These past couple weeks have been a bit hectic for me as I have had appointments, family events, and MID-TERMS crowding my lovely birth month. So, that is why I’ll be a little off schedule (though, the schedule is imaginary) with the final post for the Freedom series.
My home has seen better days, my laundry is still waiting to be put away, there are craft supplies everywhere, and the disorganization has made me the mess. Actually, I don’t think it works that way. I don’t think that a person’s inner state becomes messy because their physical world is a little sloppy. It seems more fitting that the reverse be true: when we are not mentally or emotionally tidy, we become physically untidy. Regular chores, assignments, and activities suddenly become stress triggers when we are not at peace.
Now, these past few weeks have not turned me into a huge monster. From the outside looking in, I would not appear to be having a major meltdown. Lack of peace does not immediately translate into chaos. It can definitely get there but that’s never how it starts.
When we expect our environment to keep us in check, we are asking the world to provide for us. When we expect our thoughts and feelings (“meditation”) to create peace in our lives, we are relying on our self for strength. Our soul, the mind and emotion, is not the center of our being. So that state of feeling is yet another layer to peel back. Behind the physical, and behind the soul, is the spirit. That’s where the work needed to be done, and thankfully, that is the realization I had yesterday.
I was not doing a great job at tending to my chores. Behind that, I was not doing a great job at tending to my thoughts. Then I’d find myself wondering why a homework assignment is making me pull out my hair? Well, it was not the homework. It was not the mental state. It was not the laundry. Although, it makes a pretty nice feedback cycle.
It was the procrastination……. I was procrastinating on everything in my life because I was procrastinating on my spiritual time. My quiet times with God were getting skipped over, my daily prayers were extremely rushed, and I hadn’t sincerely thanked God for anything. Yikes. According to my planner, there wasn’t enough time to get anything accomplished. But in these moments of tension, I somehow find time to “settle myself down.” Time that ends up wasted because I did nothing but attempt to do something. I was already loosening my bond with God because I allowed my whole being to be distracted by the fact that this month was busy.
It’s safe to say that for the last couple of weeks, I have not been actively seeking God’s presence. I am healthy, supplied for, loved AND still on-time with my assignments–God has still been doing His work even as I slack off.
Strength, organization, peace come from God. And that peace must be renewed every single day. It’s a muscle that needs to be exercised daily. When it’s functioning well then things are going well–you’re ahead of schedule, you have extra time for fun and your mind is not running around like a headless chicken.
God is the only way to achieve a pure peace that seeps out into the physical world.
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be trouble, neither let it be afraid.”
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
If you’re struggling with your world or your head/heart or whatever human thing, it is necessary that you be diligent and seek quiet time with the Lord. This morning, I gave God just 30 minutes of pure attention. He is so good that all my pressures were relieved just because He was happy to have His child’s sincerity. And He told me that I better not skip a Friday post because it’s the only commitment I’ve made my whole life.
Don’t be cheap with God. He knows how much you’ve really got.
And it is the one with a stingy heart who suffers its own consequences. Life comes apart when your priorities are not in order.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Forgive me for acting on my own strength
I need you today just as much as I needed you yesterday and will need you tomorrow
Time passes whether I am ready or not
I pray, today, that my heart be set free from anxious distraction
Keep my heart set on You
Renew my mind today and everyday, so my eyes will see Your perfect will
I declare my spirit to You and ask that the Holy Spirit fill me with understanding
Make me a diligent servant, that I may wait on You before anything else
Strengthen me every morning that I may prize You above all
I seek Your peace, I cherish Your peace and I welcome Your peace
P.S. the featured image is of my prayer journal. I’m not always good at kneeling down and closing my eyes, and I’m working on it. But for people with distraction problems, I found this to be a good way to express my Scripture-based prayers. I take a new verse each day and pray it into my life, just make sure you do it from the heart and not out of rushed routine 😉