As I’m challenged today to think about what metaphor I’m living for, I had to ask myself the question, “What word comes out of my mouth every time I make a comment about what I want?” and “What’s my biggest unfulfilled frustration?”
I could say that I seek after health– this is reflected in my desire to eat foods that offer nutritional value and aren’t just empty calories, My motivation may or may not be the clothes that recently got a little tight around Christmas as I quit caring about nutritional value and more about flavor based on salt, sugar and lots of butter. I also recently started a workout routine which I’m happy about, but I daily fight to make it priority.
I could say that I seek after organization– one of my biggest anxieties that keep me up at night is the endless piles of clutter around my house, and my inability to do anything about them because they overwhelm me so I run away. Or stick my head in the sand. Or fill my time reading interesting blogs. I LONG to have a clutter-free house, with everything in place, no unnecessary junk laying about, and the ability to find what I need when I need it. And for my children to put things away FOR ONCE.
I could say that I seek after being equipped. I want to be equipped with wisdom and joy and knowledge in how best to teach our children. I want to be equipped with the right answers to deal with the tough questions that come up in my conversations with friends who seek after Truth, but haven’t yet found it. I want to be equipped to handle the inter-cultural situations that I find myself in, and to come through those times with good communication, understanding, and stronger relationships. I want to be equipped with enough rest and energy to love and serve my family and manage my house properly.
To sum it all up, as I reflect on the things that my heart searches after, I find that I want to be WHOLEHEARTED.
I want to wholeheartedly be committed to my health- to not make excuses for lack of exercise, and to make good food choices even when our routine is disrupted.
I want to wholeheartedly organize my house. I don’t want to start a project to tackle a cluttered area, and then walk away because I get overwhelmed or something more interesting catches my attention.
I want to wholeheartedly teach my kids. I want to wholeheartedly prepare for my ESL classes, I want to wholeheartedly be PRESENT for those conversations and intercultural interactions, and trust that God will give me the wisdom to handle it gracefully.
But I realize that by wanting to be WHOLEHEARTED in so many places, all in one day, that I am being STRETCHED too thin. I’m not superwoman. I can’t do all things perfectly.
My husband reminded me yesterday, in a conversation about something completely different, that we should not get hung up on all the “rules” for Christian living. The most important “rule”, the standard, our lifeline, is to
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.”Deuteronomy 6:5
This is it! My desire to be WHOLEHEARTED was a step in the right direction, but I divided my loyalties. I need to be living each moment to love the Lord my God, and the things he has given me will get done according to His purpose, in His time, and for His glory.
When I love God first, I let Him order the flow of my day. When I love God first, I seek His strength to do the things that are hard, and that I don’t want to do.
When I love God first, I quit prioritizing ALL THE THINGS that I read on the internet, and ALL THE THINGS that are good, and ALL THE THINGS that pinterest tells me I should do if I want amazing results, with my fitness, with my cooking, with my homeschooling. ALL THE THINGS are good, but God in His precious love and understanding of my unique being is even BETTER. When I love God first, it’s less about me, and more about what He wants. When I love God first, I cease being overwhelmed by ALL THE THINGS and I allow His love and joy and peace overwhelm me.
Out with the anxiety and guilt and frustration, and in with the peace that passes understanding, in with the joy that is not determined by circumstance, and in with the ebb and flow of the Holy Spirit guiding my day, allowing the times for work and for rest, allowing the time for laughter and silliness and quiet times for reflection and discipline.
Let me be WHOLEHEARTED today and everyday, seeking God first and allowing all the other things to fall into their proper place.