Read His Words Before Ours!
Did you know that the human brain is believed to generate around 50,000 thoughts every day? If the average person sleeps around 8 hours a night (and all-the-moms join me with a “Yeah, right!”), that boils down to approximately 3,125 thoughts per hour, 52 thoughts per minute and just shy of a thought every second. That’s all well and good, but as a wife, mama to three-under-four and business owner (among myriad other roles), I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t often feel like I have 3,125 thoughts racing through my head per minute. No matter what I’m focused on, it often feels like my persistent inner monologue of “to-do’s”, “did-I’s” and “we must’s” hums right along beneath the surface:
OUCH. Okay, we are going to learn to clean up our toys when we are finished playing with them if it is the LAST thing we learn! Come on, Mama, you can teach this. OH, I really need to return a few emails during naptime today…but I MUST catch up on this laundry! Uh-oh, do I even have enough laundry detergent? Let’s see…no. Okay, add it to the list. Also, dishwashing liquid. And eggs. Milk. Bread. Shoot, what am I going to make for dinner tonight? (I can’t believe I’m actually thinking about this before 5 PM. Gold star.) But I should have pulled meat to thaw yesterday! (No gold star.) Why on earth am I not using my crockpot today? I HAVE TO START MEAL PLANNING. Oh, that’s right. I’m out of liners. Add them to the list. Oh YUCK, what did I just step on? I don’t even want to look…What on earth is mashed into my rug? Ok, it smells like banana. I really hope it’s just banana. Dang…I need carpet cleaner…add it to the list. I just realized that two out of three children are still in pajamas at 11 AM. And one just clobbered the other one with a toy frying pan. Is that a mom-fail? Do I care? No. Yes. I don’t know. Oh, no. HOW ARE WE OUT OF COFFEE? Jesus, please send help. Help with coffee.
Regardless of our situation, children or no, I think we can all relate to that feeling sometimes. Overwhelmed. Busy. Trying to do all-the-things at exactly-the-right-time. Trying to flourish as a mom, wife, executive, teacher, sister, friend, fill-in-your-blank. What we fail to realize when we try to flourish is that we are measuring ourselves and our lives by the world’s definition of flourishing, rather than His. We forget that His definition of flourish does not match ours. His definition has nothing to do with the physical and everything to do with the spiritual. His flourishing involves righteousness, godliness, faith, love and steadfastness. It involves taking care to guard ourselves from the love of what this world holds dear. Our intentions may be the best, but when we find ourselves overrun by our own thoughts or goals, our focus slips from Him and all that He does and wants to do and settles on what we have or what we can do.
Oh, legalism. There you are again. Slipping into the dark crevices where we least expect (but maybe should most expect?) to find you.
When we find ourselves striving to make sure our spouses, children, friends, family, selves are happy, fed and thriving by doing-all-the-things and having-all-the-things and being-all-the-things, what room are we leaving for Holy Spirit to move, to lead? Where is the room for God to speak into us? And…would we hear Him over the din of our own noise?
As we go about our lives this week, let’s stop to take note when our inner monologues start to ramp up and take over to steal our focus from the One Who commands it. Rather than let them run full force, let’s make sure that we aren’t slipping into legalism and bring the underlying tensions or issues to the One Who brings order to all.
Father, we want YOU to be our sole focus. We want to meet your definition of flourishing. Cultivate awareness in us so that we quickly recognize when we venture into attitudes and thoughts that encourage legalism. We love you!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!