There are a few things that I've been mulling over in my head lately that I thought I'd jot down and share.
I have this tendency to think that when I take time to cook, clean, organize, run errands, etc., I'm having "me" time. I regularly subscribe to FlyLady and Organizer Lady emails, and I'll frequently read that I need to take time "for myself." And my immediate response has always been, "Well I do that all the time." Then today an email from FlyLady really struck me. It pointed out that all those aforementioned activities (cooking, cleaning, organizing, running errands) are not "for me." They are for the good of my family, our home, sanitation, safety, etc. They are me giving of my time. Not me taking time for myself. I don't know how I got this skewed perspective. And then it became clear to me why I never get to read any of the books I want to read. Why I don't feel myself growing closer to God as quickly as I'd like, why I don't feel my knowledge of Him developing as nearly as fast as I'd like. Because I'm not taking time for myself, to read and grow with Him. I have so many Christian books I want to study and learn, and I'm going through them at a snail pace. Perhaps I've found some of the source of my problem?
Yesterday as I was driving to work, a Christmas song I was listening to had a verse that said
Mary shivers in the cold
Trying to keep the Savior warm
And I immediately had visions in my head of this young, brand new mother trying to cuddle the baby Savior as she shakes from the cold around her. And I thought of how much I dislike being cold and shivering, and how it affects everything about me, including my mood and ability to function. And it dawned on me...of all people, wouldn't you expect God to cut Mary a break? After carrying His Child, enduring ridicule for being pregnant prior to marriage, traveling, giving birth in a stable...wouldn't you expect God to at least keep her warm? Think about how miserable she must have been, sitting amongst animals with a newborn, shivering. And yet, just like everyone else, she had to endure the hardships of this world. She had to live the life we all live. Clearly, God loved her so much and she had pleased Him beyond belief, yet He still didn't keep her from experiencing the struggles of daily life. She had to endure them, and we all have to endure them today. It makes me realize that I need to stop my complaining when something annoys me...such as I'm cold, or hot, or tired, or uncomfortable. I need to get over it. And not expect God to take it away. It's life. And I deserve every bit of it because I'm human and a sinner. Loved by God and His child, yes, but a sinner nonetheless. Instead I need to look at all the blessings around me and cherish them, especially the fact that I am saved and one day will be free from the pains of this world.
If anyone deserved a break from suffering, it was Mary...not me. My life has been a picnic compared to hers. Who am I to ever complain?