My lack of writing during the month of November is a clear mark of failure on the topic I last addressed on this very blog. I’m sure I could look back and see some minor victories, but nothing like I had envisioned. Perhaps my resetting is not mean to be immediate. Or perhaps what I really need to do is shut the power off completely. Some people even advise pulling the plug. Drastic, huh?
While living in this world remains a balancing act that I have not yet mastered, I am certain it is a challenge set before me by God. When I was in my early twenties, single and sure to not meet my soul mate…I considered becoming a nun.
Psst…I think I have a group of friends who do not know I am a still-practicing, cradle Catholic, a group of friends who do not know I attend a Baptist church each week, and then there are those of you that have heard this story a million times. : ) It is true. Ten years ago I was a 25 year old Catholic woman, newly engaged to a 37 year old Baptist man. To complicate matters, he was divorced and we wanted to get married in the Catholic church. That chapter was just the beginning of our adventures in centering our relationship around God, and allowing Him to work out the details. And of course, He has. We are blessed to have two communities of faith which support our family, feed our souls and challenge us to grow closer to Christ each day.
and now back to our regularly scheduled programming…
So yes, in my prime spinster years (23ish) I considered becoming a nun. Or maybe I considered considering becoming a nun. Maybe I simply got as far as thinking about discerning that particular vocation. Yes, I had always dreamed of being a wife and a mother. But, if the whole purpose of my existence was to serve the Lord and glorify Him…shouldn’t that just be my vocation? Why wouldn’t I devote myself to a vocation whose entire purpose was setting aside things of this world in order to live a simple live devoted to Christ? Why wouldn’t everyone do this? I could still teach. I could serve the poor. I could love on orphans.
Or perhaps…no, for sure…God was calling me to do those things, in the midst of the busy, highly distractible world. He was calling me to serve Him daily, to glorify Him with my life…and still live in the real world.
Strange as it may sound…at that point it actually sounded easier to become a nun than to live out His will for me outside of the walls of a convent. And when I realized that, I realized it was exactly what He wanted me to do. To be challenged by the world and still choose Him.
Ok…so back to my idea about resetting, simplifying, etc. In my mind, I think it would be easier for me to live my life the way God wants me to if I would just remove every. single. distraction.
No facebook, blogs, pinterest, Instagram, biggestwasteoftime.com, no internet. No DVR, no cable, no shows with bad examples of lifestyles no matter how funny they might be, no SNL even with fast forward for the really bad ones just to see the really funny ones, no television.
Then, I would totally read my bible every day and pray without ceasing and attend all church functions. I would chat with my neighbors, bake homemade bread…in fact, maybe I’d grow my own wheat and raise my own chickens! My house would be clean, my children would have my undivided attention, lesson plans prepared, pantry organized, healthy meals three times a day, every day.
That might be stretching it a tiny bit. But still, if I make it impossible to waste my time with things that don’t matter…I would surely fill my time with the things that do.
And yet, somehow I need to learn to operate in a world of distractions. I don’t need facebook. But I like it. I am currently sharing a scripture each day, specifically to pray for my mom. My siblings, in-laws & parents have a private group to help us keep in touch. I am doing a fitness challenge and need place to trash talk. I also like to share cute pictures of my kids with family and friends who love them from afar. And I don’t need Instagram. But I like it. I have a much smaller audience on IG (that’s what some of the cool kids call it) and I do like to put fun filters on my pics. I don’t need to read blogs. But I like to. I could sift through my list again to purge the ones that really only serve to distract. Oh, and Pinterest. Well, no, I guess I don’t need that one either. Great ideas. Too many of them, probably. Ok. Yes. Too many.
What I need to do is list some priorities and set some boundaries. Make some rules and stick to them. Maybe just check in on facebook once or twice a day…rather than have my phone within reach all day long. How about reading the Word of God before I check google reader to see who updated their blog overnight?
Please contain yourselves, I know, the brilliance of this is overwhelming.
I’m not creating a formal set of guidelines for myself, but I am going to be more purposeful about my time. We are just barely into December and I want to finish this calendar year in a beautiful fashion. The kids and I are excited about “Christmas School”. We’ve already made marble painted candy canes and pipe cleaner snowflakes. Tomorrow we’re painting snowmen with peppermint snow, making advent wreaths and paper chain countdown calendar.
We are enjoying December together.
Happy (liturgical) New Year, friends!