The more I pray that God will create in me a more willing heart to change and reflect more of His nature, I realize that I need to make even more changes to information I take in. I have cut off a lot of things. The only television I watch are the educational shows my daughters watch. The last movie I saw in the theater was an Indiana Jones movie, and the only movies I watch on TV are Christian based or were made before 1960. I read my news so I can sift through the information and have significantly cut back on social media. I don't even see much of what is on FB outside of homeschooling curriculum sale posts.
Others may not need to make such drastic changes, but clearly for me, that is still not good enough. Why? Because I am still left with just a big bowl of "me" being served daily. The "me" that I am trying to be less and less of, is magnified in the silence of each day, often leaving this ISTJ wife and momma feeling defeated. Don't get me wrong; prayer, Bible study and times of worship are wonderful, inspiring and comforting, as God's tender mercies are new each day. In His awesome love, He shows me "me" as He sees me, but throughout the day I am still left to battle the "me" that I see to get to the one He sees.
This morning, as I was reading a post from the wonderful Brandy Ferrell's Half a Hundred Acre Wood blog I had an epiphany! As I read the portrait she wrote about each of her sons, I felt motivated and repeated my daily prayer that God would help me to see our children as the treasures He has made them. I confessed my need to mature spiritually and be less selfish. I realized, because He revealed, that I was inspired by this post. I realized that there was a voice, the voice of the Holy Spirit through Brandy breaking into my silence. I recognized it as the voice of edification and along with it came the feeling of community, of koinonia, a feeling that I am not alone in this journey.
I now see that I have to really be intentional about my information intake. More than just reading the Bible, I need to make sure that just about everything I choose to watch, listen to and/or read is edifying in some way, shape or form. If there is nothing obvious in the material, I need to make connections and find it. I need to set before my eyes the things I want to see in myself, my home, my marriage, my children, our homeschool (my vocation), our church, my friendships, etc. In doing so, not only does a much needed picture form in the mind of this visual lady, but a sense of being part of something bigger than just us four emerges and the strength of many is extended to me. This is very important for me, as the abundant life that God has for me is completely different from all I have known from my past. Without this much needed encouragement, correction and direction, I default back to what is known by my mind about the past and fall short of what is known by my spirit about my future. While the default is easy and familiar, the fruit is bitter. While there is a price to pay for what is good and true, once I learn to do the work that pays the price, even the labor will be as sweet as the fruit.
This is not something that everyone needs to do, this is my personal journey. Some may even find these choices extreme and unnecessary. I'm okay with that. What I am not okay with is continuing to desire to experience more of what God has for my family and myself daily, while denying us that experience because of my own laziness, selfishness and fear of change. The Lord spoke some words to my heart several years ago and those words make more sense today than they ever have, so I will end this post with this quote:
"Laziness, procrastination and lack of vision make it okay to say "I should have" instead of "I did."