Sooo... our weekly reflections post was a challenge to update others on how you're doing in your daily walk with God. Yikes. Last Thursday when that challenge was posted I thought, "oh this is so great! THIS is what's going to keep me on track!" And I have to admit... it did for a few days. For about four days I made sure to do my daily devotional right when I woke up and it was wonderful. I really felt like it started my day off on the right foot and put my mind and heart in the right condition to really make the most of the day I had been given. And then like anything else... I fell right back into my "busy" routine. Because of my growing to-do list, my daily quiet time kept getting further and further down on the list of priorities until it eventually just did not happen. And so this morning, I hang my head in embarrassment as I come here to reveal that I still have a long way to go to be the Christian that God wants me to be. More importantly though, I still have a long way to go to be the Christian that I know I can be! My heart desires it more than anything and it's the discipline that I struggle with. Schedules, routines, regimens, etc. have never been my strong suit, which is strange because I am the daughter of a retired Army colonel! My schedule is different just about every day... I don't even get up at the same time everyday but just prefer to wake when I hear the little ones. I typically go downstairs, feed and play with them while having my morning coffee and watching some sort of morning show and then get them dressed for their various activities that day. I sometimes have to take a break from this to check my work emails and respond to anything that needs immediate action, depending on what time the day started. From there, it's all a blur. I work, do laundry, clean house, run the kids from here to there, shower (most days... and usually not until around lunch time), grab a snack or two (but rarely a full meal in the middle of the day), and sometimes run a quick errand. So you see? God gets lost in the midst of this "important" stuff. Aside from spending quality time with my kids and doing my job well, the rest is seriously just junk that gets in the way. It can wait, can't it?
So what's the point? What can we do to see past the junk and get to the bread of life everyday? Well, I've been thinking a lot about it... what wisdom can I offer when I don't even have it right myself? And here's what I've come up with:
Fasting is a Biblical principle and something we see throughout history, mainly when a person wants to have a big transformation in their lives. About twice a year, I do some sort of fast, one being giving up television completely, which reminds me of how unimportant "my shows" are. The other has to do with some sort of food, which is more along the lines of what you find in the Bible. The idea is to give up something that has a stronghold on you- that thing that gets in the way of your relationship with Christ. The cool thing with anything having to do with food is that your hunger pains are physical reminders to pray or seek God... so that relationship grows. While I am not suggesting that we all start fasting (although if you've never done something like it and want to grow your faith, I do recommend one), my new "hunger pang" is going to be chores... hang with me for a second. Every night after I put the kids to bed, I run around like a crazy person putting all of the toys away and straightening the house. I love to go to bed with a clean kitchen and feel like I sleep better. So my commitment instead is going to be that before I can get to that, I need to sit down and have my personal time with our heavenly Father. If He truly is more important than my messy house like I say He is, then any time I want to tackle a household chore, He needs to come first, whether that's taking my daily time with Him or saying a prayer, or just giving Him a few minutes of praise for all He has given me. In the evenings, I do realize that I might come to a point where I'll spend my time and be too tired to clean up (gasp!) but you know what? That mess will be there in the morning to tackle and kids are just going to pull it all out again anyway. And I'm generally so tired at the end of a long day, that I doubt the mess is REALLY going to mess up my sleep. In fact, I think I may rest easier knowing that my spirit has been fed. I do realize that all of this adds up to discipline, which I self-admittedly am not good at, but rather than being a scheduled thing, it's more of a "hunger pang" thing, so I'm hoping that does me some good. And for additional accountability, I'll give a weekly update on how that's going. Deal?
Brittany posted her amazing thoughts on this topic over at her blog Daughter... Wife... Mom... Sis, and I have to tell you, it's pretty awesome. She gives us glimpses into her journal and I think they will really bless you. I'm thinking I need to start doing that to track my thoughts and progress like she does! And if you shared with us, please leave a comment!
As for next week, I'd hate to double up on a topic, but since we all just admitted that this is something we need to get better at, the challenge is to do another weekly update on your progress. Maybe we'll make this some sort of 21 day thing, since that's how long it takes to make something a habit. Put some of these new ideas and methods into place and see if that helps, and share with us on where you're at, what is working, and what is not working. I also do not want to post a deeper topic than this because I'm not 100% sure that I'll be blogging this week as we leave for vacation tomorrow (wooo-hooooo!). But I do promise to do my update when I get back if I don't get around to it this week. Cool?
As always, thanks for reading and sharing and for the encouragement and accountability. We rarely get comments on these things so I'm not sure if they bless you at all, but I can speak for Brittany when I say that we love coming together on Thursdays in this way. She's in Colorado and I'm in Kentucky, but we're sisters in Christ and the distance doesn't matter. Have a wonderful week of seeking, praying, and hopefully growing in Christ.
As for me? This chick needs to get packed... sunshine and sand, here I come!