Thursday, January 3, 2008

T.M.I.


My husband is definitely one of those New Year’s “resolutioners”. Frankly, resolutions wear me out. My thoughts in the past have been, I’ve tried my darndest all year long so what’s the point? My neat little list would wind up being the same every year. Plan meals, get in bed earlier to get up earlier, eat together more often, exercise more consistently, be more intentional with the kids and on and on the monotonous check list goes. Every January Jeff takes a couple of nights during that first week to get away in order to pray and plan for the coming year. At first I almost used to dread our conversations upon his return because he would be all refreshed and excited about his time away and what the Lord put on His heart. What I would hear was a longer to do list and a higher expectation I felt I had to meet. (This was NEVER the case— huge consequences of the “it’s all about me” syndrome.) However, since I have an amazingly patient and persistent husband, I almost enjoy this time of thinking through things. There is hardly a better time to make changes, re-evaluate and regroup personally, as a couple and as a family.

All of that to say, I have done a little of that while Jeff is away even now. Not fun in some respects because of how it spotlights how poor my follow through was since last January or how I am still wishing a few habits and attitudes present in my life were foggy, faded memories of someone I used to know. Sadly, that person is still alive and kicking. In my hideous pride, I ask myself, how can this be? How can all this time with Him, all these Bible studies I have done, all these years, all this memorization, all this praying not have changed me more than this??? Don’t forget I said “hideous”. Maybe repulsive is a better word. I just want to scrape it off of me as I type it. I have certainly talked to the Lord about this and of course, Jeff and a couple of friends I hold in high regard. What I seem to keep coming around to is the catch phrase “T.M.I.” – too much information. I have all this great information stored in a couple of pounds of gray matter but what benefit is it if I don’t intentionally put it into practice, complete with feet, hands, mouth and heart?

The other night we were reading the wise man/foolish man parable (Matthew 7:24-27) to the kids and the question was presented, “Why did the foolish man’s house which was built on the sand become destroyed in the storm?” Our 5 year old didn’t blink and said, “Because he didn’t put God’s word into practice.” Well, there you go. Yes, I know it’s verbatim from the text but I can’t say I would have answered like that, but that’s exactly it. I keep thinking if I read this or that, do this Bible study or that one or memorize this verse or that passage then maybe I can get over these humps that seem to have grown into imposing mountains. T.M.I., for me , has turned into N.E.P. (not enough practicing). I have heard Jeff say many times, “serving Him is knowing Him”. And to that I add and knowing Him is loving Him. Let me read that backwards. If I love Him, I must know Him. If I know Him, I must serve Him. How is that for elementary? So then, I have to ask myself, why is it not just an outpouring from my life? Serving Him. Sure, I serve my family but yet sometimes, not with a sweet smile on my face and sometimes, with a personalized agenda that makes it worth absolutely nothing. If I can’t get it right at home, is there any value to my service outside these walls? Most likely not. So there lies my hopes for 2008--that my loving Him and knowing Him would compel me to serve Him starting with my family. I could only hope that sometime between the laundry and the picking up of toys, a couple of little people who happen to live with me might be spurred on towards loving Him, knowing Him and serving Him because of an unprecedented work that the Lord does in their mommy’s heart.

Note: Before I posted, I sat down to start reading some books I had picked out to begin reading on for a while. One is a pick that I bought several years ago and could not finish it. I had labeled it “too intellectual” for me. I hadn’t forgotten my not rising to the challenge and so I found it in my lap tonight. Here is an excerpt from the introduction of Dallas Willard’s The Divine Conspiracy. “Individual Christians still hear Jesus say, ‘Whoever hears these words of mine and does them is like those intelligent people who build their houses upon the rock,’ standing firm against every pressure of life (Matthew 7:24-25). How life-giving it would be if their understanding of the gospel allowed them simply to reply, “I will do them! I will find out how. I will devote my life to it! This is the best life strategy I ever heard of!” and then go off to their fellowship and its teachers, and into their daily life, to learn how to live in His kingdom as Jesus indicated was best.”

4 comments:

Dondra said...

Wow! Very inspiring. I too have been thinking through things and putting them into action. Thanks for the inspiration.

nikki said...

i am excited to see what 2008 will hold for the sanders!!

spaghettipie said...

K - I love coming here and soaking in your wisdom. Thanks so much for sharing. I also look forward to seeing what God does in your life this year.

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