Monday, October 22, 2012

the unDisciplined life

Have I mentioned how much I love my Monday/Wednesday mornings?  Allow me to feel just a little guilty that I drop Dekker off at preschool, then come home in time for Tucker's morning nap.  Then, I turn my iPod on, which I recently updated for the first time since 2010, and do "other things"-- like Bible study, cleaning the kitchen in peace, laundry-- and sometimes I institute a "30 minutes of quiet" time.  Meaning I sit quietly for 30 minutes with no TV, music, phone, etc.  (Dekker rarely naps in the afternoons on the days I am at home with him, so I am learning to cherish that 30 minutes.)  Anyway, I do sometimes feel guilty that Dekker is gone on my mornings "off"-- but I'm over it because he LOVES preschool and I am confident that I am doing the best thing for him.  All of this to say that I am reading through a Bible study, and the recent topic has really been good for me.  The title is "The unDisciplined life."

As I have read through these passages, I have been thinking about three things in the back of my head: My nutrition, My prayer life, My language/gossip/building others up.  The text has helped me shape each of these areas as a spiritual battle between what I want (my flesh) and what I know to be the best answer (the Spirit).  I am reminded in scripture that I am only human to sometimes give into "the flesh"-- but that doing so consistently has consequences. 

Here is a little bit of what has stuck out to me:
* God can change every lack of discipline in our lives and be the strength we have not known but always needed.
* Our ONLY RESCUE from the war in our flesh comes from God through Jesus Christ.  Jesus is our only answer!
 * God is bigger than whatever we've given control of our lives.  He can change our nature and take control of our compulsions.
* I want to live fully engaged.  Learning to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and then obeying God with ALL of my heart.
* Becoming a more disciplined woman is a process and will require training.
* God allows my lack of discipline because it keeps me running to Him and relying on His strength.  A holy-dependence is a step toward life-long growth.  We must maintain an intimate, consistent dependence on the Spirit of God inside us.
* The fruit of an undisciplined life looks a lot like the life of the lazy-- and that path leads to a dead end.
* When we allow ourselves to indulge we also set ourselves up for the consequences (they are inevitable).
* People engage in undisciplined behaviors because they don't like themselves. (Interesting.)
* The Holy Spirit gives strength to weary bodies and discouraged hearts.
* Luckily and thankfully, God works through weary women all the time.
and finally...
* The next time you recognize the struggle of flesh against spirit, stop and listen for God. Then obey as the Spirit leads you, and watch what happens. Every time, God will add a strength because of your obedience."

 So I don't have any answers after all this, but plenty to think about. I was hit between the eyes that consequences are inevitable.  Regarding nutrition, I weigh more than I would like, and I have a closet full of clothes that still don't fit.  Regarding an undisciplined prayer life: I have anxiety, I spend too much time worrying, I have guilt and shame.  Regarding undisciplined talk: I have worry that I have quietly  (or, mercy, loudly) offended people, I don't think before I speak which leads to hurt feelings and distrust, I miss opportunities to encourage and build up people.  

Interesting, as I sit here-- I realize that each of these has to do with my mouth.  I need to stop putting unhealthy things into my mouth, I need to use my mouth to talk to God more, and I need to close and filter my mouth regarding what does come out of it.  Perhaps if I talk to God more-- the other two will fall into place easier.  I truly find great hope in the promise that He is strong in my weakness and that I do not have to do this alone.  Further, I find great hope in Galatians 5-- that the more dependent on the Holy Spirit I become, the more I am filled with things like joy, kindness, goodness and self-control.  I have been so discouraged lately-- I really need more of those things!

Random Ramblings from my kitchen table!

Happy Monday, Friends.