Sunday, June 21, 2009

{one very wordy post}


During my much needed rest on Friday, I did a lot of thinking. I love my life. I love all of the things that we are each involved in. I love being a wife, and a mom, and taking care of our home. I love planning and preparing great meals. I love that my husband plays sport, and that our son does too. I love watching Jono as he develops that passion. I love having special mommy-daughter nights with Alia when Jono sometimes goes to watch Rory play. I love managing Jono's soccer team (ok, I don't love it, but I do it because he loves soccer!!) I love where I work three days a week. I love that I don't have to work there but that I can. I love that I feel like I am contributing to something great. I love that the kids are big enough now that Rory and I can both be involved in the music team at church again. I love taking the kids to swimming lessons. And watching Alia develop a special friendship after school while Jono plays AFL each week. I love all of the extra bits and pieces that happen each week. The coffee's with friends, the occassional having someone over or going to someone's place for dinner. I love re-connecting with old (like, from the first grade old !) friends on facebook, and blogging, and playing the Wii with my family.

But sometimes ... and last week, was one of those sometimes ... it all gets too much. I start to feeling overwhelmed and just need to stop. I am glad that I am able to do that from time to time. Of course, it meant that my cleaning schedule didn't get finished. My bathroom sinks won't be cleaned until tomorrow which means they didn't get done last week. I didn't do the mopping ... and that only happens every TWO weeks ! But ... I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I'm not going to try and kill myself to get it all done just so I can tick it off on my chart ! I'm just going to start this new week and two weeks of my cleaning schedule a fresh. (and yeah, those will be the first things I do !!)

During these days that I spend thinking and refreshing and recharging and ensuring that I am able to continue on with all of these things that we love, I always wonder if there is something I need to change. Maybe something we need to stop doing. This time, I didn't feel like it was something we needed to stop doing but rather something I need to change.

I've been feeling lately like I've been neglecting my most important relationship. In the business of life, I can sometimes forget to spend time with the One who gave me life ! And that is never good.

So anyway ... on Friday, I was contemplating this. I was reading some blog and I was struck by the similarity of two post. Two posts written by two of my friends. To my knowledge, these guys don't know each other. I knew one of them in high school in Spain and the other one after high school in Japan. They both live in the States now but with one of them in Alaska, I doubt their paths have crossed.

Both of their posts hit me right where I'm at ! I have their permision to share them with you ...

Here's the first one, written by my friend Alex ...

During our visit to Richmond last weekend I was perpetually trying to connect with people that we were trying to meet up with. So my cell phone was constantly buzzing with text messages and calls.

At one point my wife looked at me as I again glanced at my phone and said, "You've been looking at that thing all weekend long!"

That's made me think this week about my eyes, my thoughts, how I can so easily get fixed on something that makes me look down, that narrows my perspective.

I so easily get caught up in small annoyances or inconveniences in my life and think that they're major catastrophes.

Or maybe you'll resonate with me on this: I get so focused on scheduling for tomorrow that I miss what's happening right in front of me. I spent all day yesterday scheduling for the today that I'm now mentally dis-engaged with because I'm so focused on looking ahead to tomorrow! What a fool I am to never actually get around to living because I'm so busy planning on living in the future!

So I've been thinking off and on all week: where are my eyes fixed? what does this tell me about my heart, my thoughts, the things that shape me most?

Then this morning I was reading Psalm 25 and came across this line: "My eyes are ever toward the Lord."

When there's the convergence of a comment from my wife and a word from Scripture, that generally means that there's something here for me to pay attention to.

So I'm thinking about this today, thought I'd invite you in. Where are your eyes fixed? What does that tell you about your heart, your thoughts, the things that are shaping you most right now?

And the second one, written by my friend Khrista ... (and Oswald Chambers!)

While reading this morning, this really struck is relevant to all, maybe some in particular, more now, than ever...

Keep Recognizing Jesus

. . . Peter . . . walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid . . . —Matthew 14:29-30

The wind really was boisterous and the waves really were high, but Peter didn’t see them at first. He didn’t consider them at all; he simply recognized his Lord, stepped out in recognition of Him, and "walked on the water." Then he began to take those things around him into account, and instantly, down he went. Why couldn’t our Lord have enabled him to walk at the bottom of the waves, as well as on top of them? He could have, yet neither could be done without Peter’s continuing recognition of the Lord Jesus.

We step right out with recognition of God in some things, then self-consideration enters our lives and down we go. If you are truly recognizing your Lord, you have no business being concerned about how and where He engineers your circumstances. The things surrounding you are real, but when you look at them you are immediately overwhelmed, and even unable to recognize Jesus. Then comes His rebuke, ". . . why did you doubt?" ( Matthew 14:31 ). Let your actual circumstances be what they may, but keep recognizing Jesus, maintaining complete reliance upon Him.

If you debate for even one second when God has spoken, it is all over for you. Never start to say, "Well, I wonder if He really did speak to me?" Be reckless immediately— totally unrestrained and willing to risk everything— by casting your all upon Him. You do not know when His voice will come to you, but whenever the realization of God comes, even in the faintest way imaginable, be determined to recklessly abandon yourself, surrendering everything to Him. It is only through abandonment of yourself and your circumstances that you will recognize Him. You will only recognize His voice more clearly through recklessness— being willing to risk your all.

-My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers...emphasis added
And then this morning at church ... the sermon was about knowing Jesus. About getting back to basics. All the fluff and nonsense of 'religion' needs to be ignored. It's just about Jesus and becoming like Him.

Where are my eyes ?
Where is my focus ?

How do I live life ... in all of it's business ... and keep my eyes focused where they should be ?

This is what I'm thinking about ...


Cheri June 21, 2009 at 6:40 PM  

Bonnie- that was a great post! I think this is something so many of us struggle with. It's so easy to get caught up in the day to day stuff.
Great reminder of what's really the most important!

Anonymous June 22, 2009 at 2:40 AM  

Wonderful words and a reminder that we are blessed to be a servant in this life. However, stopping and filling ourselves with strength from above, well, we have to from time to time don't we? Have a wonderful Father's Day today.

Mari June 22, 2009 at 3:17 AM  

You've been doing some good thinking! It's so easy to get caught up in our daily busyness and not focus where we should. Thanks for the reminder.

Sarah June 22, 2009 at 6:44 AM  

Amen and Amen to your post. Fix your eyes upon Jesus - so easy to utter, so much harder to do. I totally bleieve that the Lord has blessed me greatly with like minded blogging friends to continually assist me in keeping these eyes locked where they need to be. So thankful for you.

Blessings to you -

Sabba and Nanny June 22, 2009 at 12:40 PM  

Amen. True insights, as always. Love, Dad

Khrista June 22, 2009 at 12:49 PM  

What a coincidence... I really enjoyed reading your other friend's post. I so needed to read this today. Life is very full, and confusing right now...I know where my focus needs to be though.
Thanks for the reminder to just stop and re-focus!

jane June 23, 2009 at 7:06 AM  

great post bonnie- you sound pretty grounded to me. and the photo-gorgeous!

Kayren June 23, 2009 at 11:04 AM  

Wonderful post, Bonnie. Touching and makes me think and refocus my thoughts, and remember to be thankful for what is most important, and the One who is most important. Thanks so much for sharing from your heart.

Palmer and Co June 23, 2009 at 12:43 PM  

Thank you, Bonnie! No really, thank you! I really needed to read all three of these posts! Perfect words for me right now...

Amy June 23, 2009 at 3:16 PM  

Oh I read this while I was away, and wanted to comment when I had some time to.... I have to tell you these same same things have been peculating in my heart too. That Jesus, and my relationship with Him, be the center of everything that flows out of my life is so vital. Loved all that you shared!

Hugs.. Amy

Stacy June 24, 2009 at 12:11 AM  

I feel that way from time to time, too. You just feel like you have overdone it with your schedule and what you scheduled is just not as fun as how you planned it to be. So...I try not to plan too much since that never seems to work. Things get done eventually, but sometimes taking a break is where you need to be.

Demara June 24, 2009 at 5:18 PM  

I like what you had to share here Bonnie! TY We do, I agree, have to stop sometimes and refocus on prayer and Jesus and well the purpose to which all that encompasses us comes into clarity. Jesus gives us His eyes when we seek Him. And sometimes He can only be seen in the quiet...I hope I seek Him in my dreams tonight :)that's when my life is MOST quiet.

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