Monday, September 22, 2008

Creative Counterpart...part 4


In case you've forgotten (since I didn't post about this last week due to life as we know it grinding to a halt), I am working through Creative Counterpart with Lori. (and I did read last week's chapter and do the homework, I just didn't post about it...).


The chapter this week was long (forty pages) and had a whole lot of information in it. I found it to be challenging and somewhat painful at times.
Linda starts this chapter with the verse, "Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts." (Psalm 90:12) She talks about a friend of hers who was figuring up the average amount of time she might have left on this earth. This friend was thirty and figured she should live to be at least seventy. While forty years seemed like a long time, when she broke it down into days, it only amounted to 14,600! She was challenged to live each day to the fullest...for about a week. Then life took over and years passed and the next time she thought about it, she was down to about 12,000 days. The obvious point here is that the days pass quickly and we are in real danger of waking up one day and wondering where on earth the time went. ( I'm pretty sure it was only a moment ago that my children were toddlers but yet I find that one child is planning a wedding and another is choosing colleges.)


With that thought in our heads, Linda asks what our life goal is. A woman with a life goal is not going to sit idly by and let days pass into weeks and weeks into years. She is going to make sure that her life counts! (And while I do not currently have a personal life goal, I liked Linda's and am going to borrow it until I come up with one of my own. Or not. Because hers is good.)


Here's the kicker. Now that we have a life goal, we have to work toward achieving it. Nothing is ever as simple as it sounds, is it? This is where I got a few wake up calls. And needed to reread the chapter to imprint the information on my brain. To achieve our goals, we need to set priorities.

Those priorities are: God, husband, children, home, me, outside activities.

As an activity, Linda asked us to evaluate what percentage we thought we spent in each of the six areas this past week. (I will not be revealing my score. Needless to say, I am ashamed of my percentages.)


The rest of the chapter spent a considerable amount of time detailing information about each of the six priorities. Here are a few snippets that stood out to me:
God:
substituting activity for God for a relationship with God (um...guilty.)
our attitude toward the Word should be as a starving infant demanding food desperately.
a devotional time is not a law but a relationship (how many times do I complete devotions so I can check them off my list?)

Husband:
believe it or not, I only underlined one thing. Not because I am a perfect wife (snort!) but because this covers it all...first in my heart.

Children:
What we are speaks so much louder than what we say. (ouch, been there, done that.)
Am I really there---available for their needs? (or am I zoned out, thinking about whatever it is that flits around in my little blonde head?)
an awesome responsibility before God to raise the children for Him. (oh, if only all parents would look at the blessing of children in this way!)

Home:
How would you describe the atmosphere in your home? (Jessi, do not answer that.)
It is the woman in each home who creates the atmosphere.
often she cops out and doesn't budget her time at all. (um...guilty again. ouch again.)
She concludes this priority with this verse which is just wonderful...I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. Psalm 101:2 NKJV

Yourself:
This was a very short section. I marked nothing. Considering how my percentages for the past week turned out, I apparently have no problem making myself a priority. Sigh.

Outside the home:
One issue I have had before was attending a bible study when my husband did not want me to. Elizabeth George counseled in one of her many books that my job was to honor my husband's request. And if he didn't want me to attend a bible study then I should not. She said that it didn't mean that I couldn't pray that God would change his mind but that my duty as a wife was to honor my husband's wishes. So I did. So rather than resenting the time that I spent at the bible study (and resenting God as well for "taking up my time"), my husband learned that his opinion was important to me. (and Linda would probably say, "activity for God is not a relationship with God.")

The other thing that I marked was "you do not need to do everything your neighbor does. You are not your neighbor. You are you." I do think it is easy to look at other women, see what they are doing and want to do it to. Or wish that you did it as well as they do. But we have no idea how our life really compares to theirs. We do not walk in their shoes and they have no idea how ours fit. One of my friends is constantly telling me that she has no idea how I do everything I do. I always wonder what on earth it is that she thinks I am doing. Or I think that I may be doing bunches of things but I don't think I am doing them well. Then I think that I wish my house was as clean as hers is. (she washes her microwave out regularly!) She is also getting ready to take another mission trip to Romania. And she does professional photography work, raises three kids and works part time. She also works with a handicapped group at two different churches. And she and her husband are talking about adopting an older-than-them gentleman whose father can no longer take care of him. And she has no idea how I do what I do? But I am not her and she is not me and God has called each of us to different things. (Hi, Shireen! Did you recognize yourself?)

Hmmm...I said there was a lot of information in this chapter. If you are still reading, thanks. If not, well, thanks anyway. I suspect Lori is a lot more succinct in her post about this one.

6 comments:

Lori - The Simple Life at Home said...

Oh, girl, I can so relate to comparing myself to others. It's so easy when we don't see anything but the amazing face they present to the world, but trust me, we've ALL got problems.

And I was laughing so hard at your comment about having no problem making yourself a priority. LOL!! I'm the same way. Give me a Pepsi and a bag of chips and some trash tv and I'd be a happy girl all day. Sigh...

annette said...

I realized this year as I sat in hospital waiting rooms and ER's w/ my father, I don't compare myself to others in the normal sense, I marvel at others' level of energy.

Blessings to you this day.

Love, A2

annie's eyes said...

Taking account is a painful thing. Your reflections remind me of many of my own inadequacies. Really being present with my family, numbering my days to be used fully--so much spoke to me also. Sounds like a really rich study. Love, Annette

THE ROOST said...

This post reminds me of Pr:27:7 But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.....The hard things are even sweet to the soul that longs to live for God!:0) Great post!

mom said...

Ouch, ouch, ouch! Lots of good things to consider.....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

freefun0616 said...

酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店經紀,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店工作,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,

,酒店,