Thursday, May 15, 2008

Clear the calendar for Friday...

Chris Maxwell asks on his blog today,

"If Jesus typed our schedule, how would it look?"


Well, now, that is a good question! I bet it starts with my going to bed maybe three hours ago!

But it doesn't really start there, does it?

No.

When I ask myself that challenging question, I must say, I am dumbfounded.

Here are the elements that would remain in place:

1) Serving my children's academic needs best by keeping them home...what has to change? Slim down the research. Go with what I know. Don't panic. Stay grounded. Choose wisely, then trust those decisions!

2) Continuing to make our house a Safe Home for our neighbors. What has to give here? Know when to say no. My priorities need to include putting Family highest on the list, and not allowing others to overshadow my commitments to my husband and children. This neighborhood is our ministry, and I will retain an open door policy, but I do need to also set protective boundaries around our own schedule(s).

3) Greeting my husband with hugs & kisses when he gets home. Nothing needs to change here. I guess we can all use more loving greetings??

4) Participating in an active faith community. We are in a church search again. NOT BECAUSE I WANT TO BE!! But, $3.70/gallon makes our 1 hour roundtrip to Truro or small group 7+ times a month too taxing on our wallets right now...we can find a strong faith community closer to home, and we're trying...This is CRITICAL for us!!


OK. What has to go to experience an unabashed relationship with my heavenly Father?

Do I dare answer that? Not yet; not completely...it requires some time, consideration...wisdom...insight...etc.

Why do people ask these life-upturning questions?



Let's start with something simpler:

What needs to be ADDED to my schedule?
1) On-my-knees prayer!! I have not been as intentional at this as I need/want to be. I have a list to the right of my head even as I type now--I can look at photos of those in need & "think" of them. But, what good does that do, really? Thinking of them? That's internal. "I thought of you today" sounds like, "I saw a little kitchy thing at the dust-collector's store that reminded me of you today." No. Praying for someone is ACTIVE. When I pray I am doing more than thinking of someone, I am acting on their behalf! I can never outdo this action. I cannot be in a dysfunctional relationship with prayer. I cannot overdose on prayer! Let me wear my knees calloused in prayer, for crying out loud! (instead of wearing out my back sitting in front of this glowing screen!)...HINT TO SELF.

2) Personal study of God's Word.

You know, walking with Christ is a hilly endeavor. Sometimes we are very engrossed in the trek, carrying along our compass, our walking stick, our mosquito net, etc. as we traipse with anticipation & head-held-high over this hill & up to that apex with Christ. We even find ourselves soaring on eagle's wings, high above tree line sometimes. But then, we tumble alone, and roll to the bottom of a valley, not unlike that classic moment in The Princess Bride, when Princess Buttercup gives the Dread Pirate Roberts a good shove and he rolls & rolls & rolls, all the while calling out, "As You Wish..." until she follows his tumble to the bottom, shocked and suddenly aware that her "Sweet Westley" is selfsame... wait a minute! I am so off track!

OK, it is a tumble like that, though, right? We find ourselves on the edge of the Fire Swamp, and have to battle the demons within (like Rodents of Unusual Size. ROUS's? I don't think they exist!)...

But, to try to keep this metaphor in tact (I'm losing it, I know!), sometimes we stumble not because of our own sin, per se, but because we are weary. We have just grown tired of swimming culturally up hill for so long. We are weary from work. From daily labors/chores/tasks. From lack. of. sleep.. And, you know, in those lows it takes the word of another, sometimes, to wake you back up!

HEY! WAKE UP, YOU! Trying to Live Intentionally? Well, then, stop killing yourself with exhaustion! Cut back. Whittle down. Downsize. Sell. Giveaway. Erase. Tear up! Unsubscribe!! Discriminate!

I don't have to tell you what I have to streamline in my life...God knows, and he will convict (OK, he is convicting!!), but this question is SUCH a good one!! It's better than the over-simplified, over-used"What Would Jesus Do"...it's more specific. More cutting. More convicting.

And on that note, I have to go to BED without really completing this post (or have I?).

Until we meet again...(if??)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:4-9

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34

...but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:31

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

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