Summer is a great time to relax, refresh, and reboot. For me it isn’t a shutdown time but a time of travel, hosting and socializing. The summer months are the middle of our baseball season. In the past it was the three months when the boys saw their father, we traveled to spend more time together, and an opportunity to meet and socialize with the other wives on the team and friends in the different cities.
I found myself rushing about trying to make sure every moment mattered juggling the different opportunities for my family to connect with one another and others.
The time that was supposed to be for relaxing, refreshing and rebooting took on overwhelming activities and busyness that made me want to hide in a room and not even spend time with my family. This summer I found myself in the same position; tense, troubled and tested.
Two years ago I was in the beginning stages of thinking I may want to take writing seriously. My confidence was low, and I was overwhelmed with learning all the steps in moving forward. Before I went to my first conference, I learned I needed a website. The only thing lower than my confidence as a writer was my technological intelligence. I did what I knew was necessary and threw together a website. It was rudimentary but a beginning.
After the conference, there were a few blunders while dealing with the design myself. I had to hire someone to rescue the site from the demise of hackers. It took a lot of money to get it out of the grip of hackers, designed and launched. I continued to pay too much each month for the web designer to manage it. I didn’t know I could handle it myself. It all occurred in less than a year. Another redesign of my site on my own carried me through another year. It always seemed to happen in the summer.
With a book coming out in January, once again I needed to update my website. A task I was not eager to tackle after my past experiences of major time, energy and money wasted. With all that I do in a typical summer traveling to keep up with my hubby and three young men, I didn’t want to add a website to the writing schedule. I knew it was essential. I prayed. Asked others for ideas and ‘creeped’ on others’ websites. Wasting time making a plan of what I wanted and needed, I became overwhelmed and exhausted.
With summers of too much of too much, our spirit gets clogged with things that are not important. We have no space left for Jesus to fill the inner most of our being.
Stress makes you think you have to strive to finish everything at once.
Each time I see the excess stuff in the crevices of my soul, the place where the Holy Spirit should roam, I know it is time for a spiritual cleansing. Many times that cleansing is more like a power washing. I have to dig deep to wash out the excess that has crowded in my spirit. The power washing began.
The first step is evaluating our spirit. Honestly seeing and identifying what has cluttered our soul. Then we can start to remove it. It is not comfortable or easy to clean out the clutter, but it is necessary. Change happens when we go through this process.
Unfortunately, the process is never complete because as humans we will continue to find things to fill our schedules, thoughts, and energy other than God. It is a continual process of identification and removal.
Each summer I have to be aware of the things that overwhelm me, take up space the Holy Spirit should roam and cause stress and anxiety. This summer is no exception. In the planning of recreating my website, I became burdened with making decisions. Then I remember, identify the cause, remove as much as possible, and make a change.
I decided, “Just Do It.”
I chose a reputable web designer.
We worked together to create the site I envisioned.
And, drum roll, please.
I launched it.
Tell me what you think of the new site. www.billiejauss.com
There is still some work to be done, but I am giving it over to you, my friends.
It is freeing to my spirit.
Now it’s your turn. Uncover the stagnation and power wash it clean, live in the power of his Spirit.