Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The Final Chapters: Day 27-31
Good morning! Yes, it is only 5:40am here, but since I have been up since 3:15am, I might as well use this time to catch up on our devotional.
Just kidding. Pressing on!.. then nap time ;)
As you might have guessed, I dropped Andrew off at the airport this morning for his two month deployment. No, I don’t have any pictures. It’s hard enough to say goodbye without crying, and how much more if I got sentimental and took pictures of his departure! WAHHH!
We both prayed on the way to the airport and felt an awesome calm come on us about our separation. It was very reassuring—and certainly from the Lord. He gave us a wonderful weekend just to be together, to reaffirm our love for one another and just enjoy being relaxed. I can’t tell you just how much that helped in the process this morning of saying goodbye. Covering all of the basics of this time (the budget, my responsibilities, his responsibilities, our goals, documentation, authorization of our accounts and possessions, etc), we both felt more ready for this separation than past separations. Andrew has taken care of me well, and I hope to continue to honor him in the way I run things here at home.
Now, on to the devotional! We are wrapping things up today, since I am not sure how tomorrow will look.
On day 27, Sarah encourages us to become friends with Goodwill. Yes, it is hard when you have a bunch of cherished things you just keep holding onto and saying “Maybe I will fit into those next year” or “I might wear this again” when it hasn’t really left the closet for over a couple of years! I can’t say I have the problem of holding on (mine is getting rid of TOO much while Andrew is opposite) but I can say even with my annual clutter cut down, I need to cut down on a bit more or learn how to organize it better. Especially after moves (how is it you accumulate more during a move? It makes no sense to me really, but it happens quite too often).
Then on day 28, there is a story told of a woman who feels guilt after not doing things the way her friend believes she should have. This is called people pleasing…and God calls us not to do it:
“5Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord…”—Ephesians 6:5-8
We are to examine our hearts about our life before God, and only our hearts. Don’t fall into the people pleasing trap!
Day 29 encourages us to figure out what to hire help for and what not to. Our Proverbs 31 woman even hires help in the areas she cannot manage, so there is no condemnation in hiring. Also, realize you have LOTS of help already… owning a laundry machine, a dish washer, a vacuum cleaner or bread machine: all sources of help. Bet you haven’t looked those things like that before, huh? Be thankful for that help!
Sarah encourages us in day 30 to find contentment in the seasons of life:
“1If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.--Colossians 3:1-2.
They will not all look alike (which is the biggest reason not to compare). We should instead keep our eyes focused on heavenly things and be THANKFUL (like stated before) for what God gives US. Our worth and value comes from the Life-giver Himself—you won’t find it looking elsewhere.
“8Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
9lest I be full and deny you
and say, "Who is the LORD?"
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.”--Proverbs 30:8-9
Lastly, we balance it all out with love. Day 31 encourages us to take commitments out of a box and let them run together, seeing these as puzzle pieces that must connect to see the whole picture of life’s meaning. We are to lean into faith and keep our mind on the hope at the end. Choose to forgo perfection!
“Instead of striving to be a perfect wife, I will choose to kiss my husband before he leaves for work.
Instead of striving to be a perfect mother, I will choose to giggle with my kiddos throughout the day.
Instead of striving to keep my ideals, I will choose to instead let them gentle guide me.
Instead of striving to change myself, I will choose to let the living Word of God change me from the inside out in His timing and will. I will keep my eyes on Him.” – Sarah Mae.
The end gives us a variety of tips of how to balance hospitality and housekeeping, but I will have to write about these later. I am about to pass out from exhaustion!
Anyways, I hope this devotional has helped you in your walk to keep both your physical and your spiritual houses clean. It has encourged me tremendously!
Until next time…..zzz… ;)