Thursday, May 2, 2013

Balance Part 1

Have you ever felt your life is finally where it needs to be and yet still you fall short?  You've crossed your 't's and dotted your 'i's but its just not enough? 

Last night my inadequacies as a parent were revealed.  But I'm realizing that it is not always a lack of ability but rather my stubborn selfishness that refuses to simply 'wash the feet' of my family.  Sometimes it is so much easier to serve those outside my home than within it.

Laying down my life for my family brings me to a place of humble dependence on God as I realize I'd rather carry out my own agenda for the day.  I had plans to clean the basement, to sort through boxes in storage and get rid of the clutter.  My nesting instincts wanted the house perfect for my daughter's return from college.  Yet, another daughter needed my time.  I must lay aside the urgent to attend to her needs.

How does a mom arrive at super status?  I don't know.  Often when I become disciplined in one area then other areas lack.  I'm aware that self discipline requires priority.  You know the saying, 'I do what I don't want to do so that I can become what I've always wanted to be.'  It is a good motivator for self discipline, yet the discipline itself can be selfish.  

For example, when my older two children were in middle school I used to jog with a few friends.  It was good for my health and for my friendships.  But at what expense?  Those early morning hours were spent on exercise rather than in the Word and prayer, in conversing with friends rather than in seeing my children off to school.   How much better to have spent those quiet hours of the morning with the Lord.  I regret my choice to place fitness at such a high priority.

Since then, I feel my life has reached a good balance.  Though I still need to take care of my body, I now seek communion with God as first priority.  Yet still, I cannot win.  Success in one area finds me desperately failing in other areas.  I cannot be super mom.   I'm brought to the place of prayer once again.

Sometimes I get into a rut with prayer and start to view it as a magic formula.  Surely if I get up at the crack of dawn and fall on my face before God in petition He will bring about my desire.  While this kind of prayer most certainly helps, I must beware of falsely assuming God owes me something because I have given Him my sacrifice of prayer.  God is not one we control.  He does what He wills and prayer is not to twist His arm, to force Him to do something for me.  No, I pray simply because God commands me to do so.  That is all.  Yet, in the practice of prayer I find a communion with Him that is incomparable and highly desirable.  Furthermore, it keeps pride in check as I become more attuned to my need. 

As super mom there are times I'd rather complete tasks around the house than to play with my children.  When there is work to be done, the satisfaction of completing a project bears strong on my will.  And so today, I laid aside my will and took up the realm of child's play.  The agenda composed of a bike ride, a trip to the library, and an afternoon at a place called White Rocks.  There we were pirates on the high seas manning the sails and retrieving a parrot from peril.  What fun to be a kid again. (It helped that there was no school today.)

On this day of national prayer, I did spend time praying for my country and its leaders, but I believe my choice to play was no less spiritual.  How do we maintain balanced lives?  I don't have all the answers, but I do know that living in fellowship with God through prayer each day gives us perspective and direction in the way we choose to live.   Balance falls into place much easier when our priority for God is kept.  

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