Sunday, March 06, 2011

A New Resolve

So, I have so many thoughts moving through my head today. The only way I feel I can process them is to write them if you dare to brave the workings of my on.
Yesterday I had a very wonderful, sweet, challenging conversation with my husband. I am so grateful for his encouragement and listening ear this week as I have worked to process thoughts in my mind. I must admit to feeling quite grouchy this week. I do think some of it is exhaustion with sickness in our home, some is due to the emotions I have experienced the past few weeks, and some is realizing I desperately need to make some changes in my life and not really, truly wanting to make them. As I talked with Andy, I realized (once again...I am such a slow learner) that I am being driven by the "Tyranny of the Urgent". (This phrase is taken from a little booklet I read a year ago and I must pull out and read again.) I am one who is a.) a people pleaser, b.) driven often by emotion, and c.) driven by passion (and not always the best passion!). I love the Lord. I want to please Him. I also want to meet every single need that is brought to my attention or that enters my door. I can't even begin to tell you how often I am confronted by needs of others be it Andy, my children, friends, family, you name it! And quite frankly, I am exhausted! This week really showed how the "urgent" has really dictated my life. One day, I had so many needs/ responsibilities, I felt my sanity leaving me! Unfortunately, I did not respond in a way that was Christ- exalting or gospel oriented. I complained. I whined. My tongue was not under the Spirit's direction, but rather under the control of my sinful, fleshy self. It was not beautiful. Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband who, though he had to receive the brunt of my words, listened and then wisely pointed out a solution.
I have a white board in my kitchen. Quite frankly, it is my third hand and sometimes my only brain. On it, are prayer requests (not all, but a few), our schedule, upcoming events, and very quickly written down notes. In all seriousness, if it is not on that board, it is probably forgotten until it is brought to my attention again and, hopefully, added to that board. My husband pointed out that it doesn't contain my priorities. I am not being driven by what God has placed in my life to be the grid each area of my life must go through. He encouraged me to put my priority list on the board. He added to put what the Lord has placed on my heart to accomplish for that day and then if something else comes up, if it fits-ok- and if not-I must choose to let it go. Now, let me clairfy, I do believe in Providential hindering. God can change what I am doing on a particular day....He can show me what I need to do. However, I do believe that God desires us to do some "planning" to a certain degree. Planning so we are organized, so we are redeeming each precious moment/minute for His glory and honor. I have NOT been doing such a hot job on the redeeming of my time. I start out with a plan, but when someone else comes (most often it is not my husband or children) and they have a "plan" for me, I am often swayed and then struggling because I didn't accomplish what needed to be done. I don't know if I am making any sense, but anyway. So, my new resolve: Prayerfully seek out what God wants me to accomplish based on the priorities He has revealed to me each day. It is going to look alittle bit like this:
For example: Monday=laundry focus
Tuesday= kitchen focus
Wednesday= planning/scheduling focus
Thursday = ministering out of my home (shopping/ visiting/ Mom's group)
Friday = major cleaning in prep for the weekend
Saturday = rest/ family fun / various projects
Sunday = worship/ encouragement of others/ rest
That is not a complete list or even what it for sure is, but for example.

a. My relationship with the Lord
~Scripture memory
~Bible Study
~Practicing His presence and seeking to worship Him throughout my tasks

b. My relationship with Andy
~ does this build or hinder my relationship with him
~ will this hinder my energies that ought to be used to minster/ encourage him
~ am I seeking to Love him only after the Lord and above all other earthly relationships.

c. My relationship with my children
~ does this hinder or help me accomplish my responsibility to bring them up in the "discipline and instruction of the Lord"
~ does this hinder the choice Andy and I have made for me to teach and educate our children
~ am I seeking to Love my children only after the Lord and Andy but above all other earthly relationships

d. My home
~ does this take away from my primary ministry to my home which includes the caring for Andy and the kids as well as making our home a place where Christ is seen to all who enter.
~ does this drain my energies to demonstrate the gospel in my home

e. Others
~Is this something that Christ desires to use to encourage my family or friends

These are not complete, but some of the questions/ thoughts I need to think through.

3. I will work on being gracious but bold when confronted with things/ministries that conflict with greater priorities.
I am not very bold when it comes to insisting I can't do something or when saying no. As Andy and I talked, I realized that I feel like saying "no" or "I really can't today" is mean when in fact it is not, especially if done in a loving and gracious manner. I am determined to really seek to be gracious and yet insistent when I need to be. This will be very difficult for me because I am driven sometimes by guilt when I say no and always evaluate and rehash things in my mind. I am praying the Lord will work on my heart and spirit to be wise in my dealings especially with others.
Anyway, these are some of my rambling thoughts. I am praying the Lord will continue to grow me into being the woman He desires me to be.

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