Too caught up in my own Game

Logan, my 9-year-old, is an early bird. It’s a rare day that he isn’t up at 5:00am. He and I have that in common. We each like to do our own thing for the first hour of the day before anyone else is up. For me, it’s usually Bible study or a devotional. For Logan, it’s technology. He will either be on his iPad or the computer as soon as he gets the chance. We did have to make a rule that there is no technology before 5:30am. Otherwise, we found he would get up earlier and earlier just for that morning time. (Which does not lead to happy parents!)

This morning he was on the computer as usual while I was working in the kitchen. About 5 minutes before it’s time for breakfast, I always give him a warning. I did the same today. When the 5 minutes had passed, I told Logan it was time to get off. He said – “Sigh.” (He didn’t actually sigh, mind you. Somehow just saying the word “sigh” seems more effective to him.)

I noticed his response, which is not one I like, and asked him about it. The reason for the sigh was that he was still in the middle of a game. I get that it’s not fun to quit in the middle, but I had given him a warning. He knew his time was about up. I asked him “Did you not hear my warning?”

He said “I think I was too caught up in my game.” 

I don’t doubt that he was. He often gets so engrossed in his favorite activities that he doesn’t notice anything around him, including his mother telling him that his time is almost up.

I couldn’t help but to see the spiritual parallel here. I so often find myself “caught up in my own game.”

Our life is one that is full. With three children, multiple jobs and activities, and personal hobbies and interests, it is so easy to get caught up in all of it. Some of those things are necessary, but others are part of my own game that I’ve constructed for my life. And sometimes I can get so caught up in it that I don’t hear my heavenly Father’s warnings. Just like with Logan, though, my time will have a limit. There will be a point when the time is over, whether I heard the warnings or not. I don’t want to be caught surprised, in the middle of my own game, and found ignoring my Father.

He calls us to lay down our lives. He calls us to put aside our own games and listen to Him and His plan for us.

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.”  Luke 9:23-24

I find myself in the middle of a very busy week asking myself if I’m too caught up in my own game. I think I am. I think I’ll turn something off today that isn’t a necessity. I think I will turn to my heavenly Father and see what His plans are for me today.

Little Ears are Listening

I watched my oldest daughter from across the room. She sat wide-eyed listening to every word. It was Saturday morning, and we were attending our monthly ladies’ Bible class. My daughters always go with me to this class, which is a gathering of anywhere from 10-15 ladies ranging in age from 7 to 70. We are currently going through the Digging Deep study on prayer. This is not a children’s class. There are sometimes topics and comments that I know my children will ask me about when we get home. They hear things that are meant for adult ears, and while sometimes that makes me uncomfortable, my discomfort results in their growth. By attending this class and listening to what fellow Christian women share, my daughters are learning much more than just what the Bible teaches about prayer.

They are learning that there is no age at which we quit learning.

They are learning that their walk with God is a process that continues throughout life.

They are learning that life will be full of struggles, seemingly unanswered prayers, and questions.

They are hearing the faith of women who trust their heavenly Father through those struggles and questions.

They are learning that women who love God don’t gather together to gossip or tear others down, but to find ways to help and pray for others.

They are hearing questions asked and answered with years of wisdom.

They are learning that as Christian women, we will not be perfect nor have a perfect life, but we will love and trust our Heavenly Father who is perfect.

I am so thankful for the women who gather with us. I am thankful for their love, dedication, and honesty. Thank you for painting a real picture for my daughters of a Christian life. They are growing up learning from all of us. They are watching and listening even when we don’t realize it. This WILL affect their walk with God. As they grow older and face some of these same struggles and questions, they will remember they are not alone. They will remember they are not the first ones to struggle, and they will be stronger for it.

“Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” Titus 2:3-5

All that we do should bring honor to God and His word, and that includes sharing with those younger than us what we have learned and are learning. It’s to the glory of God. As a mother, it is first my own responsibility to teach my children, but I am so thankful for others who provide examples for them to follow. When we join around our Father’s throne one day, the age differences that we see now will be gone. All that will remain is what we share in common. And THAT is what it’s all about.

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.”  Proverbs 31:30