Wednesday, January 19, 2011

take the time

tick.  tick.  tick.

three seconds.  gone.

tick.  tick.  tick.

three more.

what am I doing with my life?

{the following is a major mind dump.  I'm not completely on board with everything that I'm about to say.  I'm just thinking outloud.  some of it likely isn't true at all.  some of it may be far more accurate that I'm willing to admit.  so take it for what it's worth.  this is just a peek into what's marinating in my brain right now}

why do I rush through everything like a tornado?  why is it that when my husband or my children see me in this rushed mode that they know to just back away and leave me alone?  what in the world have I done wrong that they don't feel free to just come to me?  don't they know that they are much {MUCH} much more important than my laundry being put in the drawers or the dishes scrubbed?  I'm afraid my actions have said otherwise.

why am I distracting myself with all this nonsense?  yes, the dishes need to be cleaned.  yes, the laundry needs to be washed and put away.  but even though I get those things done (for the most part), afterwards I'm still seeking something else to distract me.

I'm not focusing on my family; I'm reading a book.  I'm not praying to God; I'm flipping through a magazine.  I'm not taking the time to meditate on Scripture.  to shut up long enough to hear the Holy Spirit.  I'm not giving God a chance to change me.  I'm escaping.  even when I'm doing my chores, my brain is busy worrying about stuff.  I'm just plowing through life, finding things to occupy my mind and my body and then convincing myself that I've been productive at the end of the day when my body feels like it'll break.  must have been a good day.  I must have gotten a ton done.  why else would my body scream and ache from effort like this?

please hear me.  I'm not suggesting that you or I neglect our houses.  or to deny ourselves a good book or inspiration from a magazine or a looooooooong soak in the tub with our ears underwater so the day gets drowned out.  we are 'allowed' breathing room in our daily lives.  I'm sure of it.  Jesus took time to be alone. but I also KNOW me.  and I'm thanking God with my lips but not with my heart.  I'm reading Scripture as if the words themselves aren't alive with power.  I'm glossing over the meanings just to check off some quantity.  I'm doing my duty.  I'm praying without any faith at all.  let's be real here.  I'm praying with hope.  but not with any actual faith.  it's almost like I'm praying out of guilt about not really spending any worthwhile time with God.

I believe in God.  I believe God.  I trust God.  I have put faith in Him and His words and His ways and His plan.  or at least, I did.  you wouldn't be able to tell by watching me these days.  I used to spend a great deal of time praying.  just talking to God.  just pouring out my life to Him.  it used to be easy.  but now I'm so burdened with life that it feels like a struggle to pray like that.  it used to be such a joy to cook for my family.  now I just want to buy a $5 pizza and rush everyone off to bed.  same with my prayer life.  I want these silly drive-thru prayers to be enough.  to sustain God.  almost to sedate Him.  leave me alone.  I prayed.  You don't have to pay any attention to me.  I'm doing my duty.  Go focus on someone who really needs You.

no wonder He won't leave me alone.  I need Him so badly.  so so so desperately. 

it's weird because I realize that I haven't been able to shake Him.  even though I've tried.  like something huge is around the corner and once I give in and let Him take over, my whole life is gonna change.  that He's after me for some reason other than He loves me and will pursue me if I run away.  but I'm trying to just go about my business and continue to not notice how shallow my faith is.  I'll revive it later.  when I have more time to myself.  when I can hear myself think again.  right now, I'm just so exhausted.  if you really wanted me to focus on You, You could just magically wash the dishes for me, couldn't You?  or quiet the kids.  or make manna appear on my table.  oh, but You gotta make it look appetizing or else my family won't eat it.  wait, You mean You expect me to MAKE time for You?  for You and this life that I'm living?  Good one.  What is this?  April 1st?

I know it seems so stupid of me that I'd even be having this struggle.  I mean, it's obvious that I need to make time for God.  that it won't always be easy.  nothing about life seems easy.  I need to quit trying to force it to be comfortable and easy and start just leaning on God when it gets hard.  I can't avoid the messy stuff.  no matter how much I wall up my heart and only tread in the kiddie pool of the Christian life.  and I know that I'm not guaranteed tomorrow.  that RIGHT NOW is a gift that shouldn't be taken for granted.  that if I feel like I'm supposed to be doing something for God, that I need to do it now and not wait for a better opportunity.  because that time may never come.  I feel like I'm wasting my time.  God's time. 

I'm not saying that I believe that I need to be out there saving the world.  I used to feel that way.  I used to think that my work at home - making a safe place for my family to be accepted and loved and clothed and fed, a place where they could make mistakes and we'd hold their hand while they were enduring the consequences, where they learned to love and accept and clothe and feed others - wasn't what I was saved to do.  that it wasn't enough.  I thought that I needed to sell everything I owned and move to a third-world country and clean out smelly, oozing wounds.  I know better now.  yes, God absolutely wants me to help and love people.  He wants me to live modestly so that I can give extravagantly.  I know that because that's what Jesus did.  but I don't think He wants me to move to a foreign country anymore.  at least not right now.  mostly because He saw my heart about it.  I was sick with pride about it.  Sick in thinking that if I did that, I'd be super duper admired by the Christian community.  that there'd be books about me.  that I'd be on the cover of, like, ten Christianity Today's.  that I'd somehow earn my way into Heaven.  or if not Heaven, because we all know that Jesus is Heaven's bouncer and if He doesn't recognize us, we're not getting in no matter what we did on earth, then some mansion in Heaven.  because maybe if I brought down fevers and held the hands of the dying and lived meagerly I'd earn big shot status in Heaven.  Can you see now why God is keeping me from such nonsense?  I'm not loving anyone with that kind of heart. 


I need God to come clean out the smelly, oozing wound of my heart.  To hold my hand and bring down the fever of bloated pride.  to humble me.  (I just got a chill.  did you feel that?  I just asked God to humble me.  oh crap!) 

but I also need to draw close to God.  to slow down and listen for Him.  and take the time to appreciate the right now.  I need to learn to not just live in blacks and whites.  I need to learn to live in the grey.  I think in extremes and keep myself from doing some things because I think of it in terms of 'either' and 'or.'  either I spend time with God and neglect my home or I spend my time on my home and neglect God.  but I'm pretty sure that I can do both. I just need to figure out how.  I need to let God help me with that.  and to not stop until I figure it out.  to not stop when it gets hard.  to not stop.  I need to take the time.  take it back from all the things that try to distract me.  and give myself enough grace to enjoy a good distraction every once in a while.

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