Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Simple: First Things First

Isaiah 26:3 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee because he trusts in

Growing up, we were taught to have our devotions every morning before we got up from bed. Our Bibles had places beside our beds that would allow this to actually happen for us. I remember going to kiss my mother in the morning and her asking, "Have you had your devotions yet?" There were times when she would send me back to my room to have my devotions before I could kiss her!

That taught me a great lesson. I needed to put my time with the Lord before everything else.... even before those I love.

I got married and continued to have my quiet time. I would wake up at 5:30 in the morning, before Brian ever budged, and I would have my devotions in the living room. Then I would take care of my home before I went to work.

Addie came along, but that didn't stop me from making time for devotions. I began having my quiet time in the middle of the night when she was still waking up for feedings. When she was no longer waking up in the middle of the night, it was still easy to put her in her bouncy chair and have my devotions. Sometimes I would read my devotions to her or I would enjoy them on my own and I was convinced in my own mind that once Ian came along things would not change.

Once I had Ian, I found myself slacking. My devotion time was not happening on a daily basis. I would have my devotions three or four times a week. I would wake up knowing that I needed to have my quiet time, but then I would let feedings, caring for my husband and children, keeping the house clean, cooking, doing laundry, and all the other stuff crowd out my quiet time. Sometimes I would stop myself right where I was and sit down to read a scripture, and sometimes I would tell myself, "After I finish such and such, I need to sit down and read." But of course, after I finished that thing, I forgot to sit down and I would move on to something else.

I found my days feeling frazzled and unsuccessful. And then it hit me one day that the reason I was feeling stressed was that I was not spending an adequate amount of time with the Lord.

I began making sure that right after Brian left in the morning that I would sit down in the office and have my devotions. I also gave Addie a little job to do to keep her and Ian occupied while I spent time with the Lord. Addie began to read the picture book story of Noah that I have to Ian while I have my quiet time. I am also teaching her that when Mommy is reading the Bible, she cannot interrupt unless she or Ian are hurt or sick (asking if she can watch a show does not warrant an interruption), and the office door is wide open so I can watch the kids playing in the living room.

My days have been going much more smoothly, I am not frantically trying to complete everything in my day, and God is speaking to me through my quiet time right where I am at in life.

For me, the first step to keeping life simple is making sure that I start my morning with the Lord.

A few weeks ago, I had my yearly exam (Okay, let's clarify. I've never actually had a yearly exam. I only go to the doctor when I am pregnant. So this was my first yearly exam.). I got up, got Brian off to work, fed Ian, got myself and the kids dressed, grabbed breakfast for Addie, dropped them off at Mom L's, and headed on to my 9:00 a.m. appointment. As I was driving, I began feeling that same frantic feeling that I hadn't felt in a while, and it dawned on me. I hadn't had my devotions (and 9:00 appointments are completely unreasonable for me right now)! I turned on the radio to our local Christian radio station, said, "Lord, forgive me for not spending time with you. Speak to me through the radio."

Then I laughed.

Seriously, Suzette?

I turned off the radio and called my friend Sherri. She is such a sweetheart. I told her, "It's going to sound like I'm rambling but this is the situation...." and I went on telling her about my morning. Then I said, "....and I know I'm feeling frazzled because I didn't have my quiet time.Would you mind reading the Bible to me while I'm driving." After we both chuckled, she read me several verses from her own devotions (I called her as she was having her quiet time) and she ended with Isaiah 26:3, "Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee because he trusts in Thee."

God's Word is so true. When I let myself get so busy doing other things I feel overwhelmed and stressed. When I am in the Word, reading it daily, and really being open to what God is trying to tell me, I am at perfect peace. And what a sweet place that is to be.


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