I originally wrote this the day after Thanksgiving, 2016.
One conclusion I’ve come to – or one revelation I’ve received – is that my discipline is sorely lacking. The only things I’ve ever been good at doing consistently are: nothing, watching TV, eating, and sleeping. And most recently, playing on my iPad/iPhone, checking Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. RIDICULOUS!
And the thing is: I could easily see this as a continuing trend. I have no trouble seeing that at all, as a matter of fact.
For example, this blog. When I started it, I did a good job for a while. Then, I got out of the habit. The same with exercise and keeping a healthy diet. Every journal I’ve ever started has gone the same way as the blog, the exercise and the diet. The closest I’ve ever come to being consistent about doing something every day is taking my vitamins and supplements, and even those I skip a day or two at a time.
Then there’s Bible study, quiet time, reading, writing, etc.
I could go on and on but, I’m not going to beat myself up over it. It’s just a point that needs to be made.
I’m 42 years old and I’ve pretty much balked at the establishment of a routine in my own life. I know I do better when I have at least some sort of routine – a certain amount of discipline – and yet……
That is why I have challenged myself to practice this little bit of discipline.
My one discipline for the mornings is to spend time DAILY in the Bible, and I already have a plan laid out. I do not have an agenda or any kind of ulterior motive except to get some discipline in my life, and to get to know the Bible and my Heavenly Father (Abba). These are my “baby steps”.
I’ve typically only gone to the Lord, or my Bible, whenever I’ve needed something or felt desperate. Most of my life, I’ve tried to handle my junk myself so as not to bother God too much. Truth be told, I’d rather not have to need God (or anyone else) at all. Add to this the fact that God also goes by the name Abba Father, and things get particularly complicated for me since I received some wounds from my biological father during some pivotal years in my life. Thus, I’ve spend a lot of years relegating God to the periphery of my life while playing the “good church girl” who does and says all the right things so as not to rock the boat so much that He might bail on me.
I wanted to be the conductor of my own train while appearing to allow God to do it. As I matured, I began to turn over more and more control, but I still tended to run in and snatch back the wheel whenever things started getting bumpy or rocky.
After several years of marriage, my issues with men (stemming from some unfortunate encounters early on in my life) had been mostly massaged out by the faithful and honest love of my husband. I found I had reached a point in my walk with him AND the Lord, that I could trust my man when he said he felt like he had received direction from the Lord. So, I would trust the Lord’s conducting of my husband’s train, believing, at least in part, that it was all the same train.
And it was. But….it was not. All at the same time. And since the metaphor starts to get a little messy here, I’m going to leave off by saying: I learned the hard way that trusting the Lord through my husband is not the same as trusting the Lord for myself.
A thought occurred to me as I wrote that last sentence that I’m going to call Divine Inspiration: Exactly how did I get to the place in my marriage where this girl who had had such terrible experiences with men could be a married woman of 20+ years able to trust her husband’s guidance so fully that she would walk through fire with him, and then continue to walk through it (OKAY, stumble through it) without him after it became clear that the Lord was not going to answer her/their prayers the way she hoped?
That answer was easy. I have gotten to know my husband. We’ve spent years together. Not every day of our 23 years, but more than not. I know his intentions toward me. I know his heart toward me. I believe him when he says he loves me and cares for me and wants to provide for me. I believe he will not do anything to jeopardize our relationship. It’s been a long, and sometimes hard, road getting there, but I’m there. And I got there – WE got there – by putting in the time. Something I’ve not been quite so good at doing in my walk with the Lord.
I’ve had 23 years with my husband. But I’ve been calling myself a Christian since I was 8 and, now, I’m 42 years old. I’ve been calling myself a Christian since BEFORE any of my issues with men ever began. Yet, here I am, having still quite a bit of book knowledge but not nearly enough heart knowledge about someone I’ve been in a “relationship” with for more of my life than almost anyone else I know.
So…I’m going to take some time this year getting to know Lord, getting to know Abba Father. Surely, He’s worth at least a year of my dedicated time.
(BY THE WAY: as I write this, the date is 12/14/16. In case I needed any further confirmation that discipline is something that I need to be working on, my Sunday school teacher, offered a lesson on spiritual resolutions that he is going to challenge us to adopt for 2017. They all revolve around disciplining ourselves to be more diligent students of the Bible and spending more time with the Lord in our private lives.)