Last week I shared with you how God slowed down my life--literally! He shattered my daily routine, and started in the wee morning hours to rebuild my day starting with HIM. I concluded my last post with this, "Routine. Yes, HE has given me a NEW ROUTINE...simply coming before HIM each day to see, specifically, what HE wants me to do that day."
Now, praise God, we have all been healthy since Saturday (3 days ago) and seem to be back into our daily grind of school, work, groceries, and birthday parties! (Yes, my baby girl turned 6 Sunday! Uhh...it breaks my heart and warms my soul all at the same time!) Well, this beautiful girl went back to school on Monday, giving us our first "trial run" of our new routine. Now if I had to give myself a grade, it would be easy: "F"...fail...do not pass go, do not collect $200 dollars...reeee-jected!! We overslept, we did not do devotions during our granola bar-to-go diet, and I certainly did not have time to personally sit down with my Savior BEFORE all of this chaos began. Wow...God makes His will for me specific and clear...no guessing, no waiting for pictures in the clouds or writing in the sand...and STILL I fail.
I shed a few tears dropping Alyssa off at school. Such a small precious child, with innocence and compassion overflowing, walking away from me and into this BIG elementary school of knowledge, relationships and challenges that will stretch her far beyond her years. I tried to smile through the heartache as she raised her precious little hand and waved goodbye to her brother and I (crying in disappointment of her departure). This beautiful young child (admit it "MOM" she is no longer a toddler) NEEDS me. She needs me to be the best, strongest, knowledgeable, focused, determined, Godly Mom who ever faced this Earth. God has given this tender hearted angel to me, and it is my job to raise her up in the ways and the word of the Lord. I will never forget the image of her brown Ugg boots (ok, so they're a Old Navy knock-off, who pays the price of those things anyway?), skinny jeans, purple coat (yes, it HAS to be purple!); adamantly waving her homemade mittens from Great Grandma, her pearly whites peaking through her big smile and her eyes...oh her beautiful blue eyes...sparkling! Yes, she needs me! (just as much as I need her!) I prayed the whole way home,
"Lord, my baby girl needs me (as does her little brother). I know that you want me to start each day with you. I know that she needs me to feed her from the Bible at breakfast each morning. I know that she needs time to talk about her day after school, her friends, her homework, her teacher, her reading, and of course: recess! Lord protect my baby girl from Satan in his many forms. She's getting older, and I cannot follow her every step Lord, but you can! Lord, I have failed you today, but I will NOT fail! Help me to make a permanent routine with YOU first, help me to raise this child in a knowledge and comfort of your arms. I am so sorry that I have failed you, and my family. Help me to know the specific ways to make this change permanent. You have helped me overcome so much, in the same way you guided us to make healthy living choices of diet and exercise, guide us to "pen" you into our calendar each and every day. And Lord, if that means me getting out of bed with the chickens...may the coffee be strong! Thank you for your word, thank you for your wisdom, thank you for my baby girl, thank you for my beautiful family and the life you have given me with them. Amen."
|This is not really me, but you get the idea!|
I resisted the urge to run after her and begin homeschooling immediately and voyaged onto our next mission: Bootcamp! This may sound torturous; (and some days it is) however this is part of a different change God called me to make. It started back in July after I saw a very large me (10 months post baby) on a VBS recording in front of church. I was absolutely DISGUSTED! I was ashamed to be a walking billboard for McD's to the church, my family and to myself. What had I done to this temple God has given me? That day, I committed to losing 37 lbs and changing my life for the better. I soon found great motivation and accountability with a group of woman at church, through a fun health challenge we call, "Accountability Adventure" a.k.a. "AA" (great ice breaker to tell someone you are in AA! LOL). For 4 weeks we keep track of points we earn for eating fruits/veggies, drinking water, exercising, keeping a food journal, etc. This was a HUGE change for me. How am I going to eat 4 servings of fruits/veggies a day?! Do I even like that many veggies?? I don't have time for 30 minutes of exercise a day! 6 days a week, really!? God has given me these woman to be my Earthly rocks to lean on! Although it's a game, everyone is extremely supportive regardless of their team name! Our woman's ministry also offers kickboxing class twice a week with child care at our church (I literally have the ability to walk out of my office door and into a boot-camp class!). Six months later, I'm registering for my first 1/2 marathon--and looking forward to it! And again, I have to figure out a new routine: How will I train for this? How many days of running a week? How many miles?
The same way I needed a chart to record my calories, fruits, veggies and water intake, I need a chart of how I am going to reach my goal of spending more time with my heavenly Father. The same way I still have to schedule my workouts throughout the week, I need to schedule my quiet time with God. Where do I start? With the calendar and an agenda...just like my workout calendar! It's time to settle down in a new routine, that priortizes God's will for my life. My heath is important, but spending time with God is more important, and ensuring that my kids are being spiritually fed is vital to their health! So, making this new routine..will take some sacrifices, waking up earlier, no more HGTV until 11pm, and flexibility of my workout schedule and work schedule. I recently previewed a new Bible Study we are starting with the woman at church called, Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst, and loved what she had to say about 'settling' into a new lifestyle or routine.
"The funny thing is, I’ve spent my whole existence trying to find a place to settle down, people to settle down with, and a spirit about me worthy of all this settled down-ness. All of this is good. A contented heart, thankful for its blessings, is a good way to settle.
But there are areas of my life that have also settled that mock my desires to be a godly woman — compromises, if you will. Attitudes that I’ve wrapped in the lie, “Well, that’s just how I am. And if that’s all the bad that’s in me, I’m doing pretty good.”
I dare you, dear soul of mine, to notice the stark evidence of a spirit that is tainted and a heart that must be placed under the microscope of God’s Word. Yes, indeed, unsettle me, Lord."
Anytime God asks us to "unsettle" our lives, it puts us type A: organized, orderly, don't-like-change Dutch people in a hurricane of uncomfortableness! And amidst the chaos of change and transition, I "Praise be to the Lord, my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle." Psalm 144:1. Maybe we are not training for a physical battle like David was, but we are constantly under attack as Satan attaches us to our comforts in life. Whether that be chocolate, HGTV, sweatpants or angry birds, we all have comfort zones that we run to when change presents itself. So how do we do it? How do we change? How do we step out of our comfort zone? How do we take off the sweats, put down the chocolate, set down the iphone and make a change? I'm going back to Beth Moore's method, starting with step one! I have prayed about it and through His word (and great mentors) recognized two specific needs to accomplish the task he has set before me!
1. Specific Need:
-" Lord,Help me to wake up at 6am each morning. This will give me an hour of quiet time with you before the kids get up and the unpredictability of each day detours me from your word!
-Help me to wake Alyssa up 30 minutes earlier to give us time for devotions at breakfast before she goes to school. Give me the discernment as a parent to know if we need to also make her bedtime earlier."
To some of you, this may seem simple. Wake up earlier to ensure you have a long quality time with God each morning. However, I don't do mornings! It may take a wake up call, literally, to make this happen! I know that through prayer and accountability, I can make this time change become our new routine. because God never gives us more than we can handle!
I pray that whatever God is asking you to "unsettle' you would find accountability in a Christian mentor to see that your routine is His will for your life. Likewise, I ask for your accountability in making the changes God has asked me to begin!