First, I want to wish everyone a Happy, Christ-filled New Year.
Today is Day 7 of the 12 Days of Christmas, but my blog today will not be about that.
Last night I went to bed with my heart hurthin. Hurting for my friend and her daughter who is giving them a run for their money. And for myself- because my family really hurt my feelings last night.
It was after midnight, and we were getting ready to go to bed, when I mentioned doing day 6 of the 12 Days. It had been a busy day, with everyone going every which way, and I had been so busy, that I had put it off all day. When I mentioned it, I was met with groans, rolling eyes and various other signals that let me know that everyone else was displeased with my idea. These whines were not because they were tired and wanted to go to bed, but they were because they wanted to go read, play on the computer or do something, ANYTHING else.
Now, this would not have been so bad, and perhaps at another time I would have not been so hurt. After all, I did co-write the book and they have heard it for at least 4 years, they know all the stories and answers. But what made it so bad was that I had been up till 3:30 am the night before getting my oldest sons homeschool records together to send in for his credits before the deadline of Dec. 31, and then got up early to finish, AND I had left a great party early to come home so I could fix our traditional New Years Eve fondue, and celebrate by playing games with the kids like I do every New Years Eve. So I was miffed. And more than just a little bit. I said,"ok, goodnight." And went up and cried and went to sleep.
This morning, when I got up, I was still hurt. I feel like I pour every ounce of energy into them and helping them to see Christ, yet sometimes I feel like I am talking to a brick wall! The world is sooooo attractive, and so easy. And it requires only the bare minimium. Yet it only sucks the life out of us, so we are unfulfilled and left wanting more. So we try to fill it up with more world, yet are left even more empty, and desiring more self-fufilling.
Now, I have to say at this point, that I have great kids. They love me and are not afraid to show it in public, by hugging, kissing, holding hands, and by mostly doing what they are asked. And I think they love God. They all say they do, and exhibit an early love for him. But they are kids. They want to get by with the bare minimium, and when I ask them to do something extra, especially when they are busy doing something else, its the rolling eyes and huffing. They do it, but they want to be doing what they want to do and not be interrupted.
This morning, as I was praying about this in my garden, God showed me my own heart, and how I sometimes treat him as my father, and let me tell you, it is the same way as my kids sometimes treat me. OUCH!
You see, until recently, I didn't really want to read his word and spend time with him. I would say I wanted to, and I certainly felt him calling me and loving me toward him, but I was resistant. But as I have fallen in love with him more and more, I want to spend every minute with him. But it wasn't always that way. I struggled greatly for many years with a consistant "quiet time". But I never would admit it because everyone around me seemed so perfect.
But even now, I still struggle. Not so much with the daily time, but with other things that take up "my time". Like going to church. Really. I struggle with that because it takes so much time and energy to get ready to go, then travel time, then about 75 minutes of church, most of it just sitting there with my hands idle, then driving home, or eating out, half the day is gone. And we don't really know anyone at church, so going there is just not attractive. I would rather just sit at home in my P.J.'s and watch it live on the internet while I sip my tea and crochet. I am always glad I went, but it is a struggle to get out the door.
And what about other ministry and service opportunities? Quite frankly, sometimes I resent the time it takes to serve. I want to serve who I want and when I want to do it. I don't want to go to a soup kitchen or to help in kids ministry. I would reather just give money. I don't want to to to India or Asia or even North Palm Beach just 10 minutes up the road. Its easier just to throw money at the problem than to get involved.
You see, time is the only thing that we have to give that is really ours and we won't ever get more of. And it is the only thing that I really have control of. I know I have to sleep and do some work, but even those things, we have some control of. But God wants it all. And he doesn't want me to roll my eyes or sigh when he gives me something 'extra' to do. After all, if I were doing it directly to him, it would be easy, right? I mean, if I knew that Jesus would be there, wouldn't I jump at the opportunity to serve him at a soup kitchen? Or minister to a group of kids in Sunday School? Or cook a meal for him?
I just thought of something...perhaps that was the difference in Mary and Martha. Mary wanted to just love him. Martha was so busy making preparations and being resentful that she forgot that it was a joy to have the priviledge to serve him. I forget that with my family sometimes.
So I am, with his gentle help, going to give my time more freely to him and do some of the ministry things that I have been putting off, or think that they take too much time. Like going to ladies Bible study on Tuesdays. And writing more. And other service opportunities as they arise. And I am going to forgive my kids and keep plugging away. After all, that is what God as my Father has done for me. He has not given up and neither will I. One day they will "get it".
Romans 12:1 taken from 'The Message' says:
So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
I also love the 3rd chapter of Colossians for more confirmation.
My brother-in-law and sister-in-law gave me a book with prints of beautiful flowers and scripture along side it. Todays scripture really fits (God works like that)and I wanted to share that with you too.
As for me, I will always have hope.
I will praise you more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteousness
of your salvation all day long.
though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts,
O soverign Lord;
I will come and proclaim your righteousness,
Since my youth, O God, You have taught me,
And to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I am old and gray,
Do not forsake me, O God,
till I delare your power to the next generation,
your might to all who ar to come.
Enjoy your day! Visit www.12daysbook.com and share the 12 days of Christmas with us!