Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?
Monday, September 29, 2008
If you're running around like a chicken with its head cut off, it's easy to blame it on outside forces. I'm just so busy. The kids are busy. Nobody helps me. I have too much to do.
But let's be honest: how much of that is your own doing?
Heart of the Matter Online has been looking at my book To Love, Honor and Vacuum this fall, and it's time for the chapter 3 installment!
Here's what Lori, the coordinator of the book club, said:
...are you concentrating and focusing on God's purposes for you and your family or are you spinning on a hamster wheel just running in endless circles, not one step closer to becoming the person that you were put on this earth to be?
Sheila suggests that we look at our standards. We all have em! Some are high, some are low and MANY are unattainable. Many of us have as Sheila examines, "exhausting standards, unattainable standards, stifling standards or conflicting standards." Most of us fall into one or more of these categories.
I fall head first into unattainable, exhausting and conflicting standards at times......There, my secrets are EXPOSED!
How can we change it? I've learned that sitting around waiting for "my people" to change is a waste of my time and energy, I need to change myself.
We can examine these three questions that Sheila asks us on page 58-59.
Are all members of my family looking more like Christ?
Are you a good steward of your gifts?
Are you providing a stumbling block to others?
When I begin to use the gifts that I've been given by God to serve others, when I begin to look closely if I am helping my family become more like Christ, and examine if I in any way cause someone else, especially in my household to stumble, I'm on a path to line up with God's will for my life.
Facts are that chores HAVE to be done. Sinks accumulate dishes and laundry piles up and SOMEBODY'S GOTTA DO IT.
IT CAN BE DONE....IT CAN BE SIMPLER!
You can read more of what she wrote here.
And now let me add some of my own stuff! We looked in chapter 1 about how exhausted running a house can make us. And in chapter 2 I showed how life really has become more complicated.
But now we get down to the nitty gritty. Are you your own worst enemy? Do you set ridiculous standards for yourself? I used to, and it's still something I fight against. I worry so much about whether or not the house is clean--even though I'm not naturally a clean person. But that doesn't mean I get up and clean. It just means I worry about it!
I'm getting much better as I get older, but it's always been a struggle. And I find that the standards that I set are often informed by our society rather than by God.
Yes, we need clean homes. Yes, we need good meals. But most of all we need to honour God and use our gifts, and if we're honest, we'd admit that there are times when our focus on our homes causes us to lose focus of the stuff that really matters.
And this goes especially with kids. I was listening to a great broadcast this week from Focus on the Family about parenting, and the speaker made the point that "there are a ton of thirty-somethings in this world who have made their beds and their rooms are tidy but they're not following God." And I asked myself, what have I stressed with my kids this week? Have I prayed with them, or have I demanded that they make their beds?
Chores are vital. I talk about that in the book. But they are vital because they teach responsibility and independence; they are not vital so that mom can have a trophy house. And if we start to emphasize the house rather than the home, we're ignoring God's gifts.
So that's what chapter three is about! Check out Lori's interpretation, and then why not pick up a copy of To Love, Honor and Vacuum and join in the discussion (click here for Amazon)? It's not too late to join, and it's so much easier to read along with other people!
You can watch a video book trailer from To Love, Honor and Vacuum here.
Labels: books, chores, housework, To Love Honor and Vacuum
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posted @ 8:00 AM