Monthly Archives: December 2011

Hectic chaos

Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires. (Romans 13:14 NLT)

And here was my hectic mid-week day…

6:00 AM Quiet time and throw load of laundry in washer

7:30 AM Get dressed

8:00 AM Get kids dressed and ready for their day, feed them light cereal to go

9:00 AM Weigh-in at Weight Watchers

9:30 AM Mtg with Andy Rainey and Jennifer at Coffee, Beans, and Brew

11:10 AM Drop kids off at Kidz Zone at YMCA (but first change Ryan’s poopy diaper)

11:20 AM Swim for 20 min.

11:40 AM Get dressed, pick up kids

12:00 PM Get home, feed kids, attempt Beth Moore’s video

12:30 PM Neighbor kid arrives for carpool to school

12:35 PM Drive kids to Preschool

1:00 PM Arrive home, put babies down, throw clothes in dryer, start another load of laundry, find new hiding spot for Clyde the Elf, make self lunch

1:15 PM Start Recruiting work for the Garrow Company, Time Warner guy comes to fix our DVR

3:15 PM Naps End, Work ends, switch out laundry, Workout on Elliptical for 20 mins (watching Steven Furtick)

3:40 PM Emma gets home from school, shower, feed everyone snack, attempt Beth Moore’s video

4:00 PM Prepare dinner (listening to Matt Chandler)

5:00 PM Serve dinner and clean up dishes

6:00 PM Move Clyde the Elf, dry hair, and put on makeup

6:15 PM Head to LifeGroup

9:00 PM Put kids to bed, attempt Beth Moore’s video but cannot keep my eyes open

10:00 PM CRASH

This was my day last Wednesday. And what a day it was! When I compare my days from my life pre-LPV, I cringe at all the free time I spent in front of the television! If I had to plan a defense, I could find a way to support that much of my day was spent serving: serving my family, my church, my community… but not much was spent serving God. What I realized today was how little of my time was spent WITH God. Yes, I can listen to podcasts and watch missed LPV messages, but very little of my day was spent in quiet with God. In fact, maybe God got a half hour of my hour and a half allotment in the morning.

A few weeks back, Andy Ransdell suggested that in all we do, God should be the focus. I find this a helpful reminder when I have to give myself a lecture before sitting behind the desk and recruiting/working when the rest of the house is quiet. I have realized when God is the focus, I am more efficient and productive in recruiting… and now I need to learn to apply that same standard to the remaining pieces of my day. I want to “clothe myself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ” in all I do. This day was more chaotic and stressful than it needed to be. If anything, the chaos I added just took away from the peace I could have had if I had settled in some time with God.

What does that look like for you? Do you create more chaos in your life than necessary? What do you think God would advise if he looked at your calendar?

A time of waiting…

So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”
He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know.” (Acts 1:6, 7 NLT)

Of the many trials and times of waiting I have experienced, five years ago I remember the most difficult to date– if and when we would be able to bring our first born baby home from the NICU. Emma’s three month premature arrival was a test of many things– of my marriage, of my parenting, of my patience. While leaving her at nighttime in the hands of the nurses and heading home was difficult, I hung on to the hope that someday she’d be accompanying me on the journey out of the hospital walls. Everyday I’d wonder whether we were closer to her homecoming, and when I would ask, no one could secure a response I was seeking. Instead, my ten hour daily hospital visits felt a little generic at times, and Emma simply didn’t feel like my baby because I wasn’t yet able to make decisions on her behalf. We were at the mercy of God and His timing, though it often felt like we were at the mercy of the nurses and doctors. 

On one hand, we knew Emma was in the best hands, and we felt secure because she was hooked up to monitors and progressing as she should; on the other hand, we longed for the days we could watch football games and cuddle with her on the couch during the weekends instead of fighting her cords and holding her in hospital chairs. As much as we tried to remain patient, we struggled, much like the apostles, and wanted everything to move a little faster than God planned.

Now that I look back on that time, I wonder what our hurry was… Emma was well-cared for, and the Holy Spirit was following me around like a piece of toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe. Though I never felt alone, I still grew impatient. Is there anything in your life that causes you great impatience? Does your impatience stem from a lack of security in God’s plan or a feeling of deep loneliness? The challenge I wasn’t ready to face during those months was to dive into the Word and be with God through that time of impatience. God is calling us, in our deepest impatience, to climb into His story, read, and learn how to use the negative energy of impatience for His good. Are we up for the challenge?

Hurricane Ike

All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. (Acts 4:32 NLT)

I am trying to figure out what life would be like if we were all as selfless as this passage portrays. My God-loving heart is grateful for all He has given me, and I can verbalize without Him, I’d be nothing, but my actions (which speak much louder than my words) don’t always demonstrate God’s important place in my life. I cannot imagine sharing everything I had all the time. 

Strangely enough, one of my fonder memories was during Hurricane Ike when we were without electricity for three days. Our neighborhood came together, played outside all day long, shared the food out of our fridges with each other, and it really felt like a strange phenomenon was happening… it felt as if what we owned was no longer ours but everyone’s. The men helped each other inspect damage, repair roofs, and cook meals on the grill. We all hung outside and grew in community during those three days. It was nice knowing my neighbors would be there for each other in crisis.

So what would it look like if we did those kinds of things more often? If we offered to others the things we hold most dear?