I have thought long and hard about this post...so long and so hard that it has taken me ten days to write. I know...crazy!
Here's the thing, I have discovered that everything I struggle with comes down to two things - pride and consistency. And since no one really wants to talk about pride, I'm focusing on consistency.
I read my Bible, but not consistently.
I clean my kitchen, but not consistently.
I discipline my kids, but not consistently.
I pay attention to my husband, but not consistently.
I care for my friends, but not consistently.
I exercise, but not consistently.
I am thankful, but not consistently.
I am generous, but not consistently.
You get the idea.
About the only thing I am consistent about is caring about me. That's the pride...we aren't talking about that right now. Well, I'm also consistent about eating chocolate.
So I have been spending time in November developing my consistency. I have been setting aside time to read my Bible. Sometimes that means I read with Jeffrey laying on my bed next to me. Sometimes that means I read with Morgan asking me questions every two seconds, "Mommy, what is your favorite color? What is your next favorite? And you like pink too?" Here's what I figure...we are supposed to meditate on His word all day. Not just carve out 30 min of utter uninterrupted silence in which to focus on just what He has to say to us. And we are supposed to pray without ceasing. I'm sorry, I am a mother of six beautiful, but very needy children and the wife to one amazing, but very busy husband. Some days I'm just happy to take a shower without correcting a child or answering questions. To find time to read and study and pray seems impossible.
So I picked a book of the Bible and am reading maybe a chapter, maybe just a few verses each morning. After I am dressed and have eaten breakfast - otherwise I fall asleep on God. For me, this is the time of day that I can focus. But it also meant that I said no to just about everything that happens first thing in the morning. I knew I needed to get this part of my life under control. Most mornings, I have read my Bible by 9am - its not like it has taken me forever.
The other thing I have done is started writing out what I am praying for. And then those things are on my mind all day, and I can pray for them throughout the day.
The funny thing is that as I have started to become consistent with these things, the other things are starting to fall into place. Not perfectly, but its a start. I am keeping up with laundry. I'm keeping the kitchen clean. I am focusing on talking with my kids not just disciplining them (harder to do with the four year old - God love him!!) I'm trying to find little ways to show my husband I love him and am so thankful for all he does for our family.
The other thing that has happened is that I am reading my Bible and seeing themes without a Bible study aide. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with devotionals - I think many of them are wonderful and really help. But I wanted it to be just me and God. Not Oswald Chambers, not Chuck Swindoll, not (gasp!) Beth Moore. Just a conversation between God and me.
This week I have been reading through Ezekiel. I have no clue why I chose to start there. Really it is quite the depressing book of the Bible. God has asked Ezekiel to lay on his side for 390 days, to eat food cooked over dung, and to not appear to be mourning after the death of his wife. Not the most encouraging. God has pronounced judgement on just about every people in existence (okay not sure that is true, but it seems like it), but here is the cool part...God's goal with all of this is so that we will know that He is the Lord! That is my goal... I want to know that He is MY Lord!