Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ramblings, Priorities, and Worship

It's been raining out since we got up this morning, and now that half the family is napping I decided to cuddle up under the warmth of my laptop and attempt to post an entry today. It's funny how much my definition of "cold" has changed over the years! I used to go downhill skiing in temps so cold that my eyelashes would freeze together... and I loved it. Yesterday, as I was heading home with Olivia and a trunk load full of groceries, I felt a chill and mentioned to her that we needed to get dressed warmly before heading out for the evening. Then I glanced up at the rearview mirror where the outdoor temperature is digitally recorded. It was 73 degrees.

We have company coming in the next few day and I hope it warms up, or at least stops raining. I know, we're spoiled. So how's it going in Canada? ;)

The holidays are coming quickly, and everyone is getting excited. We also have two birthdays to celebrate between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so there will be no shortage of fun times. I'm excited about pulling out the Christmas decorations to liven up this dreary house we live in, and to fill it with the smell of fresh baked goodies.

Usually around this time of year I begin compiling gift ideas and storing purchased items in my closet. But because I'm also a tight wad, anything that is needed becomes a possible gift idea. If, for instance, someone needs new underwear, I file that away as a good stocking stuffer item! I kinda have to because I don't come up with good gift ideas easily. Not that underwear is a good idea, but I may as well wrap a needed sweater or pair of jeans and include them as valid gifts. Don't worry, plenty of fun stuff ends up under the tree, too.

Jon, on the other hand, becomes really generous around this time. He's better at living in the moment than I am, and doesn't think we should postpone giving gifts. I have been the beneficiary of his generosity this week. It's been a good week for me!

(Continuing from this afternoon...)

We had a ladies event at the church this morning and I was blessed and encouraged by the teaching. I'm looking forward to reviewing my notes later this week and coming up with a plan to implement some of the things I learned. It's always good to be reminded of what the Lord desires for me as a woman, and to be given ideas of how to better implement God's Word in my life.

For so many years it was difficult for me to attend such events, and on the rare occasion when it was possible, my heart was not always engaged. Its not that I didn't desire to learn and grow, it's just that I was painfully aware of how much I was needed at home. So today, after a particular conversation, I was reminded that I want to be the kind of person who encourages moms in that season of life.

I feel that often times women inadvertently put too much emphasis on ladies Bible studies, conferences, and such. In addition to church services and other bible studies (couples, etc.), it's just not possible to do it all AND fulfill family and household duties. Young moms can quickly become discouraged when they are made to feel less spiritual or less committed to pursuing godliness when they choose their God-given responsibilities over women's bible studies. I know that in my life I always had a strong sense of where I needed to be and what I needed to do, even if that conflicted with what others were saying. Too often, however, I also sensed disapproval from others which then lead to discouragement and a sense of failure.

I don't want to become one of those ladies who pressures. Little comments matter. I want to cheer young moms on, and encourage them in their priorities. Flexibility will come. We should never view our babies and small children as impediments to spiritual growth. Even during those seasons when simple quiet times are difficult, short, and interrupted, we need to remember that the circumstances we're in are God ordained and they are good. We can still worship. Yes, we worship in joyfully fulfilling the work set before us. We pray and depend on Him, we meditate on His Word and desire to grow. God is relational, and He is always present. Worship and spirituality is not determined by how much you studied, how long you prayed, and how many women's events and bible studies you attend.

In a culture when so many of us enter motherhood still unsure of what our priorities are and discover that our work is harder than we ever imagined, I want to become an encourager, one who affirms. I don't want to add burden and guilt.

We overheard Jacob talking to himself this week, and though it made us laugh, I loved the simple reminder.

He declared these words to himself:

Yesterday was yesterday,
Tomorrow is tomorrow; 
But today is the day that the Lord has made!
Yes, today is the day that the Lord has made!
Do-da, di-da.

This day - with all its circumstances, joys and hardships - is what the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!


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