Blogtober 22nd – Sad at Myself

An Old Woman at Prayer -Rembrandt_

An Old Woman at Prayer
-Rembrandt-

I let the cats outside after the incessant meowing at the back door. The air is quite chilly. They are now back in the warm kitchen. This morning, I got a much later start than I had planned after a terrible night’s sleep. I woke up at 7, feeling like 3am with the flu. I’ve been up awhile and already plan my morning to be friendlier and less ambitious than yesterday. Mark made his own breakfast. He came into the livingroom where I’m sitting on the couch with Derek who just woke from a bad dream. Mark says, “A meal fit for a king!” He sits down. “Well then, good morning your highness, :)” I said. He beams. He’s proud of his meal. “From my bachelor days,” he says and points to his eggs with his fork.

The above painting should have been me yesterday, but it wasn’t. I looked, but I couldn’t find a Rembrandt entitled “Middle-Aged Woman Ranting”. So, we can  just imagine. Ranting *never* (and I mean never) makes me feel better. I always feel worse, because whatever I was upset about to begin with, I am now upset at myself too. In fact, the upset transfers almost completely to me and I spend days kicking myself for it. It was predictable. After my vacation ended where I had many days of calm and working at my own pace and prayer and bible time and blog time, my 1st day back to work was stressful. The work was fine, but the time I had to get ready to leave was woefully short. When I have to leave my leisurely pace and step it up, I am bad at preparing for this transition. My mind is still in slo-mo. Instead of simply saying, “Oops. I don’t have time today to go to the store and make lunch and pick up the car from the shop and file paperwork and work on schoolwork and clean the kitchen and talk and work on laundry and …” I tried to do it all and lost my patience when I ran out of time. To the credit of my whole family, they all forgave me and especially my husband. He was on the front line and took most of the bullets. He demonstrated “A soft answer turneth away wrath”.

I was thinking this morning of something Ryan said yesterday. He was talking about how important it is when working to remind yourself regularly of your job description. He was talking about how our job description as the church is to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations. So, if there is something that the church is doing that doesn’t include preaching the gospel and making disciples, or doesn’t bring it around to the gospel in some way, could an act of service, no matter how “good” be a mistake? Yes, of course.  We can veer woefully off course if we aren’t reminding ourselves regularly of our job description. This goes not only for the church as a whole, but for individual believers and their ‘to-do’ lists. My own ‘to-do’ list can get very full, very fast. The urgent squeezes out the important every day. So, what is my role? What is my job description?

Answering the question of roles starts with reviewing who I am. I am a child of the King. I am a citizen of the Kingdom of God. I am a wife. I am a mother. Each one of these are what I am, but their significance is orderly and they fall in line by rank. The responsibilities of each fall in order, but they overlap. For example, yes I am a child of the King and citizen of God’s Kingdom, but as a wife, I am under the authority and covenant of my marriage. So, I can’t put all of what appear as duties as a child of the King before my husband. This will surely fly in the face of cultural norms if I continue with specifics. I know it. I cannot talk about the subject of authority in marriage with some people. As a biblical concept, it is definitely a hot-button issue in our culture. The world will bully the church and individuals to do the work of the culture. Watch the news. Somewhere, the world will tell you what activities it thinks makes us good or bad Christians. But God works out the details. We must go to Him when there is a conflict. Every. Time. There are many crossroads like this in the life of individuals and the church as a whole. These crossroads bring us closer to Christ and closer to understanding God’s ways.

Yesterday was a crossroads of sorts between my ‘to-do’ list and my job description. I forgot to look over my job description thoroughly yesterday. I was too busy checking off my checklist. Is your checklist today getting in the way of the important people in your life? God included? Does the “ministry” you are part of come before the people to whom you are ministering? Does the job or ministry come before your spouse or children?

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” – Jesus

“Morning is waking up
And sometimes it’s more than just enough
When all that you need to love
Is in front of your eyes
It’s in front of your eyes” – Josh Groban

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