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Preserved by Purpose: From the Inside Out

“Wow Mama! You and Daddy have really hooked up the house.” I spoke these words

to my mama a few years ago as she gave me a “tour” their newly remodeled master bedroom suite. They’d been talking about knocking out one of the bedroom walls and making a large master bedroom suite for a few months. But I didn’t think they’d really do it. After all, they had 4 daughters, 6 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Where would we all stay when we came to visit?

I oohed and ahhed walking into the much larger bedroom area complete with a walk-in

closet and built in his/her custom designed shoe box shelves, dual ceiling fans, wood trim, flat screen tv swiveling from the wall mount and fire engine red chaise lounge. The room was just gorgeous and I was now happy they’d had it done. Even though it is just the two of them at the house, I also want them to be comfortable...and have as my mother says “room for the wheelchairs” if and when they might need them when they got older.

As we stood in the doorway of the huge walk-in closet, I posed what I thought was a

good question: “Now where will we (my 3 sisters and their kids/grandkids) stay when we come visit? “My mama laughed and didn’t blink when she responded, “There’s the other bedroom, plus a sleeper sofa in the den and we’ll make space for people even if they have to sleep on the floor in sleeping bags.”

At the time, they’d lived there for nearly 30 years and there is a new energy and

excitement in the house. It was fun listening to my parents talk about curtain colors matching furniture for their new bedroom. The house was the same on the outside but had a new center of focus. In the past, the “center” of the house was the kitchen, but now the focus was the lovely and very comfortable master bedroom; on the inside it was a new place. And all it took was one change on the inside.

One thing that we can do that can lead to those inward changes are to add a daily time

of prayer. This will lead to a stronger and more intimate connection with God. Keep in mind that God doesn’t require us to make big changes on the outside because he wants the small changes to come from the inside. In addition, change from the inside out means that our conversation and words change. Luke 6:45 says, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; … For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

2 Corinthians 4:16 points out that we shouldn’t lose heart because “inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” This inward renewal starts with us being willing to make small changes in our lives each day that bring us closer to God. As we are drawn closer to God, his purpose and direction for our lives become clearer.

Shewanda Riley is a Dallas, Texas based author of “Love Hangover: Moving From Pain to

Purpose After a Relationship Ends” and “Writing to the Beat of God’s Heart: A Book of Prayers for Writers.” Email her at or follow her on Twitter @shewanda.

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