Teaching my two big kids and spending time with all three of them is the easy part for me. It really is the constant house work that never seems to be done which often completely overwhelms me. I like to have a project, finish it as quickly as possible, check it off my list, and move on. Having perpetual housework is something I do not enjoy. Intellectually, I know the housework has always been there, even when I was working outside my home. But now it is always in front of me, mocking me in my face and reminding me of all I did not get done today, and the perfectionist in me wants it to be done right and just DONE! I have gone from meetings and technical support issues, filing and paperwork, conference calls and training classes to laundry, cooking, laundry, shopping, managing doctors' appointments, laundry, doing dishes, clipping coupons, laundry, trying to reorganize closets and files, keeping the dog in our fenced in back yard during the day (a challenge all its own), and did I mention, laundry? Saturday, I was looking forward to getting so much done...guess what got done? I worked all day and the house looked as if a hurricane hit it by the time we went to bed. We had a fun day, the kids got to enjoy this beautiful weather, and even Anderson rode in the wagon outside. But all I could think about was that I had done dishes twice already and I had another sink full after supper! Arrrgh!
In the middle of all of this, God speaks to my heart and reminds me that perfection is not my goal and that dishes in the sink aren't my big problem. My problem is that I get so wrapped up in the unimportant things of every day life and forget that my time is not my own. If I am His, my time is His. Yes, I need to take care of my home and work hard every day, but I don't need to miss those moments with my children and husband, those moments a friend needs me to be an encouragement, those times that I can deliberately and intentionally let the dishes sit in the sink for a while and spend my time going to be the hands and feet of Jesus--whether it be to my own family, to my neighbor across the road, or to another country. And I can pray for and get involved with people who are doing those things everywhere. God's plan for lost and hurting people is me and is you (if we claim to be His followers). And I certainly don't want to miss an opportunity to share His gospel, His love, His heart with someone who needs Him because I am worried my bank account isn't full enough, my house isn't clean enough, and I am not skinny enough :)! Because it's not about me, anyway. So, if you can get swallowed up in your every day, whatever that looks like...housework or long hours at the office, pressure to have the perfect figure or pressure to be the best athelete, making ends meet or buying that boat...stop and ask God to open your eyes. Anything that consumes you, even those things that appear to be "blessings", keep you from clearly seeing and knowing God and following Him wherever he leads. And even the best "treasures" on earth are fleeting, but the treasures given us by God when we faithfully follow Him are eternal!
I am still learning how every day life is supposed to look for me, how I am supposed to spend my time giving and living and loving so that my life is about Him and not me, about others and not me, about the Gospel and not my agenda. But I can say with my whole heart, I am thankful that through His word and some awesome, Jesus loving people in my life, God has opened my eyes to the truth of the hurting and the lost, the orphan and the poor. And even though my former "comfortable" life has been completely turned upside-down, I wouldn't trade these opened eyes for the "normal", "nice" life I had before. Many people wonder what they can do to be the hands and feet of Jesus if they haven't felt God's call to move across the world and do mission work. I have a list of some ministries that are doing on the ground, hands and feet work with integrity and great love in many countries around the world. Some of them I have connections with personally, others I just know someone who knows someone. If you are asking "What can I do?", click here and take the time to look at a few of these organizations, pray for them, and ask God how you can invest in the life of a child or a family or an orphan or a church by partnering with one or more of these wonderful ministries!
Every day life is so different when our eyes are not on ourselves, but on the God who loves us and directs our steps to share His love for all people!
Loving and Learning,