Its been over a week since I wrote a blog post or even posted on social media. I feel like time is running away with all of my well-established hours. It is leaving me craving the weekend, which then doesn’t materialize as it should. Wouldn’t it be great to have 24+ hours to stay at home and catch up on all things you are behind in? I am thinking that 24+ hours to lay in bed and do nothing sounds pretty enticing these days.
Because I have allowed too much of everything to creep on in to my little peaceful corner of the world, I am not sleeping well, not resting well, not digging as deeply into God’s word as I desire. I am not feeding myself well, not encouraging myself well, not loving myself well. I am not reaching out, obeying, being grateful or encouraging. I am shuffling along on an autopilot-like existence that isn’t very pretty, nor does it glorify God very much.
Why do we let ourselves get so busy? Please tell me I am not the only one who lives life attached to a yo-yo string?? I can hardly handle the ups and downs I put myself through any given week of the year.
I was praying today, asking God to somehow grab a hold of this me that is out of control. To do something to fix this me that seems to be broken? And in the same breath praying that it wouldn’t be anything that hurt or was harsh to my loved ones, etc. I think it is a trust issue? I want God to transform me into the person He needs me to be, but I am not trusting that the person he needs me to be will be someone I like. I pray, “Your will be done,” but I follow it with a number of disclaimers.
I am so very tired of start overs, and yet every morning I want to claim, “This is the first day of the rest of my life.” As if the proclamation in-and-of-itself holds weight. Because I know full well that tomorrow will be a repeat. As I have looked backwards, I see that I am really no good for more than a week of countable days before I want to restart. Why is that? Trust me, I do not have too high of expectations. In fact, I am famous for lowering my expectations.
But I do know that the end of a good stretch is always marked by taking my eyes off the prize and reverting to idolatry. Yep, it is a wicked combo for sure. I commit to making obedience my #1 aim in life, and before a week has gone by I am uber-focused on the weight loss or the disordered eating or the self-hatred or any one of a number of other things that have taken my eyes off just pure obedience.
Today I am reminded that this world is not my home, and living here is just a waiting. Not a waiting that is idle or a hopelessness, but a waiting that is filled with excitement. That is where the joy we are asked to live with her on earth originates: the pent up excitement over eternity with Christ. No matter how this present life disappoints, it is just a precursor to the best that is yet to come. I spend a lot of time lamenting what wasn’t and wanting a do-over for what failed. As my roots grow deeper in the Lord, that lamenting lessens, but it is always there, speaking lies into my head.
It needs to be put to death, right?
I often crave relationships: a fabulous friend my age in my walk of life; a spouse to share what’s left of this journey here on earth; adult kids who are close in actual distance and in heart.
But Christ needs to be my most important relationship, and with others lacking, that makes more space for Him. And when heaven becomes my forever home, relationships will be at a maximum! Hallelujah!! Everyone will have the mind of Christ and we will love one another as Christ loves us. For now…waiting.
I tend to wallow in the what-should-have-been. Not too long ago, I discovered a John Piper quote that has become my mantra: “Occasionally, weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face, trust God, and embrace the life you have.” This speaks so soothingly to my soul. It is permissible to occasionally mourn what was lost. But it isn’t permissible to stay there in that place. God has placed us in the here and now as part of our story. Don’t think His story for you was the one way back then when things were “better.”
So here on this earth, we wait. And the waiting can surely be tough. I struggle with sins that feel pretty life-long; long before I was suffering consequences from them, they were festering and blooming. I struggle with what seems like unanswered prayers, even though I know there is no such thing. That would be out of character for our holy God.
Part of the solution is knowing God and knowing Him really well. And that only comes through His word. So spend much time with your Bible every single day. It is a necessity for a life of patient waiting.
Don’t grow weary. And trust me, the waiting can be wearisome. I can allow myself to be weary on a daily basis, and when I don’t get the right amount of rest in that weariness, then weariness turns into anxious moments. Or even worse, a bitter attitude, an entitled attitude toward everyone and everything.
So I have to put on determination. A determination to overcome. You know, when a person is addicted to alcohol, they vow to stay away from it. And it is something they have the physical ability to do. But I cannot stay away from food?? But the one food category I know for sure causes me disordered eating behavior is sugar. I call it a food category, but it isn’t a food category; it isn’t really something we should consume. But for me it includes sweeteners of every kind, because it is the sweet taste that is the issue for me.
Coffee will be the hardest to drink without sweetener, but thankfully it is an area where I have repeatedly cut back and use very little. For me it is the color more than the sweetness. Coffee must be the proper shade of light brown. We laugh at my house, because unless coffee is a precise Pantone 729, it isn’t drinkable!! So you just add almond milk until it conforms. Thankful for the low calorie content of almond milk, right!!??
So today I cleared away all things sweetened. I am not talking about fruit, just processed, baked goods, etc that are full of white sugar or even stevia. I have gone the sugar detox route before and it has some painful days in the process, but I am ready to act with determination and a transformed way of thinking and acting. It HAS TO START somewhere and it has to be now….