Now, it is tough for me to sit and just "be still." I have a 3 year old boy who seems like he is constantly moving. If he is telling me a story, he is pacing back and forth as he speaks and forms his thoughts (his dad does this sometimes too.) But I have no trouble being physically still. It is my mind that I can't keep still and focus. I have been this way for a long time - before kids, and yes, before smartphones - but it has become worse the more "out of practice" I become. If I don't take time to be still and read or think or pray, why am I surprised that it has become more difficult to do?
So here I am with my thoughts and the sound of the birds outside, the occasional dog barking, and the hum of the refrigerator. Those are the only sounds! No children are vying for my attention, so I sit and choose to spend this time in God's Word. But the chores and tasks that will fill the rest of my day are calling to me - so loudly in my head. I look out the window and all I can think of are the chickens and pigs and dogs that are awaiting me to feed/care for them. I look up at my kitchen and think of the dishes in the sink and all the laundry waiting down the hall. I even bring guilt on myself for the "good" things I can't seem to do- like the blue little book in the picture is my "thankful journal/counting the gifts God gives" and yet I carry it around without actually writing in it let alone remembering to even think of the things and people in my life as gifts. (But that is a struggle for another day.) Beyond the "chores" and things that need upkeep, there is also the whole fact that I am a wife to a wonderful man and we are parenting these two little people! It is a lot of work to train children and help them grow and learn about the love of Christ! It is a sometimes a tough choice for me to simply sit and be with God and pray and talk- which is the better thing. Being with God helps me to live out all that he has planned for me; the marriage and parenting, as well as the daily "to dos." Today I am thankful he gave me a quiet home to make it that much easier.
Romans 2 is the section we are discussing tomorrow at our grow group so I am reviewing the chapters because it's been a few weeks since I first completed them. I was struck by a sentence near the end that helped me. (paraphrase using Romans 2:29) "Through the Spirit applying the work of the Son to us, the Father sees us as objects of praise, not condemnation." God is the one who gives us praise, not men. And it's because of Jesus' work on the cross, not ours! I am so freed by that! I know we say we believe it but do we live in the freedom? I am constantly reminding myself of how much I don't measure up - remember all the tasks, parenting, exercise, ect.. waiting for me to "prove" I've accomplished something? Well, they will still need to be completed, but it won't earn me any favor or standing with God in heaven and I am so thankful to be seen as complete and perfect in the eyes of God the Father - an object of praise! He gets praise because of Christ in me! Laundry and dishes and chores are all small and insignificant things but I am just being hit over and over again by how God has done everything already, yet I don't live fully in His grace and freedom from sin. I bring guilt and condemnation on myself when I don't complete what I set out to do and pride when I do. Remember my post about this very thing maybe a month ago? So it's an ongoing struggle in my homemaker's heart. Every parenting "fail" I make shouldn't be viewed as me letting God down but as a way to turn it around and show my children that I can only love them with God's love because God gives me the love and strength.
I took time to sit, and pray and thank God for keeping the unbearable law for me and giving me His Spirit. Today I surrender my thoughts and feelings and willingly live for God in whatever comes my way. I want you to consider that today. Are you carrying your burdens of perfection? Can you let go of your own "list of do's and don'ts" and accept Christ's payment for your sins and failures? Take a moment to sit with God in prayer and ask Him to help you trust him and live freely in His work for the rest of your days. Then keep living life and working on the things you need to do and love your people with God's love - which is so much greater than what we can offer!
Lord, thank you for Paul and Your words in Romans. Help me to rest in Your grace and the freedom You gave on the cross. Amen.