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I have these two chairs and a footstool that were long lost twins. The first chair–an overstuffed Broyhill side chair–I purchased at a thrift store when we lived in Texas in 1998. It’s been with us for a long time and has been my favorite place to sit and read or do my daily study. When we moved to Virginia in 2000, I found this chair’s matching twin at a garage sale–and it came with an ottoman! I had nowhere to put the chair, but I wanted the ottoman so I bought them both for $8. What a steal! Since then, these two chairs have seen many rooms in our various homes; the living room, the basement, my office, our bedroom, the sitting room. They always seemed to find a nice place in our home. Until now.

We have recently moved back to Texas and lost our basement in the move. The two chairs and ottoman were too big for my office and no longer fit in our bedroom so they were relegated to the game room upstairs. And so was a futon and four other chairs. I lovingly called the game room “The Chair Room” because that is what it was filled with–the leftover chairs.

I seldom go upstairs because it’s become a man cave for my son and my husband–but the other day I was up there cleaning and I just didn’t like that chair room. It was too full of furniture and seemed crowded and uninviting. It was obvious that those two old chairs that I have always loved so much no longer fit in our house. (A common problem in the military lifestyle–I’ve seen creative military spouses who have used dressers and armoires as furniture in kitchens, living rooms and with the bedroom set from which they came. It’s what we do in the military; we make our furniture–even our very lives–work in new ways each time we move). After a tough internal debate, I knew that those chairs had to go.

It was an emotional experience for me admitting that those chairs I loved didn’t fit into my life anymore. Ironically–or maybe not–I did a bible study right after this emotional chair event that brought to light a spiritual lesson from this very experience. (Wouldn’t you know it; God had a lesson for me even in the act of getting rid of some chairs.) We were studying Ephesians.

Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you. Ephesians 4:23-24 (The Message)

I have changed a lot in the 10 years that we have owned those chairs. I’ve grown from hardships, gained confidence in who I am; I have gotten new furniture. In a way, those chairs represented the old me–one who wasn’t as confident and a little weary from life. Those chairs were connected with my old way of life the way old habits are; hanging around the neck of the new you as a distraction. Those old ways and old habits can clutter up a room or your life and make it uninviting. I learned that those chairs don’t represent the future but the past; ways and ideas that weren’t God’s best for me. They were cluttering up a room (literally and figuratively) that was meant for fun.

So you know what? It’s okay to get rid of those chairs because I’m looking forward! I’m taking on something entirely new just like the verse from Ephesians. I’m taking on a life, a home, renewed from the inside and glorifying to God on the outside.

What are the old chairs in your life? What is keeping you from living fully as the woman God designed you to be?

Be blessed!

Alane

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