreciated the place for everything and everything in its place.

Yet,  I also know that if I fail to look daily after the cleanliness and organization of myspace, the killer dust bunnies will return with a vengeance.

For this reason, I have committed myself to my studio’s daily care.  Hezekiah understood this as well, and so he made it financially possible for the priests and Levites to ensure the temple’s safe-keeping.

You betcha.  I need to approach my spiritual condition in the same way.

And that’s why you and I devote time to spiritual clean-up–the confession of sin– and the daily dedication of our lives to God’s higher purpose.  Through our daily time with Him, we invite our Great High Priest to guard our spiritual “house.”

It’s a small sacrifice to make…a little time at the beginning or close of the day.

But our unbroken communion with Abba is absolutely necessary to keep the enemy at bay, (Luke 11:21).

And as we survey our Holy Spirit-filled temples,  like Hezekiah and his people, we will rejoice at what God has brought about and marvel “because it was done so quickly.”

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness,” ~1 John 1:9

“Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.  Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain,”  ~Psalm 127:1

105 thoughts on “Daily Dedication

  1. One of the things that I learned in the military, especially where it came to witnessing to others, was that it was necessary to be identifiable as part of the environment to which I belonged. Basically that means that the others knew I was one of them, without me displaying all the attributes of some of them. Jesus did that much better than I did but the concept is one of acceptance, without joining the other side. You do that in your posts, identify as one of us and yet gently remind us of the need to stretch for the holy and maintain our communion with Abba, that is so vital. I always feel relaxed after reading one of your posts and that’s because there’s seldom any pointing, just gentle reminders that are always applicable to you and to us. I sincerely thank you for your beautiful witness. The church could use a lot more like you. Grace and blessings.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello, my wonderfully kind and encouraging brother! Thank you for your amazing words here. I think this is one of the greatest compliments that my writing could ever receive. Thank you; thank you with all of my heart!! I am blessed beyond words by your thoughtful comment, and I feel buoyed to persevere here! God bless you beyond all that you can imagine!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love it.
    I love being afforded a peak into the place where dreams become visible.
    It’s orderly, neat and something out of a magazine.
    A place I would love to sit, talking, pittling with colors and textures…and just hanging out with a dear friend.
    And if it makes you feel any better…you ought to see how I fold a fitted sheet. My aunt did it perfectly. I’ve even whatched YouTube videos in order to learn…still a jumbled mess.
    And to heck with ironing my sheets…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh… the dreaded fitted sheet. Oh, can I relate, dear Julie! When I fold a fitted sheet, I feel a bit like Snoopy in this video…

      And one of these days, you will have to come for a visit, and you and I can paint together in my studio…and talk our hearts’ content! Love you so much!! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh it’s the truth all right. In my classroom I had piles of things stacked everywhere. And one day a student “Mrs. Scarberry, it looks like you are very disorganized but you’re not. You’re really very organized!” And I told that there was method to my madness and that no one was allowed to touch my piles, It’s that creative genius thing, at least that’s what I tell people❣️😘xoxoxo

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I didn’t realize you were a teacher, dear Natalie! But of course you were! Your posts are so inspirational and your reading is obviously incredibly extensive! And yes! I totally get the disorganized organized part… I call that organized chaos! 🙂 And I’ve got that wired! Love the idea that it is somehow connected to creative genius! Praying that is true for me 😉 Love you much! ❤ ❤

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Exactly! It seems chaotic but I always tell people there is a method and genius in my madness. I may be the only one who sees it but hey that’s okay too!!! Hee hee! Yes I taught for 31 years Lynn but that’s a whole other story. Have a great week lovely lady❣️😘xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

      4. 😀 Yes, indeed! I can totally relate! As for your teaching career… 31 years! God bless you! What an incredible impact on so many you have had and now continue to have through your beautiful blog! God bless you greatly, my amazing friend!! Love, prayers and huge hugs!! ❤ ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow, Lynn! Your new space looks amazing. Praying you settle in well and enjoy the most creative and expressive season of your life so far! Great work getting everything organised. You’re a star! 🌟

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Steven… you are way too good to me. Thank you with all my heart! The studio is deserving of a star; I will work hard to deserve it. 🙂 And thank you so much for your prayers. It means the world to me. God bless you, my extremely thoughtful and amazingly talented friend!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Dear Lynn, I sympathize, identify, and says congratulations to you!

    Job well done.

    Are you on track to become a professional re-organizer? Not me. Used to be. Barely surviving now…. To keep my art world within sane limits is not in my future.

    Beverley C

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello, dearest Beverley!

      Yes, of course, you can sympathize…as an artist, you know how a studio can take on a life of its own :-/ Thank you for your kind encouragement and congratulations! It means the world to me! But I must say, after organizing my own studio, I’m exhausted. Don’t think that I will be taking on “organizing” again any time soon. 😉 Love and hugs to you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. 🙂 Lynn, this post makes me smile! I understand what you are saying! In fact, it seems sometimes we have a Mary-Martha war going on inside ourselves! Physical tasks versus spiritual, a to do list competing with the sit and listen list, but when those two lists merge, it’s amazing what inspiration can happen! I’m not sure that makes sense, but your post spoke to me!
    P.S. Love the pictures of your studio!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Jeff… of course, it made sense. I love the way God is infinitely able to bring both the physical serving and the listening to Him together to accomplish great things for His kingdom! And thank you for your always kind and encouraging words! What a blessing your friendship is! God bless you greatly, my brother! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a very thorough and interesting post, Lynn and I like it. I actually read that part of 2 Chronicles and it amazed me how different King Ahaz and the young 25-year-old King Hezekiah were. King Ahaz was rebellious and did ” not do what was right in the sight of the Lord (see 2 Chronicles 28:1)” (much Like Israel at that time and how we as Christians and human beings can be today) while King Hezekiah “did what was right in the sight of the Lord” and rebuilt God’s temple.

    What I like about this comparison between father and son is that as human beings, we are very much like King Ahaz in that we are rebellious and refuse to listen to God’s Word and choose to do our own thing. On the other hand, when we are born again as Christians through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, we should learn to become like King Hezekiah and do all that is right in the sight of God.

    I like when you said, “Sometimes, we must take time out for a spiritual house-cleaning. As believers, after all, we “are God’s temple,” because we all as Christians need a little “spiritual house-cleaning” and it’s something that we as Christians have to ask God about during our life.

    I also like when you said these several quotes in your post, Lynn.

    1). “Our temples may have fallen into disarray through simple neglect… and it is time to repair the doors and put everything back in working order.”

    2). “… you and I devote time to spiritual clean-up–the confession of sin– and the daily dedication of our lives to God’s higher purpose.”
    – – – – “Through our daily time with Him, we invite our Great High Priest to guard our spiritual “house.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, Joshua! I can always count on you for deep and thoughtful reflections. What insight you offer through your comments! You encourage me more than you can imagine! And how amazing that God led you to this passage recently as well. God is so great! God bless you beyond all that you can imagine, my friend. You are truly a blessing to many! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lynn…….
    So enjoyed seeing your beautiful spaces! May we always ask the LORD to “clean house” daily. We must always be ready for HIS guidance and the Holy Spirit does not want to take up residence in a house full of sin……..so COME HOLY SPIRIT, fill the hearts of the faithful! Blessings on your day!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Oh, I absolutely loved getting a peek into your creative space, Lynn! I’m so happy that the moving of your studio went well for you. ❤ As my family and I are in the process right now of packing stuff up and moving to a new home, I know how that goes, haha! Having an inspiring place to do your work will be a beautiful change for you, I am certain of it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, I’m soo glad, Maggie! Thank you for your warm and kind words! It means so much to me…

      And Wow. You are on the move as well? What a huge job moving an entire family! You all will be in my thoughts and prayers. ❤ and hugs!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “And that’s why you and I devote time to spiritual clean-up–the confession of sin– and the daily dedication of our lives to God’s higher purpose.  Through our daily time with Him, we invite our Great High Priest to guard our spiritual “house.”” I might be wrong but I interpreted this paragraph as utilising the secret place sacrificially. The secret place is what I refer to as a place where we spend our quiet time with God. If not utilised, the dust settles and clouds our hearts with fears, doubts and cares of this world❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, dear Efua… I think you’ve got it right. I didn’t really think of our spiritual house as being a “secret place,” but if by secret place you are referring to our quiet time with God, then that is certainly included in the term “spiritual house.” Did you ever read a little booklet called “My heart, Christ’s Home”? I had that in mind when I wrote of our lives as being a temple or spiritual house. I think you’d enjoy reading the pamphlet give your writing about what you call “the secret place.” You can find a pdf version of the the booklet by clicking here I love what you say about the dust settling and clouding our hearts with fear, doubt and care. What an absolutely perfect word picture! Love and hugs to you! ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Your studio looks fabulous! And I love the oh, so appropriate passage the Lord gave you at this time. I understand about the dust bunnies in the studio, but I hadn’t quite thought of my quiet time in the same way, as a daily cleaning. It’s true, though. Thank you for these thoughts, and Congratulations!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Angela! Yes! Such amazing timing God has! I love that about Him. 🙂 And thank you for your enthusiastic and kind words! It means the world to me to be able to share with an artist friend. 😀 ❤ and hugs!!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I relate so well to keeping things tidy and clean. I just lose stuff until I clean. I have to take a couple of weekends a year to get away and review my own spiritual house cleaning (as well as a daily consecration). Well done, You weave life and insight together so well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a great idea, Gary! One of my best friends does the same. I think I may have to find a way to follow your examples! And thank you so much for your kind encouragement as well! God bless you big time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Denise! I actually rearranged about 5 rooms to make this work. If I had a blog about home decor, I’d post pics to share with YOU… and get your expert advice. 🙂 But that’s not the purpose of this blog, and since I don’t want to start a second blog, I’ll just have to do my best 😉 Love your most recent tips! You are so talented and artistic! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This is a wonderful story (actually, stories, your story, and the story about Hezekiah!)
    – I always appreciate the way you pin a truth on something from your experience, coupled with a truth from the Bible. Meaningful stories seep into our souls don’t they, and build us up in faith…Thank you!
    (By the way, you’ve extended my vocabulary – living in Wales I hadn’t come across the term ‘dust bunny’ – they multiply readily here too!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, ha! Extending your vocabulary… dust bunnies is most certainly American slang. Thank you; thank you for your kind words about my devotionals. I preach to myself a lot and I’m just grateful if it resonates with others! You have encouraged me greatly… made my day, in fact! God bless you greatly, my inspiring friend! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Joshua, once again, I thank you with all my heart for referencing my post in your blog post! I am truly honored because your posts have so much Biblical depth, and I admire that! May God continue to greatly bless your ministry! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I am not the best at pristine housekeeping. The way others are able to keep up with it, I admire. But I love the connection to our own walk with Him and our soul’s temple. It’s so important!

    Honestly, I feel like I haven’t given God time enough on certain issues to prepare just like this king did. I want to 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, TR!! We are definitely a lot alike! I love that! And you are right; it’s so important to keep our souls for God. I think we always long for more time with Him. I love your humble heart! Your love for God inspires so many including me! ❤ ❤

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  13. I’m still waiting Lynn, you have not done my ironing yet and I’m tired and want to go to bed! not to mention the dusting, it’s still waiting for you too.

    Do you know how many dust bunnies are watching me as I type this note to you Lynn? for sure there are more than a 1,000 even though God said on Noah’s Ark to the Bunnies Only Two! but they won’t listen to me Lynn and now your having the same problem.

    Some of them must have caught a Plane from Aussie to your place, well they didn’t ask me if they could visit you but for sure I would have said only Two! too.

    But I do realize your work load is very Heavy Lynn so please don’t rush, I can wait at least another 1/2 hour.

    Much Love – Grannie Annie.

    P.S Thanks for the reminder Lynn, Carnal Dust Bunnies must go so Spiritual ones can Hop in and than my Fellowship with God will Multiply too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Anne… you are absolutely hilarious! And I am laughing and laughing! I’m so glad I am not alone in housing a great many dust bunnies! You are truly a kindred spirit! And I LOVE the words of wisdom you give in you “P.S.” So very, very true! May God multiply our faith each and every day! God bless you greatly, my wonderfully wise, witty and godly friend!! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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