The Box

A few weeks ago, something really wild happened at the church we’ve been attending. It caught me by surprise, and I was able to snap a photo of it right after it happened, so I thought I’d share it here on the blog today.

Before I get to the moment though, I should start by saying, that I’ve never really had a “church home”, so finding this place, that I feel so excited by and comfortable in, has really been a BIG, BIG blessing for me. The folks that created it (a few years ago) sure have done a great job of putting together a warm and inspiring place for us to worship. And although we haven’t met a ton of people there yet, (we’re still in “stroll in quietly and sit off to the very side” mode- ha!) I look forward to our time there so much. Each week, I can feel my “crazy compass” bobbity-bobble back toward the center point again. Ya know what I mean? (Fun fact: The church is called Centerpoint.) The only problem (for lack of a better word) with attending this particular church is that I have yet to make it through a service without tearing up. And I’m not talking about just during the message portion of the service. I’m talkin’: while the worship team is playing a song, while someone is getting baptized…you name it– I’m tipping my head back ever-so-slightly so that those big ol’ drops welling up don’t fall down…or outifyaknowwhatI’msayin.

A friend of mine said the same thing happens to her at church, and I had to laugh when we both admitted that we hope the people around us don’t think it’s because we’ve done so much sinning throughout the week- ha!

Okay, on to the moment.

Right now, we’re in the middle of a series on relationships. It’s about relationships with God, relationships with others, setting priorities, and resolving conflicts. Our pastor (John Schmidt) found a clever way to demonstrate things by using different-sized moving boxes to illustrate how our priorities should stack up. God’s box is three big boxes taped together to make up one, extra-large box. From there, they decrease in size: spouse, then kids, then work, then house/car/stuff. The smallest box is labeled, hobbies.

John’s been talking about how easy it is for those “moving boxes” to get jumbled up, and lost in the shuffle, when life gets go-go-going, like it always tends to do. Just like when you’re literally moving. Boxes get re-stacked and relocated, and when they end up in the wrong room, it can cause a lot of stress and make it really hard to find the things you need. I’m such a visual person, so seeing it laid out that way was great, and it makes sense to me why everything would run smoother if I just kept those stacks in the right order.

Okay. Now on to the moment.

It was pretty symbolic and goosebump-y, y’all…and I hope it translates here as well. I don’t even know if anyone else saw it happen, but boy did it make my eyes pop wide.

A couple of Sunday’s ago, the worship team (who absolutely rocks my socks off, by the way) was playing “The Great I Am“. (If you haven’t heard it, and want to check it out, click here.) It’s a really catchy and powerful tune, and at that moment, it felt like the whole congregation was really locked in. I’m talkin’ total sing-it-like-you-mean-it goin’ on. Exhilarating. Moving. The whole kit-and-kaboodle. I was lovin’ it…and I’m pretty sure big drops had welled up, and *ahem* out at that point.

Anywho, right about that time, as I was standing there all goosebump-y, the priority/moving box labeled “House/Car/Stuff”, (which was previously perfectly stacked on top of the box beneath it) flew right up and onto the floor…top side down. I scanned the area, looking for a fan, or anything that could’ve blown it over that hard.

But there wasn’t anything blowing over there. There wasn’t anyone near the box.

It just flew off.

Right there at the end of that Great song that we were all singing.

I probably embarrassed Kevin to pieces, but I had to pull out my cell phone and take this photo when the song was over, and we had all taken our seats again. See the box upside down on the floor?

The lighting was low, so the picture is a blurry and less than perfect. Hmmm…reminds me of me…and that’s okay, because it’s all about the “boxes” and how they’re standing, anyway.

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  1. Sunny Beamish says

    Hi Layla,
    I’m really enjoying reading your blogs..and am so happy you and Kevin have a found a church that feels right..and you know, all those feelings and tears are just God’s way of cleaning the house (inside of us) and making us whole..showing us in those very personal ways that are for ” our eyes only” ( no 007 ) just how deeply He loves and knows us…I can be oh so addicted to all the magazines, and ideas of home decor but He reminds to rearrange my boxes, because when He is our delight, He gives us all the other creative juices in ways we could never imagine!

    • Layla says

      Thank you so much, Sunny! Your comment has reminded me to stop and take a little time to talk to God right now. Thanks for the inspiration! :-)

  2. says

    I have yet to find a place that makes me feel all cozy when I’m there but I am just like you-when something touches me or gets right to the heart of the matter I instantly cry. It’s not a sad cry, just a happy or overwhelmed cry.
    I love that you took that photo so you won’t forget. xoxo

  3. says

    Wow, Layla!

    I call those things “God Nudges” and I’m pretty sure my pastor has told me there’s a book about such things (likely called, “The Nudge” or something equally as obvious). I’ve had moments like that, where, I swear my pastor is talking to me.

    In fact, the other day, he was talking about when to know to follow your dreams, or just stay put, and he used the example of, “Do I stay at my job here in Ann Arbor, or take a risk and try out this job in Chicago, even if I don’t know how it will work out?” and ironically, I had just quit my 16 year long job in Ann Arbor, to take a summer contract in Chicago which was part of a bigger plan to start my own design company.

    So far, so good, but then, I followed a nudge to get there 😉

  4. Cristen says

    Recently stumbled upon your blog (LOVE it, and added it to my favorite Blogs Bookmark!), and this post really spoke to me. For one, I know that I really need to find a church home again, as I haven’t had one in years. Also, it made me think of the only church that I ever really felt “at home” in, because it also was called Centerpoint. What a great demonstration of priorities made by your pastor. Just seeing it in the pictures has already given me a visual in my mind of my own priorities that I really need to get straight. Thank you so much for your open and honest post, and I’m very glad I was able to read it today when I really needed it.

  5. says

    Those moments when you know it can only be God are an amazing gift.
    If you look at my silly little nothing of a blog (you don’t have to) you will find it is not very long. I found blogging through you and started my site just after new year’s when you had a post on your blog about how life is a book, it’s pages are blank….I felt a new start. happy in our dream house. The second to the last post is about leaving there after being there nearly one year. It was completely over our head to say the least. All winter with NO FURNACE and no way to get one. We signed it back over to the bank. Anyway. I stood in the front window crying. Looking out at the neighbors cows, snow falling. Breaking down. “God….please tell me what to do…i will listen….I WILL LISTEN…i don’t want to be this way anymore…i will listen. Fast forward. I found a house for rent. Still not trusting myself. Called. It was Dr Godshall who was the town dr for many years. Godshall…God shall! I knew it was right and God was leading me now. I have had several more experiences like this since. I am listening! Every Little Thing Is a BLESSING! I want nothing without Him. (psalm 16 hit me like a rush of warm sunshine all over me).
    Thanks for letting me share. I know you will cherish every little sign you get and that you will have many.

  6. Danielle says

    Wow Kevin and Layla, great story! When we draw close to God, he does indeed draw cTrust Himlose to us. Maybe you are starting to see that ya’ll are His house and he would like to move stuff around and express His love and wisdom by decorating your lives!! The creativity that spills out of both of you are from Him. He is so good and it’s so exciting to see Him move and you to recognise it! So many ramifications here! He will just blow your minds! Trust Him. He is faithful!!!
    Abundant Blessings