Day 15: When #write31days2018

In the early days of motherhood, I quickly realized how lost I was in the duties of housekeeping and homemaking. I had had all sorts of free time before having children, and I didn’t realize how much I would need to organize my days once children entered the picture. It was a steep learning curve, but I eventually got a handle on some sort of routine. I at least knew when I needed to do certain tasks to keep the house running somewhat smoothly.

Now that my children are entering more independent elementary and preschool ages, I find myself with a little more time again. I am enjoying getting back to pursuing more of my creative interests, like reading and writing. This week I decided to get back to practicing the piano a little. I starting using the Duolingo app to practice my Spanish vocabulary again, too. I have been getting my knitting out every day this week. I am also thinking about when I can add some time to draw in my sketchbook and nature journal.

If you are a new mother or in a stage with lots of littles underfoot, I don’t write all this to make you feel badly. I do, after all, only have the two children! I write to encourage you that someday, you will have time again to do those things that make you uniquely you. And I write to challenge you a little to find a few minutes (really, just 5 minutes a day!) when you can do one thing that makes your soul come alive. There will be a day when you can spend more time on your interests again, but even now, amidst all the diapers and laundry and feeding little mouths, don’t forget that you are a person, too!

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”

Day 14: Ask #write31days2018

I’m playing catch-up again tonight! Here’s a late post with the prompt from yesterday…

The act of asking questions is the beginning of contemplation. When I contemplate, I ask questions of myself, of the world and of God. . . Questions that don’t always have to have an answer. . . Questions that make me think beyond my daily concerns.

Contemplation is my soul searching, my mind seeking, my heart longing for something beyond myself.

I ask life’s philosophical questions. I ask practical and pragmatic questions. I sit and think and wonder and listen.

Contemplation requires asking. It also requires silence and time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It requires an attitude of openness and of focus.

Asking questions leaves me vulnerable. Contemplation is not a proud occupation. It is humble. Contemplation acknowledges my smallness, my lack of knowledge, my need for the One Who Knows.

In contemplation I find peace, resting in the fact that I belong to the God who has all the answers to anything I ask.

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”

Day 13: Talk #write31days2018

I’m a day late posting this free-write because I just desperately needed a day off from pretty much everything yesterday! But here it is, regardless…

This week my son and I were reading a passage in John Bunyan’s classic Pilgrim’s Progress for his school lessons. The part we were reading a conversation between the characters named “Talkative” and “Faithful.” We learned that Talkative liked to discuss ideas of faith and Christianity, but that in his hometown he was known as a hypocrite, doing all sorts of things that were definitely un-Christian. When Faithful confronted him with the truth of his actions as opposed to his words, Talkative was quick to leave. My son and I noted that it isn’t enough to be able to talk about following Jesus. You actually show by your behavior what you believe.

This is a difficult thing for many of us who were raised in the church. We know how to give the right answers in Sunday school. We can talk about what we believe and even why we believe it. But too often there is a disconnect between our religious talk and our real life action…and our actions flow from our hearts. So I have to ask myself, is my faith all talk, just words I say or type? Or is my faith lived out in my actions at home and beyond? 

Paul said in 1 Cor. 13:1

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”

Let’s not be noisy gongs, like “Talkative.” Let’s be true to our words, that we may be found “Faithful.”

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”

Day 12: Praise #write31days2018

As the wife of a music pastor, the words “praise and worship” carry a lot of connotations and ideas with them that I don’t have time to go into here. But one of the things about being involved in leading church music is this: Sometimes I have to praise God when I don’t feel like it. And I have to do it in front of people.

Now, I know that may sound like I’m saying that I sometimes I’m being fake and just putting on a show. But no. Actually, the truth is that when I get up to sing with my husband and lead the congregation in song to the Lord, that is often the time when God works on my heart most during the whole church service.

It is in those times I can almost forget the room full of people in front of me, and I feel like I am alone with my Savior. Sometimes I come with a heavy heart or a weary mind, and I don’t want to praise Him. But when I open my mouth and sing the words of truth about Who He is, something happens in my heart that washes His Spirit’s power over me in a way that nothing else can.

I wrote earlier in the week about doing creative things even when I’m not feeling inspired. Praising God in the times when I don’t feel like praising Him is similar, but even more powerful.

Praising God tells Satan and his minions that I am on the side of the Victor, even when the battle feels like it’s going badly. Praising God reminds me that my feelings are not always telling me what is True. Praising God shows the Lord obedience and love and faithfulness, and He always rewards that act. So I would challenge you today, bring your sacrifice of praise and see what blessing He will pour out as a result. I think you will be glad you did!

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”

 

I am also linking up with the Five Minute Friday community today. To read more posts by bloggers on this prompt “praise” visit the link-up.

Day 11: Door #write31days2018

Since moving to a more affluent area last year, I have been somewhat reluctant to open my door and invite people over. We currently live in a rather small, shabby old rental house with lots of quirks and annoying little problems that we can’t change since we don’t own the place. I haven’t decorated much since we know this is a temporary situation. It isn’t the color scheme I would choose if I owned the house, and the kitchen is far from ideal. I feel, quite honestly, a little embarrassed to have people over because I know that most of our friends have much, much nicer homes.

But I have to get over that embarrassment if I want true community. I have to be willing to open the door and be vulnerable because when I do, I show love for others in a very tangible way. The fact of the matter is that other people rarely seem to care about what the house looks like. They just want to feel welcomed, heard, and seen while they are here. I have to remember that. I can help the people I invite in feel comfortable, despite the color on the walls or the weird layout of the kitchen. By being open and loving, I create an atmosphere that says, “Come in and be yourself. I have opened the doors because I care about you.” And that is what really matters.

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”