All week I've struggled to write this post.
The words won't come and I've decided that's because what I planned to share is not to be shared. So instead I'm going to give you 5 things I've learned about myself this year.
I often take the name of the Lord in vain. Ugh, what a horrible thing to admit. And I almost didn't realize I do it because it's certainly not by saying His name irreverently or using it as a cuss word. I do it by taking the name Christian and then behaving contrary to Christ. I was prayer walking two mornings ago when I heard God call me on it. Have you ever realized something about yourself when you're alone and yet you feel completely humiliated as if a whole crowd of people just learned your deepest, darkest secret? That's what I felt. But I ended up realizing how grateful I am that God doesn't tell me what I want to hear, but instead says what I need to hear, even when it stings.
I lose motivation very easily. Stressful situations, or being uncomfortable in my environment, cripple my productivity. I'm not good at just pushing through the hard stuff and looking to God for the courage, strength, and motivation to keep doing a difficult thing. I far more often retreat into my feelings and much of this year I've done way less than I'm capable of because of it. God has spent a good many weeks now having my attention as He teaches me to be consistent and reliable even when things aren't ideal. He's helping me form new habits and has really been giving me the nudge to follow through with well-set goals. Old habits die hard, though, and there's no magic cure for healing bad character. It's going to take persistent commitment to walk in His presence for this to be a lasting change.
I can survive on very little personal space. This actually totally surprises me because I'm not a touchy person and one hug a day would probably carry me through. Instead I get hugged on, hung on, clung to, sneezed on, peed on, sat on, slept on, and called for endlessly. Sometimes it'll be 4 or 5 people (usually kids) doing these things simultaneously and the fact that I don't die from it sometimes astonishes me. That alone is evidence that God can help us do a thing we never thought we could do ... and He can even make it so we love it!
I easily slip into worshipping ministry, or good works, instead of God. This is like a cancer. Satan doesn't mind if a person sells everything and heads off into the deep unreached to do an amazing work, just so long as they get so consumed by it that they do it largely without God. He can destroy us in our good works without us even noticing. Look at the Pharisees. And because the work God has put before our family keeps us so busy and often overwhelmed, it's an easy thing for us to end up thinking the work itself is enough. It's not. Only God is enough.
I need more sleep than I'm getting. I have no idea how to fix this problem but I know I need to press it before God and wait on the answer. Because life flows around here from 5:30am until 9pm which leaves only super early and late hours for quiet communion with God. I won't survive spiritually without that time but I'm also struggling physically from the lack of rest. I used to be able to get up at 4am and do fine all day but that was when the demand on my time was far less taxing. I'm praying for God to show me how to balance things so that I can fit personal worship, exercise, and adequate rest into my days without squeezing out anything else that needs to stay in. Somehow I think I'm not at all alone in this problem.