Friday, June 24, 2011

Slowing Down....Tough to Do, but the Rewards are Many

There is a phrase stuck in my head today.  One that I can't get to fade away and the more I think about it, the more it penetrates those hidden away places. 

Today I'm finding myself a bit disapointed in myself.  I'm behind on MANY things I was planning on doing during summer "break"  (haha....what a joke!!!).  No, they aren't things that will cause a great collapse if they don't get done.  Pretty insignificant in the scheme of worldy things.  However, for my heart, they were pretty big.  Instead of being thankful of the progress I have made, I'm stuck looking at what I haven't accomplished.  That tends to be a tiny HUGE problem I have.  It's one I am trying to work on, but yet I have a few LOTS of lessons to learn. 

I have these visions in my head of what I want our home to look like.  Sure, I want the house to be neat, clean, organized, hospitable, etc... but that isn't what I'm really focusing on this time.  It's the bigger picture.  It's about how I see myself as a wife, a mother, a friend, a servant of Christ.  It's how I see my kids in their roles and how I see my husband in his.  In my head, I see these images of how I want us all to be and yet in reality I see where we are and I cringe.  Granted, our family has never been closer, more purposeful.  Our marriage has never been as fulfilling and thriving.  I'm daily thankful for the relationships that have been built and are growing deeper by the day.  Life TRULY is good despite the unspeakable heartache that we've been dealing with and the attacks on us from every direction as Satan tries to get us to turn our backs on God.  However, I see and want SO much more.  I admit to being impatient in growing.  I want results now. 

Instead, God keeps saying wait.  He keeps saying stop and stay here awhile.  He isn't letting me speed through by accomplishing one task and moving to the next seemlessly on hyperspeed.  Working through the "Power of a Praying Wife" as part of the 30 day challenge with S.H.M.I.L.Y has caused some great moments of growing.  God isn't allowing me to just read off the prayer and be done with it.  He's giving me situations that require me to STOP and pause. He's telling me over and over to give ALL of me to it and spend time REALLY studying the topics and how they apply to ME.  It has become so much less about Kevin, the changes are happening with in my own heart.   If I were on track with Good Morning Girls as we study Clarkson's book "The Ministry of Motherhood", I should be on week 6.  Good grief, I am barely in week two because there is just THAT much to soak in if I want to let it truly get a grip on me. 

The list goes on.  Everywhere I turn I'm behind according to MY schedule.  I planned to squeeze so much in this summer.  There is so much I wanted to accomplish on so many levels, especially knowing the pressure this next school year will bring and how hard it is to keep EVERYTHING balanced.  Without a doubt, the majority of it is GOOD things that focus on spiritual growth and serving others.  However, even too many good things become a bad thing.  I found myself hurrying through just to get it checked off the list.  God will have nothing of it.  He keeps telling me that if I'm serious about making change x,y, or z.....then I have to slow down and do it on HIS time.  To be honest, that unnerves me.  I'm not good at being still and slowing down.  I'm perfection driven.  I also fear if I spend too much time "here or there" then I won't make it on to the next project and then I'll start dropping all the balls.  Again, I'm stuck in the mode of thinking about what I haven't finished yet. 

Then "the" phrase comes along.  It changes everything.  It makes me remember that progress is good, even if it is going at a snail's pace. 

"I look for persistence----rather than perfection---in your walk with Me." 

Hello?  Tracye, are you listening?  He doesn't demand perfection.  He is the ONLY perfection there is.  I can NOT attain it and it's destructive to think otherwise.  I'm not disappointing Him in the least as long as I am moving in the right direction....EVEN IF it is at a snail's pace!  Wanting more of Him and less of me is absolutely the right track to be on.  However, expecting it to happen overnight is setting up for failure.  All He  asks that I am being persistent and focused on Him.   After all, He IS the one causing me to slow down.  I'm not meeting MY goals, but I'm meeting His.  Which do you think matters more?  That's a no-brainer!

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