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I am a fairly organized person.

I’m not sure I was born organized (my mom probably just sprayed coffee out of her nose reading that line!). True confesion: I could roll out of bed without changing elevation because of the clothes piled up on my dorm room floor.

I don’t know when the organized gene or virus took over, but somewhere along the way, I became pretty organized. So much so that sometimes I forget to have fun, to be spontaneous, to just enjoy life. And then my inner rebel breaks out and I struggle to put her back in place by adding more structure and grappling for control. It’s not pretty.

I like the way having a place for everything and everything in its place serves life. I don’t like serving all that placement.

Right now I am preparing for a mission trip to Spain. I leave in just over a week and I’m trying not to panic.

I don’t really have “places” for all the emotions and tasks and details and plans required to go on this trip. There are so many things out of my control, I have to take them one at a time as they arise. This doesn’t sit well with the whole “organized” thing. So I’ve been struggling with lists of things to do, to prepare, to be… and no where in there have I really been preparing for this trip.

Oh, I have my passport, I’ve gotten my vaccinations/immunizations. I have airline tickets, power converters, suitcases, childcare, funding, and travel sized shampoos (thanks to the thoughtfulness of my traveling companion!)

I also have a list of posts to finish and schedule so CultivateGrace can continue to publish while I’m gone, a list of cards and gifts I need to get mailed before I leave, menu plans and grocery lists and school materials to order. I have rearranged doctors appointments, made time to spend with friends, built a bike rack (I’m not really sure why I felt this was urgent before heading out…), prepared for houseguests, and even planned for a certain little girl’s seventh birthday which happens to be on Wednesday!!!

The thing is, there is no way I can do everything on those lists. At least, there is no way I can do everything there is to do on those lists well. And you’ll notice, “spiritual preparation” hasn’t shown up yet.

Since I strongly believe relationships are the core of the gospel (relationship with God through Christ first, then with people), and I am going to Spain to share the gospel, I woke this morning to the uncomfortable conviction that I really need to prioritize bike racks and blog posts behind time in the word and time with my family.

So, the posts I have drafted about Charleston and the ongoing racism we cultivate (which is breaking my heart!) and organizing the linen closet and bathroom will just have to be tidied up after Spain. Even the new series on the the acrostics of Relational Wisdom and the James Bible study will have to wait. As will the upcoming move from CultivateGrace.org to a new website (definitely more about that AFTER Spain…!) and all the details that have to happen to make this major transition happen.

So before I resume “radio silence” I’d like to encourage you to stop in the midst of your mess or your organization and make sure you are prioritizing the gospel. Does the order you bring speak life? What about the mess? One of my favorite Father’s Day pictures on Facebook yesterday was of a man I knew in high school covered in mud with his dad – both adults, saturated with mud from head to toe. Sometimes getting dirty and living messy is speaking life. Let’s not forget that! At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how quickly we can find our keys if we have found Christ sufficient while we looked. Organization doesn’t save us, Jesus does.

saved by Christ

Do we live like we are saved by Christ? Let’s ponder that for a bit, and Lord willing, I’ll see you in August!