Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Perfection only breeds headaches and yelling.

Bible reading and study while raising children isn't a chore.
Bible reading whenever it allows.
Recently I have been bombarded with messages of simplicity and minimalism.  This kind of constant reminding is usually a prompting from God, in my opinion.   I am not a hoarder, by any means.  However, because of the chaos that goes on with four kids and a dog, I am always looking for a way to control the chaos.  Let me tell you right now.  Don't try.  The only thing I have found that works and stays is getting rid of the chaos. 
 
Because three of my four children are challenged by their attention span and listening skills, I have to take charge of their surroundings.  Most of the time they don't even realize the small things I do to help keep them focused like removing all items from the homework area except our pencil caddy.  I keep all the electronics corralled in another room with the cords.  The TV isn't turned on when they come in, etc.
 
I say this because we have been working, as a family, to remove even more distractions.  Yesterday each child went through their shoes, clothes, and drawers to remove anything they don't like or don't wear.  We filled a large garbage bag and set it aside for the battered women's shelter.  I have only run into resistance if I try to steamroll over their choices and purge while they are at school.  Yes, it's harder and takes longer to do it with them.  But, so does any life skill that they need to learn by doing.
 
I got an twitter update today to let me know that Sarah Mae has a book out that is on sale and, guess what, it's about minimizing!  I tell you all this, because my schedule is already full and I have fallen behind on my Bible reading.  I hear some gasps.  I used to feel like this was a cardinal sin, myself.  However, as I grow as a mother and disciple, I realize that I can only do what I can do for that day.  My children need me.  My husband needs me.  Friends and family need me.  It goes without saying that God needs me.  God needs me to be there for these same people.  He knows I can't always get my Bible reading in on days when my children want to play outside on an unusually warm winter day.  He knows my reading comes at the end, or sometimes not at all, of a busy Friday of shopping, meetings, and play dates. 
 
I have a huge chunk missing from this past week's reading log.  Did you catch that in the picture up there?  But, you know what?  I'm kind of proud of that empty space.  "Be still and know that I am God," from Psalm 46:10, tells us that sometimes we are to just enjoy God, His creation, and His gifts.  He knows my heart.  And He knows my limits.  Perfection just brings out the yelling and headaches.  Not the calm and sweet.
 
Goals and schedules are okay.  You have to have a little guidance to help you through your day, but being a slave to it removes God from the picture.  The Bible reading becomes a duty instead of a time of worship and fellowship with God.  I like to try to follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan that takes you through the Bible in a year.  There is also a Bible study that my husband and I take part in during Sunday school at our church.  So, I do have some things that I try to follow, but I know there are times that life takes the chunk of my reading log instead of a list of scripture passages.  It's okay, for now.  One day, I will not have a house full of chaos and I will probably miss it.  Then is when I will be able to pour over my Bible and delve deeper in the Word.  Right now, I delve into my family and friends