Friday, August 27, 2010

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder?

I have sat down to blog countless times over the past few months and each time I sit to type, I just cannot force my fingers to tap away. I sit here and think about what to type and mostly, I've got nothing. Over the past week or so I have tried to do a lot of self reflection to see where I am. To check my heart as a mother, a wife, a friend, a daughter, and a follower of Jesus. Honestly, I'd be ashamed to share my report card.

I have been in a weird funk. I have felt isolated and alone. As strange as it sounds, I miss the closeness I felt with God during and after the losses of my sweet boys. Things were crystal clear then. It was all about survival. I had no one to cling to but Him, and cling I did. Now, I fear I have become a bit complacent.

As I went about my morning chores this morning, I was thinking of God. I have been really working on the condition of my heart and one of my struggles is "doing things as unto the Lord" I keep a pretty clean house and cook pretty well and serve my family, but not always with the joyful heart the Lord would have me serve with. As I went to water my plants this morning, I realized it had been a while since I had watered them. They were parched and droopy. I do not have a green thumb and those poor plants go through torture. I seem to only remember to water them when they are near to dead.

The thing is, I have been treating my spiritual life and walk with God much the same way as those poor plants, I only water it and care for it when it is in desperate need, when things are going wrong, or when I am really down, but not on a daily basis. I have had a great summer with my family. We have done a lot of fun things and spent a lot of time together, but when it comes to taking time with God, I have been very neglectful. I have had nothing to write because I am parched.

My vibrance and gusto for the Lord have wilted like the leaves on my African Violet. Weary, parched and ugly I drag myself to bed each night falling asleep before my head hits the pillow.

I have been burning the candle at both ends, trying to be the helpmate to Howard, the teacher my kids need, the mom who can juggle it all...canning, baking, cleaning, gardening, etc. And let's be one can keep all of those balls in the air, especially when they are not taking the time to refuel themselves. In an effort to pour as much of myself possible into the family I love so dearly, I have run the kettle dry.

In an effort to be everything to everyone, I had pretty much eliminated my devotion time, exercise time, heck, even shower time some days. (ew, I know). The thing is, I thought all of this would make me more productive and it has had only the opposite effect. I am run down, weary and of no use to anyone.

In discussing this with a few friends, I realized that I was going about things all wrong, I was putting the cart before the horse so to speak. I am now working hard to find myself and my PASSION for the Lord again. I want to be on fire for Him. I want to be used by Him. I am reworking my schedule and my priorities as we start this new school year and it feels good.

So, hopefully with a renewed spirit I will begin regular blogging/journaling again as the Lord works on me. So stay tuned...He is not done here yet! :)

Please also share with me your tips for making sure you refuel and reconnect with God daily. I know we all lead busy lives, and need to make this a priority and would love to hear how some of you manage it all. :)


Tori said...

Thank you for your honesty! I struggle with this also. I know the times when I've been broke, struggling and all I had was God, I was so thankful for every blessing for just having enough to get by. But the better things get, the less I reach for Him. One thing that has worked for me in the past is to not allow myself to do ANYTHING b/f my quiet time....not even fix breakfast for the kids. BC once I started doing just one thing, I never sat back down. I'll be praying for you!! Your writing has been such an inspiration and encouragement to me!!

Unknown said...

I have been having a similar struggle. I try to get up in the morning before everyone else. I usually ask God the night before to wake me when He is ready, and sometimes this comes earlier than I want. :) When I do not get up, man can I tell a difference!! I also try to have all the kids have a rest/nap time in the afternoon and I will sit for a few minutes then too. It isn't easy, but who said a relationship would be easy, and it is different for everyone. I am in a rut and feel that God is calling me deeper, and all I can do is tell Him I will hold on for the ride because I feel that clinging is all I can give Him. I will be praying for you!

Devin said...

Um....have you been secretly watching me?

I know we are super similar, but things are starting to get a bit scary. :)

This is exactly, EXACTLY where I am right now. Every bit of what you described...I am the half dead African violet. The weird thing is, I don't want to be--but part of me doesn't know how to come out of it, exactly. Which is weird.

I don't just want to go through the motions of Christianity. I want that real burning desire for the Lord again! The problem, many days, is that I am trying to burn the candle at seven different ends--and without the Lord's grace and help, we just can not sustain paces like that for any time at all without feeling like we are in the wilderness.

So, I'm readjusting, too, and things are improving drastically within no time at all. God is immeasurably good to draw us back to Him.

My Bible study has helped me tremendously--I go on Thursday nights. It keeps me accountable in my reading, and prayer life, and it gives me some time to refuel ME, which is so important. It is ending this week, but another one is starting in Sept. and I am so hopeful that I will be able to partake.

One thing I have learned: a little time before 9. If I do not make it a point to have time with the Lord first thing, I get moving and 'just one thing' becomes just one 'more' thing...soon the day has gotten away. If He isn't my first priority, somehow He slips into last place!

I will be praying for you Kristy--as I would appreciate your prayers for me. We walk such similar roads, and I feel like I can pray for you so earnestly because I truly know your struggles. God will draw near to us, if we draw near to Him--I am praying that way for BOTH of us!

Carla said...

I can SO relate. That is exactly how life has been for me lately too...right down to the skipping alone time with God, time in the Word, and even excercise. Life gets busy and those things are the first to go, but I'm feeling it too.
I know where i need to be...but it's just a matter of making the changes to my priorities to get back there.
Thanks for the post.

ebarba said...

I don't think I have ever commented on your blog, but I have been a faithful reader for several years. This week I have really been reflecting on the exact same issue. I attend church regularly, sing in the choir, but I have been neglecting my personal walk with the Lord. I claim I am too busy, but what our pastor has always said is that our days are much more productive if we start them with the Lord. Thank you so much for sharing your struggles in this area, it is nice to know that I am not the only one. I am excited to be on fire for the Lord again.

Stephanie said...

great post! i know where you are because I'm there too. And also looking for tips.
Just last night as my hubby booted me off the computer to work, I had a mini breakdown. No fault of my hubs just bad timing. I feel like my time is not my own, and it's not. I work around everyone's schedule. The kids, my husband, therapies for Em. I have to fit everyone in and then there is no time left for me.

And in order to serve everyone else we moms and wives must serve our needs too.

I'm trying to draw closer to God also because it's the only way. we have a next to impossible job, there is no way to go it alone. We definitely need divine intervention!

Inkling said...

Thank you for posting your heart on this. Even though our stories are very different, I've been in a similar season of life.

I was thinking the other day that just like our small children need us mamas to feed them by hand, we mamas of small children need to be fed by Jesus by hand. When our little ones are toddlers, we can't even go to the bathroom by ourselves, and I haven't found it possible to have Bible/quiet time all by myself. When naptime comes around, that's when I shower, plan dinner, eat lunch in peace, catch up on administrative tasks for our home, and try to get in some "me" time. "Me" time involves reading books other than the Bible or just chatting on the phone with my mom or a friend. I was beating myself up about this last week, and it was like Jesus came and said, "Let me by your mama today. Let me feed you by hand." It was hard for me to take it, feeling like I'm supposed to be studying my Bible, taking notes, etc. But now I've been wondering exactly how we mamas could be "hand fed" for a season by others. That may sound selfish, but it is an idea that has not left me alone. I'm still working on thinking through all of this, but I do think that maybe God intends for the Church to come alongside those that have young children and "feed" in special ways that are unlike other seasons of life. I don't know if that's correct, but it's something that I'm thinking about a lot these days.

Susie (So Blessed) said...

Sweet Kristy, God is calling you back into closer communion with Him...and you are listening! You are really so blessed to realize at such a young age what dependence on the Lord really is all about...that came much later for me. But, I use to rationalize that I was a "Martha" and not a "Mary" and that was just the way it was...until He showed me that Mary chose the "better" thing. So, with a dedicated devotional time I began to grow in relationship with Him. Yes, there are times (like last week) when I miss a few days but it never fails that I feel the pull to be reconnected to the Vine, which is the only way I can accomplish anything anyway. The good news, precious girl, is that there is no report card...He knows your heart.
Much love to you...with my prayers as you re-establish your devotional time. The dividends are endless.

Lori said...

I keep telling myself so many of those same things.

I went to Women of Faith this weekend and loved, loved, loved hearing Patsy Clairmont talk about something similar. How we know what we want--we are convicted to be the women God made us to be--but we tend to pray that God zaps us into those women overnight so when we wake up, we're her!

(If only!)

So, she touched on steps and steps turning into bigger steps and I am there right now. I try to make sure each night is ended with a devotional, but on the same token, I don't like feeling like I give God my end of the day. (Although that's probably the most routine for making sure I get some of His word that day!)

Working on more steps...and reading as people share them with you!!

Angie said...

I just read that as Christian moms, we are like watering cans with a hole in the bottom ... being drained by the needs of our family. And in order to be able to give to our family, we have to be full first ... so to take even just 10 minutes each morning before everyone else gets up to fill ourselves up with God so we can then give to our families. I see a HUGE difference in days that I do this vs. days I don't! I have to have my quiet time first before I even put that first load of laundry in the washer ... b/c I too easily get going on things in the morning and lose that chance.

Unknown said...

I so agree about feeling close to God after loss. I felt much more closer to Him then than I do now. And I know it's all my fault for not spending the time I should in the Word and in prayer. I am managing to keep up on my devotion though. Some days I get a little behind but I catch up.