As a momma, I think the biggest struggle for me is trying to enjoy the abundant life while still maintaining some order. We have to have rules, boundaries, guidelines. But sometimes, those same rules that are put in place to help us may also hinder the abundant life. I'm beginning to believe rules really are made to be broken. I mean, if my family followed our own rules every day, we would miss out on a lot of fun. For a few examples, how do we balance...
...maintaining bed time and allowing a few late-night giggles?
...enforcing naps and embracing spur-of-the-moment visits with our aunts who are visiting at Nana's for the day?
...healthy eating and special treats?
...completing our to-do list and playing Operation with our daughter?
...weeding the garden and pushing baby girl on the swing?
...having dinner on the table by 5 and taking time to run an errand for my man or dislodge a rock from big girl's bubble gum machine?
Jesus, too, broke the rules when it brought abundant life. An example that comes to mind immediately is when he healed a man on the Sabbath.
But then, if we are breaking, or even bending, the rules all the time, we have chaos and that certainly hinders the abundant life. For example, if I let the girls stay up and giggle too long or too many nights, they will be tired and cranky the next day. Always skipping naps to do more enticing things = more crankiness. Too many treats = poor nutrition, no energy, and poor health. Always playing with our kids = dirty houses, quick and unhealthy meals, and self-centered kids who expect everyone to respond to their every plea. Always pushing baby girl on the swing when we are outside = a garden over-run with weeds and producing less food. Pausing for every plea for help while fixing dinner = late dinner, which in turn means late bedtime, and cranky kiddos.
And therein lies my struggle. How do we know which things are the most important? A few thoughts come to mind. First, we start our day with God, asking Him to guide each step. Second, we seek God all day long.
A friend posted this on Facebook recently:
Every nerve jolt to freak out, melt down, start yelling, fly into rage or panic is a divine cue to slow down, breathe deep, start praying, and lean into God. -Mark Buchanan
Every time my plan gets interrupted, my tendency is to freak out a little. But I'm learning that every interruption is a divine reminder that God holds my day. Every interruption is a cue to seek Him, to ask what He wants me to do. Sometimes I need to keep on the beaten path; sometimes I need to let go and take a detour. If I'm seeking Him, He will provide the right mix of order and fun. The abundant life. The Spirit-led life.