By: Amy Dalke
Let me tell you right up front that if you get an ounce of inspiration out of this post, it is truly a mighty act of God. Because I am running on NO WORDS right now except for the sarcastic kind, but those doesn’t always serve others well.
So instead of fussing over some organized thoughts (because that’s near impossible at the moment), I’ll share a few lessons I learned last week.
1. Love trumps the to-do list. It’s just so ironic to me that I like to start the day with a plan. Because to me, plans and lists and such are just coping mechanisms. I do them because all the smarty time management people say that plans are necessary. And also because if it’s not written down, I promise I will forget. (Sometimes even if it is written down.) (Like taking the 3rd graders to water their garden on Friday.)
I’m learning more and more the art of holding plans loosely. Because it’s so easy to line our hours with tasks, but when all is said and done, it is people that matter. Two weeks from now, the household chores that I check off my list today will no longer seem so important. But if I seize opportunities to love people, that’s a time investment that will last forever. Plus, loving people not only has a more lasting effect in the long run, it’s way more fulfilling in the “right now” than checking off an agenda item.
2. God doesn’t need my assistance, but I desperately need God’s. The Apostle Paul wrote, “…for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13) God is the power behind both our willing and our doing. The desire to serve God, and the ability to do so, is all a gift of grace. If you and I can’t even want God without him placing the want within us, then we have some big time spiritual bankruptcy without him. I should re-read this the next time I’m tempted to pat myself on the back.
3. One shopping trip to Hobby Lobby in a week might fly under my husband’s radar. Three will not.
4. Change doesn’t typically happen microwave-style. I’m mostly the kind of person who wants a thing to happen immediately, if it’s going to happen at all. When I was about 35 weeks pregnant with Luke, I begged my doctor to “just take him out now” because I was done with the pregnant thing. I just wanted my baby. (And I also wanted to see my ankles again.)
Since I’m not really a fan of “process”, it trips me up a lot when God reminds me that growth is a thing that happens over time. In some ways, I feel so overly pregnant right now with dreams and ideas…but though I’m ready for all these things to just be born already, God obviously isn’t finished with the development stage.
5. A pause button would be awesome. I need to press pause between a situation and my reaction. Hasty words and impulsive behavior don’t always create loving moments. And since words either speak life or death, I need to monitor mine as though I’m dealing with dynamite one way or the other.
6. Parenting is the hardest job ever. And there by the grace of God go I.
If I know anything, it’s that God uses our everyday circumstances to shape us, to speak to us, to grow us. This week I pray that you’ll be looking for him in everything. And it would be awesome to see your list…