[I’ve been memorizing Colossians In A Year, Two Verses a Week….]
It’s naptime. The house is quiet. Having traded actual sleep in favor of a much-needed processing session with my journal, I’m stretched out under my quilt attempting to relax for the last half hour or so before the boys wake up.
My mind is mulling over Colossians 1:21-22, and I get stuck in orbit here:
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.” (Col. 1:21)
How does evil behavior create enmity with God in my mind? Apparently, my actions affect the state of my mind toward God. Evil actions equals mental enmity. So then is the reverse also true? Can holy behavior, holy habits, create mental intimacy with God?
Maybe this is the beginning of the answer to my current, two-fold question for myself:
- How do I really, actually “practice the presence of God” throughout my day? How do I actually remember to count His gifts, to stay constantly aware of grace?
2. How do I live fully authentic, fully alive, in this life, with these responsibilities, these demands on my time? How do I create art of any kind within these limits? How can mundane acts of service-- laundry, dishes, cooking-- translate into creative opportunities?
So much of my day consists of mundane activities I accomplish on auto-pilot while my mind is elsewhere. Could these activities actually be a doorway through which my mind could receive creative inspiration from the Holy Spirit? Does completing mundane acts of service for my family out of love for Jesus actually give Him the chance to love me back by feeding my creativity while I fold or wash or peel potatoes?
Can I increase my intimacy with God by intentionally choosing the state of my mind while I serve?
If Paul’s formula is true (and it’s in the Bible, so it must be), then serving my family with a willing, loving spirit, as if doing it for Jesus, can produce intimacy with God in my mind and heart. So... if my hands wash dishes with a grateful, loving attitude, as if Jesus Himself had eaten a meal off of them, then He can come near and gift me with creative inspiration? If I serve my family lovingly, willingly, as though each of them were Jesus Himself, He can use my faithful behavior to bring my mind (and then my heart as well) into communion with Himself?
A story comes to mind, something Will said to me on our U.S. trip last year. One crisp fall day, while we were staying at my aunt and uncle’s house in Pennsylvania, I wandered down to a peaceful spot at the bottom of their garden where there is a weathered wooden swing hanging from a branch. I needed a few minutes with Jesus. Will had been riding a little car around in the driveway, but he followed me down there, and quietly climbed up next to me on the swing. He sat still for about 10 seconds, and then hopped off and said, “Come on, Mom, yet’s go!”
I said, “You go ahead, I’m just going to sit here and talk to Jesus for a few minutes.”
“Ok, Mom.” He backed away and started off up the hill toward the house, but he quickly turned around when he didn’t hear me saying anything.
“Go ‘head Mom, talk to Him!”
“I am talking to Him, in my heart,” I explained.
Very emphatically, at the top of his lungs, he insisted:
“No Mom, talk to Him with your YIFE!”
I sat there, stunned. I was so sure he was going to say “mouth” or “yips”-- but this. This. Out of the mouths of babes.
I want to talk to Jesus with my life.
Will you explore this with me, you other moms with young kids, desperate for intimacy with Jesus throughout your day, and maybe longing for space and time to practice creativity? Will you try talking to Jesus with, through, in your “yife” too?
[All photos taken by me at my aunt’s house in PA, used by permission.]