Friday, May 15, 2009

Ok, I'm getting it...

Since I started browsing blogs more the past couple of weeks, I've noticed a recurring theme in nearly every one that I've read: time management and prioritizing life.

More specifically, setting aside quiet time with God every day - something I manage to do sporatically, then "life" gets in the way and I get "too busy" and .... enough excuses. I recently read ReFuel, by Doug Fields - a great little book about how to connect with God in little snippets throughout the day. Now that, I do just fine. I pray, it seems, all the time. I'll talk with - I should say to - God at stoplights, on my way to work, at work (oh yes, LOTS of praying there!), sitting and waiting at the ballpark for my daughter to finish practice... But setting aside Quiet Time every day, just for the purpose of connecting with God? I don't do so well.

It's hard for me to be still. Always has been. I have to be moving, doing something, fidgeting, cleaning, driving, walking, reading, watching tv, ...something. There are probably some deep-seated emotional reasons for this - that's a whole 'nuther blog entry for another time. But it's hard for me to just BE.

Which makes it kind of funny that one of my favorite Bible verses is
Psalm 46:10 - "Be still, and know that I am God."
I even have a little window cling on my front door with that verse on it - so I will see it every single time I enter my home. My goal was to let it serve as a reminder for my family that when we enter our home - to calm down, stop running, BE STILL and give all the stresses that follow us home over to God.

The good news is that it seems to work quite well for my hubby & daughter! My husband is one of those guys that doesn't seem to have a care in the world most of the time. He comes home from work, kicks off his boots, plops down in the recliner and watches a ball game - or goes out to the shop to practice his banjo or tinker with his car/s or water the garden. My daughter is the same way - she'll come in from school or ball practice, take a leisurely shower, watch a little tv maybe, or journal, or talk to her friends on the phone, read a little ...then it's bedtime. (Note: they do help out whenever I ask...of course, do we ever ask for help often enough? I know I don't.)

Neither of them come home and think "Ok, I need to do this, this, and that by 7pm. Then I need to make sure this, that, and the other thing is all taken care of before 9... then MAYBE I can get to bed by midnight - oh wait, I forgot that I need to do this other thing!"
I'll give you a moment to try and guess who's internal monologue that is... :)

This is something that I have struggled with for years. But I think I'm getting it...finally. I can slow down. I can stop having self-imposed deadlines for every little item on my To-Do List. I can take time to do something that renews me - spiritually, emotionally, physically. I've started working in my garden, and creating some Trash-to-Treasures like my friend, Michelle. I'm reading more for pleasure. I'm allowing myself to relax more often. I'm preparing dinners ahead of time to avoid the crazy-dinner-rush after work. I'm taking pleasure in doing things for my family, not feeling as if I have to do everything myself.

Far more important than anything else - I am giving God my quiet time every day.
Not because He demands it - my salvation does not, and never will, depend on it.

I am giving it to Him, selfishly, because I need that time with Him. I need to "Be still..." and allow myself to hear Him. I am giving it to Him as a part of my worship. I can sing songs along with K-Love, I can listen to sermons on the radio, I can read books about being closer to God, I can even "pray without ceasing"...I consider all of those things worship. But if I never stop, be still, and LISTEN to Him ...what good is all of that?

I am giving it to Him because NOTHING is more important. Nothing. What could be more important than spending time with my Creator?? I have learned over the years, that no amount of "doing" can make it all be "done". I've spent too many minutes, hours, days, and years that are forever gone to doing so many things that don't matter one bit today. And when this life is over for me, no one will care how clean my house was or wasn't, if my kids outfits were color-coordinated every day, how big my garden or bank account was, how many clothes I had in my closet or whether my laundry room was constantly in a state of madness. No one will care how much I saved every month on groceries by using coupons religiously, or if my carpet had stains or my baseboards were dusty. No one will care if I finished reading the Twilight series in a week, or if my dogs were walked exactly at 8:30am every morning (they aren't, btw, another thing on my list...). All that will matter is that I am with my God, for all eternity.

If you're spending eternity with someone, you should probably get to know Him before you arrive, don't you think? :)

As Jason Jackson says, "...we need to drop our hands, go limp, relax, and “chill out.” Christian people ought to “come, behold the works of Jehovah,” (v. 8) that we may enjoy a calm confidence in him who gave us his Son."

Just....Be still.


The Real Me! said...

Hello! I just wanted to stop by and say hi.
I really enjoyed this post as I feel the same way many many days.
Have a great weekend!

sharoniusthunk said...

It has been in the past 2-3 years that I have really "gotten" this. I don't know if it's aging, or conscious effort, or both... but I do know that it is by far the most important and sane thing that I can do for myself on a regular basis and makes the BIGGEST shift in my thinking and emotional/mental health when I do.
Here's to us! And thanks for the reminder...