Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 - Part 2

I've been trying to decide how to tell you about my "resolutions" for 2011. You see, they're not true "resolutions." More ideas. Thoughts. Feelings. Beliefs.

I could tell you that I Resolve to Be More Organized. But the truth goes much deeper than that.

Two months ago, after receiving a heartbreaking bit of news regarding my lovely city of Memphis (more on that later), I could not sleep. I cried out to the Lord, "Use me! USE me! use MEEE! Use my car. Use my house. Use everything I have."

To which the Lord clearly, deliberately stated: "Your car is not ready to be used. Your house is not ready to be used. You are not ready to be used."

Ugh. Truth.

At that moment, my car was so full of trash and jackets and bookbags and makeup and Starbucks cups and sippy cups and teddy bears and scarves and hats and apple cores... that I couldn't fit another person in there if my life depended on it.

My house - full of more junk. Full. Bursting at the seams. Items that had little use and no place to call home floated through my house like ghosts, seeking a life they once possessed.

And myself. My heart. My life. Full. Full of good things, like love for, and time with, my children, husband, friends, family. That's supposed to be there. Time with the Lord? Eh. It was there, but not as much as it should be. But then there's that other space: that space that can be filled and emptied and refilled over and over again. It's the space most often occupied by TV, facebook, more TV, gossip, TV, movies, TV, magazines, TV, idle shopping, TV, music, and more TV. (Did I mention TV?)

With the plethora of cheap entertainment and empty space-fillers at my disposal (and in constant use), is it any wonder I had no time for anything else?

My car. My home. My life... all totally unprepared for use in God's Kingdom.

That thought led to a slew of emotions, resolutions, goals, projects, plans, and determinations.

That was two months ago.

But over the past two months, through prayerful consideration with my husband, that big pot of resolutions has simmered and boiled down to a concentrated, purposeful salve of resolve.

I am resolved...

1.) To remove mindless TV from my life. We sold the xbox. We sold the movies (all 341 of them). We sold the DVD player. We sold (gasp) the TV. There may still be evenings when hubby and I cuddle up to the glow of the laptop screen and enjoy a movie together. But it is no longer the constant hum of our home.

2.) To prepare my house and car and every area of my life for the "promised offering."
Two days after I cleaned out my car, and elderly lady (with a trunk full of Christmas presents) broke down right in front of me. I was able to comfortably fit her and all her packages (plus a few of my own) into my car to help her home. Confirmation, anyone?
My house will take much longer than the five hours spent on my car. But, as my verse for the year says, "I want you to have all the time you need to make this offering in your own way. I don't want anything forced or hurried at the last minute." I have time, and I plan to make the most of it.

3.) To do what I am supposed to do right now. I don't mean this in the "big-picture" way I have said it in the past... as in, "I'm living where I'm supposed to live, doing the job I'm supposed to do, etc." What I mean is right now. At this moment. Am I doing what I am supposed to be doing? When I'm at work, I plan to work. When it's dinner time, I cook. When I should be with my children, I'm with my children. And when I should be folding clothes, I'm folding clothes. No more doing home from work or work from home. No more talking on the phone instead of talking with my daughter. No more resting when I should be busy or busyness when I should be resting. "For everything there is a season."

4.) Above all, to seek first the Kingdom of God and trust that "all these things" will be added unto me. I tend to jump on bandwagons. All or nothing. That's my motto. "I'm eating 500 calories a day so I can lose a million pounds." OR ""Look how immaculately perfect my house can be when I spend a ka-jillion hours a day on it." OR "I can sew new wardrobes for everyone in our family plus some for the neighbors!" OR "Apple Pie, anyone? I baked 23 of them this week just so I could get the perfect crust."
When I'm on those bandwagons, they become priority over everything else. They become a god. And I am convicted.
So my plan is to have one true bandwagon this year: God's Kingdom. And I'm going to trust and believe that, if everything I do is with that purpose in mind, "all these things" will fall into place.

Happy 2011, y'all.

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The Quote That Started It All...

I myself have twelve hats, each one representing a different personality. Why be just yourself? - Margaret Atwood