A few weeks ago, I spent a Saturday afternoon purging and reorganizing my bedroom closet. It was long overdue and I was very pleased with the results. But as I basked in the glow of neatly-folded tee-shirts and shoes pointing in the same direction, I started to wonder how quickly the closet would deteriorate back into chaos. It wasn’t the first time I had reorganized it, after all. After a while my wonder turned to discouragement. In fact, lately I have been lamenting over other things in my life that I’ve tried to “clean up”—discipline with time and money, patience with my children, confidence and openness in relationships—only to feel like I never change for the long term. (Some of these lamentations may have been brought on by a certain birthday coming up this year … Maybe.) But just as my closet gets used every day, and isn’t going to stay makeover-new without constant care, my soul needs constant renewal. I can’t just check in with Jesus once in a while; I have to remain in Him in order to bear fruit. I also need to remember that God’s timeline for change is different from mine. God knows how old I will be this year, and He isn’t worried or hurried about it. He won’t be done with me, until He’s done.
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Are you ever discouraged about your spiritual progress? What are your favorite mind-renewing verses?
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We are about a month into our summer vacation, and I think I’m enjoying the break from homeschooling as much as my students are. Not that I’m exactly on a break. Most summer days, the clock seems to fill up and pass by as quickly as it did during the school year. If it’s not school, it’s housework (and long overdue de-cluttering). When I devote more time to work, the house falls apart. And if I’m working on the blog, forget it! Nothing else is happening. 😀
I’m certainly not complaining about my responsibilities–they come with great blessings. I’m grateful to have a family and home to care for, for the privilege of homeschooling, and for my job that allows me to contribute to my family’s support. But some days I wish had been more productive, and long for enough energy to accomplish just one more task before crashing into bed. How can I complete everything I need (and want) to do in 24 hours, when some of those hours have to be spent sleeping (and, I kinda like it too)?
Get organized. Ask for help. Delegate. Spend less time on Facebook and HGTV? I’m pretty sure all of those things would help. “Do less,” is another obvious solution, but much more easily said than done.
~~I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing
. (John 15:5
Now, I have to caution the checklist-checker in me that bearing “much fruit” might not be a reference to my to-do list. Does God care how I manage my time
? Does it matter whether my sink is (often) overflowing with dirty dishes
? I believe it actually does matter. But I’m sure that the fruit borne of abiding in Jesus—starting my day in prayer, keeping His word in my heart, seeking and listening to Him until I go to bed at night—is much more significant and eternal than the items written on my schedule. Could the fruit be:
in determining what I will, and will not, devote my time to.
Plain ole Joy,
for crying out loud! It’s true that my sink is full of dirty dishes AS I TYPE THIS, but as a child of God I have a long list of reasons to rejoice. Longer than any to-do list.
Thank you for stopping by,
As I alluded to in my testimony and in last week’s post, my spiritual life at one time was mostly focused on a list of “dont’s.” And when I committed a don’t, I added it to my lists of my failures. It wasn’t until I started reading the Bible for myself, that I learned about the many beautiful “dos” it contains: be kind, be gracious, and forgive. I was so excited about Colossians 3 that I recited some of it on my outgoing voicemail message. 🙂 I think it’s time for a refresher.
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What are your favorite “do’s” from the Bible?
Being a mother comes with so many blessings. There are the obvious ones, like kissing tiny toes, hearing first words, and watching little ones grow into young ladies and gentlemen who love the Lord. Parenting also teaches me so much about myself, for example, when I respond impatiently (OK, angrily) to ever-piling messes and never-ending bedtimes. My God, on the other hand, is slow to become angry with me.
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Aren’t you glad God isn’t like us?? What are your favorite “ways” of the Lord, that are not like our ways?
How do you respond to a stressful situation? Do you try to plan the uncertainty out of it? Or do you sit paralyzed, playing all the dreadful possibilities in your mind (as I’ve been known to do)? Well, planning is usually wise, and waiting is often necessary. But prayer is the action plan that will lead to peace.
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What verses help to calm your worried mind?