I wish i had some other literature to back up these principles I am about to throw out there. But, alas, I think I will just ramble for a bit and see if anything profound comes to  mind. When I have to go looking for “readings” to support what I feel God leading me to say, it usually means that is NOT what He wants me to say. He has put something in my head and on my heart, so, “take what you like and leave the rest.”

I think I need a laptop. Here’s why: my computer is in my basement (for those of you who DON’T live in the midwest, a basement is sort of like having a whole other level of your house to live in-not just a scary room filled with spider webs where your grandma stores her mason jars of green beans, tomatoes and peaches). My basement is very cozy, but is also very dark. No windows, which equals no natural light. Being in my basement depresses me for this reason, as well as the obvious fact that basements are also for storing crap. And I have a lot of crap. When I am in the basement I can practically HEAR the junk calling to me, begging to be sorted and inventoried or given to a family who might appreciate it more. It’s very stressful for me to be in my basement. Relaxing is usually out of the question. Even when we are watching a movie in the clean part, the messy parts just keep whispering; haunting my thoughts. I should also mention that my basement has been the scene of 2 broken arms, a broken toe and a concussion. It’s downright dangerous.

Sometimes i find myself living in the “basement”. Once in awhile, there is a glimpse of light, a ray of natural sonshine, that comes from the “upstairs window” into the “basement” of my heart. All of a sudden, the warmth and feeling of hope comes over me and I realize I have been dwelling in the “basement”for far too long. When I am in my “basement”, I spend time organizing and reorganizing,(translate: buy more tubs to store my crap in), but never really making much progress. Or, I appear to be working on the computer or relaxing with my family, but my mind is distracted by all the messy areas that need attention. When I live in the “basement”, I spend inordinate amounts of time shuffling my sins and character defects-wondering if I should get rid of them or not. I am even nostalgic about them-wanting to cling to them and hoard them, even though they cause me anxiety. Living in the “basement”, without natural light, eventually makes me forget how bright it is upstairs. When I emerge, I am overwhelmed by the light pouring in to windows. There is order. There are people driving by outside, and I notice them. When I am in the “basement” it’s easy for forget there are other people who might need me. It’s very isolating. It’s a great place to hide if you want to be alone or escape; at least for awhile. At first, working on the crap stored in my “basement” feels productive and refreshing. However, it’s pretty discouraging when it fills up without effort over the next few months. About 3 years ago we downsized by half. HALF. I literally got rid of half of my basement crap. It felt awesome. But, as you can probably guess-more snuck back in. It’s full and cluttered again. Isn’t that just how our lives go? We haul it out or rearrange and before you know it, there’s more. It’s exhausting, isn’t it?

But as a friend of mine always says, “I don’t have to live that way anymore.” The most redeeming thing about my basement is that it has a nice set of stairs. I can come out any time I choose and live in the light, where there are other people who live and move around me. Where I can choose to “see” life with a clear lens. Once in awhile, it might serve me well to ask God to haul up an item or two from the basement. Which items he chooses are up to him. And HE can decide whether to donate them, trash em’ or refurbish/repurpose them. Oooohhh….I like that word. I forgot until just now that I have a business card with that word on it: REPURPOSE. Sometimes God can take our junk and get it into working order so it can be displayed UPSTAIRS and in the light. It can be used daily instead of corroding in a box in my “basement”.
Maybe I have totally confused everyone. But it makes sense to me-because it doesn’t take me long to become a “basement” dweller. When I live down there, I become frazzled, depressed, negative, and overwhelmed with my shortcomings and all the work it will take to “fix” me. When I finally catch a glimpse of the light and CHOOSE to come upstairs, I can truly “see” what has alluded me while I hid in the dark. I gain clarity on what and who really matters. I have a sense of hope. I am positive. But most of all, I can focus on my gifts and my good, godly qualities and use them to be a vessel of encouragement and inspiration to myself and others. What’s lurking in the “basement” of my mind and heart doesn’t consume me anymore. If I let Him, God is my staircase out of the “basement”.

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