Monday, April 22, 2013

My True Boss!

Who do I work for anyway? This question has taken root in the forefront of my mind. I have to constantly remind myself of the fact that I do not work for anyone here on earth; not my husband, my children, or anyone else. My growing up years were years of wanting to please my parents, make them proud. I think that is a normal aspect of childhood, though I tend to take the people pleasing to new heights! And so it spilled right over into my marriage. For some reason, I always fall into the habit of wanting to seek my husband's approval. I often find myself disappointed when he doesn't have the reaction to things that I had hoped for. My expectations of how he will react to something rise without my even noticing. Those expectations blindside me every time he fails to have the reaction I had hoped for. (Of course I never let him in on what I was hoping for!) Whether it's a new project, something I have been teaching the kids in school, or how many things I have accomplished in a very busy day, I constantly look to him for approval or a pat on the back. He has even told me many times over, "I'm not your boss. You don't work for me." He is right. I work for God. But it's so easy to forget that because, though God is truly always with us, He is not tangibly here to tell me how He thinks I am doing. He can't give me His feedback. Those are the times I need to seek His Word to remind myself of His love.

 However in the day to day busyness I fall into the trap over and over again of seeking my husband's approval. Even the approval of others. This leads me nowhere but feeling disappointed. It's also exhausting because you cannot possibly please everyone here on earth. It can be maddening to try. If 1 Corinthians 3:19  tells me, "For the wisdom of the world is foolishness in God's sight." Then why would I live to please anyone in this world? To live up to anyones expectations? Only God's opinion of me matters. 

 A couple of years ago during a homeschool conference I attended, one of the speakers encouraged us to remember that we work for God. And we should offer it all up to Him every day. She said to always say, "All for you Lord. All for you." When I remember to say this in the midst of my frustration that no one notices what I am doing, it does help. I just need to remember to say it and believe it!

A few verses from Scripture to encourage us in living to please God alone....

 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for The Lord rather than for men, knowing that from The Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is The Lord Christ whom you serve. 
Colossians 3:23-24

How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?  John 5:44

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:31

 ...Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.
1 Thessalonians 2:4

 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.  Galatians 1:10

 Don't put your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath... Isaiah 2:22

...Always give yourselves fully to the work of The Lord, because you know that your labor in The Lord is not in vain.  1 Corinthians 15:58

...the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:8-9

By God's Grace may we remember to offer up our daily tasks as a prayer to Him, saying, All for you Lord. All for you. 

God bless,

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Allowing God to Order My Days

I tend to get-as my husband would say- "wrapped around the axle" about all that I try to accomplish. I am a worker bee. I like to get things done. I feel a sense of purpose when I have completed a task. I LOVE crossing things off my "to do" list! I believe I have inherited this trait from my hard working mom. She was always busy with many tasks. She has 6 children and 17 grandchildren (plus great-grandchildren!) and we have all kept her busy! She was also very active in the community and our church growing up. She used to joke that she had lists for her lists. I completely understand this as I have many lists, usually sorted by topic, or "To Do Now", "To Do Soon", and "To Do ASAP". I know, it's a bit over the top, right?! But it's who I am.

I find it difficult to maintain balance between homemaking tasks, homeschooling tasks, keeping up with family and community etc. I tend to gravitate toward doing really well keeping up in one area but then neglecting the rest. We are either having an amazing school day with many projects going, while the laundry doesn't get done and/or I am late in making dinner. Or I am on task with the house, everything is in order but we aren't having that great of a school day.

I have found that I feel like my kids are interrupting what I need to accomplish! (Don't judge me too harshly!) Remember, I said I feel a need to accomplish things and motherhood usually does not allow for that!! Recently I came across the photo below, posted by Sweet Kisses and Dirty Dishes.

Well if that didn't put me in my place! This is actually something my husband has been trying to get me to understand for years. It seems to come so naturally for him. He doesn't understand why I get so wrapped up in trying to do so many things; why I won't just focus on mothering. Our children ARE my work. They need to come first. But there is the lingering question of, "But what about all the other things? I can't just NOT do lesson plans, or grade work and pull my portfolio together, or many of the other thousands of things that really do need attention at times."

So one day recently, in a moment of complete frustration about all I couldn't get done that day, I put it all on paper. (yes, my life is a spreadsheet!) I listed all the things I feel like I need to do, under the categories of Homemaker, Homeschooler, Daughter/Sister/Friend, etc etc. (and don't forget personal prayer time, which without I am not a very good mama!)  This was a very general list of the basics, not too detailed. I offered it up in my prayer time and said, "Lord, I know you gave me plenty of time in my day, but I am not managing it to the best of my abilities. I am not using my time very wisely. I feel completely overwhelmed by all I feel I need to get done, and nothing seems to be getting done because of it. So I give you my tasks and ask you to order my day. Show me and lead me in doing what YOU would have me to today." I cannot even express to you the freedom that came with giving it up, letting go and asking God to order my day. My days have been flowing more freely and without as much stress-on the days I do this! I find that I am getting things done in a balanced way and most importantly, feeling peace about what isn't getting accomplished. Tomorrow is another day!

Remember, I told you I claim no perfections! So please do not have an image of my days perfectly flowing while I have a peaceful, patient disposition. Life is still crazy busy and I am still overwhelmed, because there is a lot on my plate. However if I take the time to offer my day up to God it does work better.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

My grace is sufficient for you...2 Corinthians 12:9

Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, "The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!" The Lord is good to those who depend on Him, to those who seek Him. Lamentations 3:23-25

With His Grace I will remember to seek Him first each day~
Gods Blessings,