God Ate My To-Do List (Living Beyond Yourself Week 2)

 God Ate My To Do List (Living Beyond Yourself Week 2)

God ate my to-do list today.

This morning as I sat down to listen to Beth Moore teach session 2 of our “Living Beyond Yourself” study following our week titled “To Live By the Spirit”, I had a heavy heart. A big change is taking place in our lives today, that although I feel very strongly about (in a good way) and helped make it happen, it does not negate the fact that it’s scary.

So I thought it ever-important to really start today right. Not in a ‘turn over a new leaf’ kind of way, but more of a ‘do what you’ve always known what you’re supposed to do’ kind of way.

You know what I mean, right?

When you go through your day, don’t you get those nudges of what you feel like you should do, but you don’t do them for whatever reason (too tired, too busy, not convenient, etc). Or better yet, you sit in your bed on a Sunday night pledging to God, “This week will be different.” You say you’ll get up early, read your Bible every day, make time for your kids when they come home from school, start a regular cleaning schedule, stop watching “Real Housewives of …”, clean out the fridge of crap & start juicing, pull out the P-90X DVD that’s been sitting in its case since Christmas…

Should I continue? (Just PLEASE tell me I’m not the only one who does this!)

Anywhoooo…

So this morning I finally did what I knew I needed to do. Well, I didn’t get up as early as I’d hoped. But I did work my way through my essential morning routine and then sat down to listen to Beth teach me before starting my work day.

I’ve also learned, as someone who has a brain that never stops, that I need to keep a piece of paper or a notebook nearby whenever doing something like this to jot down the random thoughts that inevitably pop in my brain.

I had been keeping said piece of paper in my Bible, but if you’ve ever done a Beth Moore study before, you know she makes you flip back & forth finding verses in that Bible like you’re fanning yourself in a Mississippi church that doesn’t have A/C in July!

 God Ate My To Do List (Living Beyond Yourself Week 2)

At some point during the hour-long lesson, I misplaced that square piece of paper keeping track of what I needed to do once this was over.

I flipped through all the pages and even held my Bible open upside down. Nothing.

I thought to myself, “Well, maybe God ate it! I guess that wasn’t supposed to be what I focused on today.”

Yet all through her teaching, I felt a nudge.

Now would be a good time for me to confess that I’m a bit of a TV addict. Not a sit down and become a zombie in front of the screen kind of way, but a “I have to have constant noise running in the background of my life” kind of way. I rarely do ANYTHING at home without the TV on and if I do, it’s the result of a very conscious choice and a strong effort of my will.

So that nudge was telling me to forsake my end-of-the-night programming that ‘helps me fall asleep’ and instead replace it by ending my evening doing my Bible study homework. Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but do-able. After all, I can sacrifice half an hour for God, right?

But then the nudge got stronger: I felt like while someone else was making a sacrifice in our family this week, I should match it by fasting TV all week.

WHOAAAAA – hold on there God…doesn’t that seem a bit extreme?

I mean, come on – I’m just trying to support what you’re doing in this person’s life, but you don’t have to punish me too!

But then it hit me: what could he accomplish in me if the noise of the TV was turned off and I was more in tune with His Holy Spirit. What could I hear? How much more productive could I be? What would I learn?

My initial freak-out turned into a peace that washed over me, quelling the PANIC I’ve been allowing to creep into my life.

In that instant, I got up, walked over to the armoire where our TV is housed in our bedroom and shut the doors on it. A literal and symbolic step saying that not only am I not going to allow you to dictate my time and my thoughts, but even more so a step of obedience to God saying that I choose you to fill me over the garbage that my enter my life through this screen.

As soon as I walked back to where I had been sitting and listening to Beth, I found it.

My to-do list was literally at my feet.

I don’t have many of these moments in my life, but it was almost as if I heard God audibly speak to me. Once I was obedient, He allowed me to move on with my day. But sometimes we are so stubborn in what we think is right and ought to happen, that we allow no room for Him to come in and impact our lives, much less our to-do lists!

Now that I’ve found it, I’m not sure it is in fact what I need to spend my time doing today. But regardless of whether or not I accomplish the things on that post-it note or not, I do know what I need to spend more of my time doing:
Inserting quiet time into my life that will not only allow the Holy Spirit of God to speak into my life and my decisions, but that will permit me to be still enough to hear Him when He does!

So I have two questions for you today:
1. What are you doing in your life that me be keeping you from what the Holy Spirit truly has for you?
2. Will you pray that I make it through this week without my TV crutch? I’d be ever so grateful…

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Distractions

ipod video Distractions

I have never been good at being alone.

Ever since I was a kid, the first thing I would do after walking in the door was to turn on the television.  All throughout school, I would turn the radio on when I woke up in the morning would to fall asleep to a movie every night.  It’s amazing how you can lose hours just by sitting on a couch and staring endlessly at a screen.

In a strange way, my busyness has prevented me from my usual schedule of distractions and it has made me realize something of great importance.  By tuning in to the radio or television, I tune out God.

There are PDA’s, MP3’s, cell phones, laptops, and the list goes on.  Yes, they can make life easier.  However, sometimes I believe they are evil tools created to connect us to the world and disconnect us from God! icon wink Distractions

But seriously, everything has its place.  Everyone needs to relax and recharge in their own way.  Time with God is sacred.  Before we can invite Him into our life, we must clear out the rest of the clutter.  Jesus set the ultimate example; when He prayed, He went off to a quiet, secluded place (he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone – Matt 14:23).

Put aside the distractions in your life and make room for God to enter. 

…let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God -2 Cor 7:1


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Get in the Word Daily

This year, and for the rest of your lives, make it a habit to read the bible every day.  Many of us have been guilty of surviving on snippets of scripture or simply reading Christian books.  Reading the Bible is crucial to our Christian walk.  It is much easier to stray when we are not hiding God’s word in our heart.  I have also come to realize that there is no better way to learn God’s word than to read it everyday.  I may not be able to memorize the Bible word for word, but I pledge to know the truth and have a command of where to go in God’s word to find His promises. 

 

A few years ago I learned from my spiritual mentor to pick up a “One Year Bible”.  I figured that once I finished my year, I was done.  The next Christmas, the only present I asked my mother for was another one year bible so that I could begin the journey again.  For some of you, a Bible such as this may be the answer to quick-start your reading.  Others of you may have a different plan.  Whatever the case, don’t let planning stand in the way of action; make Bible reading your daily feast!

 

Psalm 119: 9-11

How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

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