Tuesday, March 19, 2013

when you really boil it down...

{Some thoughts I wrote last month, after talking with a friend at a conference... I thought I was busy with three kids, but she has four under seven!}

When you really boil it down, it all comes down to trust.

How much do I trust Him?

Enough to let Him organize my day?  Do I trust Him to give me that half-hour with that friend if it’s really part of His plan for me, His plan for her?

Do I trust Him enough to let go of that idea for that blog post I was going to write, when the baby has an extra blow-out and won’t go down for her nap, and it eats up the 20 scant minutes I was going to use to catch the idea on paper?  Do I trust Him that if it’s really important in His list of what He wants me to say, He will bring it back to my mind and open up the time to write it down?

How about trusting Him enough to be content with letting my kitchen stay a little messy (or a lot messy!) if it means my three-year-old gets an extra couple stories at naptime instead of me cleaning up the lunch dishes?  {After all what is a clean counter-top compared to extra cuddles with the warm, snuggly body that houses the eternal soul of my child?}

What is it for you?  What’s that thing sitting desperately on your want-to-do list, that thing you think will refresh your heart, revive your soul, make you feel better?  Saner.  Calmer.  

For me, it’s clean counter-tops.  Connecting with a friend.  Writing down my thoughts.  Drinking in the Word.  Devouring a great book.  Having a nap.  

Guess what... That thing?  Well, if it robs us from what really matters, it’s nothing less than… (ready for this?)

...an idol.

Idol is an ugly word.  But I can feel its truth in my heart.  The fact of the matter is that Jesus really does own all 24 hours of my time, every day.  So shouldn’t it actually be up to Him how I spend it?  Who really sets my priorities, Him or me?  What does it actually mean in real life to have Someone Else as LORD over my life?

The book I’m longing to finish.  The baking I want to do for my neighbors.  The writing, or emails, or dishes, or craft or… you name it, when I am holding more tightly to that thing than to Jesus, it’s an idol.  And once I see it for what it is, I’m finally able to open my hands and let it go, as if it burned me.  

And the little panicky feeling around my heart?  That feeling that makes me clench my fists when I’m right in the middle of capturing a train of thought that’s been eluding me all day, and big brother wakes up little brother from his nap half-an-hour early, and they’re squabbling in their room together, neither having had enough sleep, and I know I can look forward to a long, cranky several hours til dinner… 

Instead of exploding, I can take a deep breath.  Let it out again, slow.  I can remember that Jesus is the One ordering my day, and that I. can. trust. Him.  If it’s on His agenda, it will get done.  If not, does it really matter?  Really.  I mean, Who’s actually the wiser one, here?  Who’s priorities will always be Kingdom-oriented?  Eternal?  Don’t I want that, anyway?  

In that moment, if I make the choice to trust instead of explode, the panic loosens its squeeze around my heart.  I can unclench my fists, and open my arms to my tumbling, squabbling boys with a smile and a welcome in my heart.  

Here’s the thing: I do not want to look back in 10 years, when my kids are 15, 13, and 10, and think, I missed it.  

I missed it.  

That I was so busy squeezing this in here and that in there, ekeing out a half-hour for this and 10 minutes for that, wildly resenting any unexpected interruptions, that I missed the moments.  The precious, irreplaceable moments with my kids that I can never live again.  

As this was all hitting home for me this morning, I picked up Jesus Calling and flipped to today, February 17, and here’s what I read: 

“It’s easy to make an idol of routine, finding security within the boundaries you build around your life.  Although each day contains twenty-four hours, every single one presents a unique set of circumstances.  Don’t try to force-fit today into yesterday’s mold.  Instead, ask Me to open your eyes, so you can find all I have prepared for you in this precious day of Life.”  

Jesus, help me trust You enough to let go of my own agenda, every day, 

and receive Yours for me instead.  

Help me trust that if what I want to do matches Your agenda for me, 

You’ll make the time for me to do it.  

And if it’s not of You, it’s not worth doing anyway.  

Remind me to receive each consecutive moment, as it comes and goes, 

as a gift.  From You.  For me.  

Whatever each moment holds, frustrating or cheerful, mundane or exciting, 

help me cup my hands around it and enter in with joy.  

{except this last one, all photos are by James, 
from last month's family holiday}


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