Let's pretend for a minute that I am a "perfect" Christian mommy/wife/example. I begin my day by yawning and stretching as the sun arcs over my windowsill, which is covered in chirping birds singing to me, personally. I emerge from my bedroom already praising God for the beautiful day he has given us, and I quickly sit down at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and my bible. I sing many praises as I read my bible, but soon I have to pull out my braille bible just so I can sing, pray, and read at *precisely* the exact same moment. My children awaken in equally inspirational moods after I have had exactly two solid, uninterrupted hours of prayer/praise/bible time. My daughter brings me her bible, and we devote most of the morning to learning about the Lord and injecting Him into every aspect of all that we do. Even when we divert to another activity, it is still entirely surrounded by and focused in how we can glorify Him. When my children disobey (which is rarely) they promptly apologize and instead of becoming frustrated or angry, we devote several minutes to prayer so that I can use this as a teaching opportunity. When my husband comes home from work, I immediately ask him how I can serve him as I inform him that dinner is almost ready and offer him a cold glass of iced tea. He is in a good mood because I am in a good mood (as always) and he tells me "Why don't you rest and I will finish dinner... then we can all pray together and I will read from the Bible to the children and ...blah blah blah."
Our imagination minute is over.
Unfortunately, most of that is pretty much the exact OPPOSITE of EVERYTHING that happens in a general day at my house. I usually wake up in a less-than-satisfactory mood which is exacerbated by my kids waking up at the same time as me and ruining my quiet time. I realize at that exact point between my mattress and my toilet that I will have no peace, no quiet, no praying, and no bible reading.
My daughter immediately begins hounding me about breakfast, or clothes, or a dream she had, or "do we have any juice"...
And I immediately react with irritation, reminding her that I am not awake and I would appreciate if she would wait to speak to me until I at least have food in front of me. I literally cannot handle being asked questions first thing in the morning.
I am usually already dragging because like I said, I am NOT a morning person. Instead of being able to effectively direct my children through the day's activities, I am struggling to keep their focus (and mine). By the time my husband gets home, I am so worn out from feeling "behind" all day that I am seeking his service to me rather than seeking how to serve him. Chaos ensues until bedtime. There was no quiet time for bible reading, aside from the 1/2 hour block in our schedule that is specifically reserved for bedtime.
When the kids are all in bed and the house is actually quiet, bible reading and praying still does not take place. I am basically a pile of goo, all spirituality drained from my inside and grated from the outside. I can barely think clearly enough to create a blog post, even though I have had inspiration for one nagging my mind all day.
I don't think this is hugely a far cry from most other christian women at this point in their walk with God. It's easy for me, now, to see what I should be doing. But putting it into practice does not seem to happen often.
I have all of these motivations and idea about what I should do differently. I need to start serving my husband, instilling the word of God in my children, setting aside time every single day for praying and bible reading, putting more time and effort into my blog as it is one of my biggest ministry tools...
Sometimes, these key points seem overwhelming. How can I ever do all of this, especially with three kids who are too young to really help with the house? How can I ever get my laundry under control? How can I keep to the schedule, after husband comes home, when he isn't totally aware of what our day entails? How can I serve him when I am too exhausted to even think? How can I put out a blog, find time to pray, and be a joy in my home with all these tiny children running around?
I spend a lot of time (mentally) trying to figure out all of this.
I came across a really great idea through the network of blogs I am perpetually perusing and I found something incredibly inspirational.
Only A Breath had a blog post about "My One Word." Basically, instead of declaring ten New Year's Resolutions (nine of them pertaining to losing weight while you inhale your leftover New Year's cupcakes) doomed to fail, people should be encouraged to focus on One Word "Because that’s easy to remember all 365 days of the year."
What an interesting idea!
I found in the Only A Breath blog that many people have chosen to put a spiritual spin on it, and pray for God to show them what His will would be for their focus this year. I was so inspired I began to instantly drop everything and start praying about what word He would reveal to me. I ran through the list in my mind of things I need to change, places I need to improve and where I could make my family life better and....
I came across, in my random internet excursions and blog musings, several really great words that people had been inspired with this year.
Oh! Those are awesome words.
I hope I get a cool one.
As He so often does, the Lord spoke to be fairly quickly - probably because He knows I am a sanguine and I have a very short attention span, because He made me that way. The only thing that came to mind was a song we sang at church a few weeks ago.
I don't even especially like this song. But it was stuck in my head! It's not even a word. Boo. I wanted something "cool."
But it is in the bible.
Warning: This post is about to get scripture-heavy.
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
I allowed this to resonate with me, and, like when we sang at church, the one line stuck in my head. "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God." In a moment of clarity, I realized what my word was.
Instead of trying to fix all of my problems and improve on all the little things that I think will have a landslide affect on the rest of my life, I need to seek Him first. I can't change myself. Only He can change me - even in all of the immense ways I need to be changed! I get so overwhelmed with the many ways I need to be improved upon that sometimes I just find myself praying, in desperation, "Lord, change me." We are called to seek Him first.
It doesn't say that if we seek Him first some of these things will be given to us. It doesn't say "the one you are worried about the most." It says "all these things." This probably includes even more blessings that I don't even have the mindset to think I need. How amazing is God's grace to us that He will fulfill our needs this way if we just seek Him first?
So this year, I will strive to do just that. No more focusing on every little detail - praying and spending time in the Word of God need to come FIRST, and the rest will just fall into place. I know there isn't always time when we let our day lead us where it will. I will have to *make* time. I will have to make this a priority. And it may very well take the whole year for me to get it, but I am determined to make this year about seeking.
I would like to give acknowledgement to My Joy-Filled Life - This was the blog post where I discovered the One Word commitment and it is not just a cool idea to repin to pinterest. This is a hugely inspiring endeavor for me, and I pray that the Lord will use this concept to reach out to others this year as He reached out to me through Sarah's blog.
I would like to thank Melanie of Only A Breath, for making these One Word buttons. She has offered to make them for use and linkage on your blog...but she says she is willing to make them for anyone who has a word, blog or not. :) So please visit her blog and check out the other blogs/buttons who have linked there!
I would also like to point you to the One Word 365 community. Here, you can view many inspirational blogs and some great blog posts about the "Words" of others who were inspired this year!
I just used sooooo many links..