in the calm of the psalms

I feel like I should start with an apology, or some sort of halfhearted explanation of the silence  on here these last few weeks. I've been busy...kind of. I'm tired...obviously.  I am generally uninspired...totally.

Recently a friend was explaining how he had just received a new hearing aid, one that allowed him to hear out of one of his ears that had been totally deaf since childhood. The world sounded quite different, which he anticipated, and also gave him a terrible headache, which he did not anticipate.The doctor explained that it would take awhile for his brain to become used to processing all of that new information.  In a similar way, I feel like I am 'waking' to the reality of my house, a reality which I have been numb to for several months ever since the "decreased activity" order was issued by my doctor in early June. And now as I wake up to reality and begin to feel more capable, my mind is overwhelmed by the information. Every room in my house needs attention; some are in need of a serious intervention. I find myself wanting to go fifteen directions at once, but then end up doing nothing because it feels so futile in light of all that needs to be done. And I'd rather eat a cookie and watch reruns of 'The Office'. Sheesh.

I know that I won't live this way forever, but I ask myself, "Do I really need to live this way right now?"

Lately I have been encouraged by the Psalms. A few weeks back I read this verse:

"Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right." Psalm 106:3

Constantly do what is right.  Isn't that a noble goal for how to live your life? It really made me think about what I am teaching my kids, and how I slip into giving them other reasons for obeying God.

 Pragmatic- "If you act like that, people won't want to be your friend." 

Emotional manipulation- "It makes mommy sad when you say that." (which only works on my firstborn, by the way)

Empathy- "How would you feel if someone did that to you?"

These are not all bad in themselves, but it places the emphasis of our choices on how they do or would affect us.

Instead, I want to raise kids who act a certain way or say/don't say things because it's the right thing to do. Simply that and nothing more.

I read a story last year about Henri Nouwen (widely respected author and priest) meeting Mother Teresa. He asked her for guidance in following Christ and leading his flock. She told him to spend one hour each day in adoration of Christ, and never do anything you know is wrong.

Love Jesus. Do the right thing. Sounds like a good way to simplify life.

Maybe it seems too simple, because we've made parenting (and following Jesus in general) to be such a complex task. But if I could look at Drew at 18 and be convinced that he loves Jesus and is committed to do what is right, I think that would be enough. Heck, if I could look in the mirror and feel like I was really loving Jesus and committed to do the right thing, I think that would be enough.

Another verse that I just read tonight is this:

"Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you." Psalm 116:7

So true.

And this:

"How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me?" Psalm 116:12

I'm not sure how to repay Him; in fact, I guess the point is that I can never repay him. But I can live in gratitude and thankfulness for His great love.

And somewhere in all of that truth I think I will find rest for my soul and the desire to do what is right.

Well, baby is stirring and I need to move on to phase 3 of bedtimes. (Phase 1- Spank the princess, Phase 2- Settle the ruffians, Phase 3- Feed the baby and pray that she will go down fast.)

So good night out there, friends. It's nice to feel a moment of clarity, where something to say and time to say it actually intersect. It's amazing how clarifying a small dose of truth can be in the midst of a sleepy state.

Wherever you are at, I hope you will hold to Jesus in the midst of it.


Teresa said...

You are an inspiration. How good it is to hear what God is doing in your heart.

Loved the phases of nighttime. That made me COLWIWRI (Chuckle out loud while I was reading it). Hoping there is Phase 4 in there: Curl up with a good book and doze off while Dwight, Andy, Michael and Jim carry on their antics in the background.

Sleep well, my friend!

I'm a girl who... said...

Oh, friend... when you share your heart on here it makes me really long to be much closer to you all... and usually makes me cry, in a good way. :) Love you, the princess, the ruffians, the babe, and the big ruffian as well, SO SO MUCH!

Christy said...

Such good, true, thoughts. I have always loved that verse in Psalms, "How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me?" and if I remember right, the next half of the verse is "I will lift up the cup of my salvation and call on the name of the Lord." We can't repay Him, and in fact all He wants for us is to acknowledge that we are an empty cup...and wait on Him, and ask Him, to fill us up so that we have something to overflow into the lives of others.