- being held
- gurgling with someone
- waiting to eat
- pacifiers (sometimes)
- fresh fruit, cheese, milk, grape juice
- playing outside
- reading books with someone
- climbing on things
- waiting to eat or drink
- coming inside
- being ignored
- hearing “no”
- playing outside
- talking about and preparing to sell this house and buy an RV
- chess, yahtzee, phase 10, monopoly
- learning computer programming
- going to bed
- getting up
- milk and egg-yolk products
- illogical statements
- hearing/seeing singing, dancing, and making music in His praise
- talking with someone
- hanging out
- taking care of someone’s problems for them
- seeing someone care for others
- being ignored
Day One: Admit, Assess & Strategize
This exercise is based on a series my church (The Crossing, Kirksville) started last week called One89, looking at the promises Christ made in Acts 1:8-9 before he ascended into Heaven. The idea the pastor rolled with last week and this week was this: our Jerusalem is our family and the people immediately around us, our Judea and Samaria is the world outside of that. If your Jerusalem is in shambles, you won’t have a strong enough foundation to go out and save Judea and Samaria, and without a strong foundation, the world will pick you apart.
For those of you who are worried, my Jerusalem, my family, is not in shambles, not really. But we’re not moving forward, and–to quote one of my favorite teachers from high school–if you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind, and I’d hate to leave my family falling behind while I go out and try to move the world forward. That’s what this series of blog posts will be about: rebuilding my Jerusalem by reconnecting with my family and my faith.
Admit the Problem
To describe myself as a hermit wouldn’t be any exaggeration. We’ve discussed before how much I like to live in my own little world of make believe, but the fact is I have two babies and one husband who depend on me on a daily basis for love, attention, food, and more attention. It would be easy and feel great to make excuses like, “I get up five times a night with Bear, I’m too tired to play with Oak all day long and then cook supper,” or “Josh sleeps all night and works all day, he should be the one giving me attention,” or even better “Shouldn’t I get to have some time to myself?” The one I hear myself think most often is “I started out at five this morning and before I know it, it was ten o’clock at night and I forgot to read my Bible–but Bear’s going to be up and hungry in two hours. If I don’t sleep now, when will I?”
The problem with excuses is that they were invented to excuse–to free from an obligation, or to justify a behavior. And when you justify, you make what you’re doing seem okay. If I stop making excuses and put it in the bluntest terms possible, what I do every day is this: ignore my children, my husband, and my Saviour because I’d rather be lazy and selfish than give them back the love and attention they give me.
Assess a Solution
Giving up everything that’s centered around my wants. That sounds drastic, but I don’t think it really is. If you think about it, what could possibly be more freeing than not being tied down by what you want? Not having to meet your own demands is the ultimate release from obligation. Besides, I think that actually giving up everything you ever wanted in pursuit of God’s plan is really on more of a case-by-case basis. What’s important, I think, is being willing to give it up.
I’ll need a way to keep myself accountable and display the daily results for this experiment. How about by writing a blog post every day that details something I learned, experienced, or felt? Check.
My goal is this: to rebuild my Jerusalem. Which means what? To invest myself in my family and my faith so that we can be a strong unit and foundation for each other.
Bust out a Strategy
The overview of my plan, in order of appearance, looks like this:
- Reignite the relationship between myself and my lovers–Joshua and Jesus
- Spend more time with my boys, Oak and Bear
- Be nicer to our cats
- Repair my relationships with my extended family, both on my side and Joshua’s
To accomplish these objectives, I’m going to need to gather some intelligence, so please tune in tomorrow for Day Two: Reconnaissance.