Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WHY Do You Not Listen To Me and Obey???

     So, this morning started off very normally - I got up, had my shower, fixed my coffee, got the children up, and they started chores as I sat down to have my Quiet Time.  Now, ideally, I get up MUCH earlier than the children so my QT can actually be Quiet.  I've not been very successful at this lately.  The alarm goes off, I turn it off, I go back to sleep.  I wake up much later and realize I MUST get up now.  This means not much time before the kids get up, and I really don't like starting my day like this, but so often my sleepiness wins out over my desire to have real, meaningful Quiet Time with God.  There you have it.   
     Anyway, back to this morning: Our mornings here(for the kids)start out with Chore Time.  We've tried LOTS of different ways to make our mornings go more smoothly and this is what works best for us: the kids get up, say Good Morning, use the bathroom, then I start the timer.  They have 1 hour to do all their morning chores (i.e. make up beds, put away clothes, feed the animals (1 dog, 2-4 cats [depending on whether or not my Mamaw's cats are here], and presently 2 hogs who are soon destined for our freezer and subsequently our plates), unload dishwasher, change laundry around, bring their clothes to laundry hampers and sort them, and each of them has an area of the house they are responsible for straightening), eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, and have their hair combed/fixed.  It's really and truly plenty of time.  When they really want to, they fly through them with plenty of time to spare, but so often they get...sidetracked.  All three boys sleep upstairs, and the bulk of their chores are up there, and my two youngest (Ben and Will) are like matches and gasoline thrust together on a hot, summer day - you put the two together, and there WILL be a fire.  They almost can't help it.  They're both SO silly, and they just feed off each other.  So, in the attempt to help them get their chores done in a timely fashion and forego the inevitable consequence of NOT finishing their chores within the hour, we've made the rule that there is to be no talking with each other during Chore Time.  If you don't talk, you don't argue or play, right?  Yeah, it's kinda like telling them not to breathe.  But, I love them dearly, and want so much for them to learn the Self-Control that they so desperately need to live an orderly, successful life (not to mention hopefully laying the groundwork in their little hearts to better serve their Master when He, I pray, calls them to Love for Himself).  So, I make rules, I teach, I exhort, I pray, I beg (yes, I'm not ashamed to admit it), and, inevitably, I discipline.  This morning the need for Discipline popped up within 20 minutes.  Bless their stubborn little hearts, they keep thinking that when they're upstairs and I'm not that it means somehow there's a Force Field between us and I have no clue what they're up to.  I tell them over and over and over and OVER, "When you're upstairs, and I'm down - I CAN STILL HEAR YOU!!!!"  But they don't listen.  They go right ahead and start an argument (a stupid one, I might add) when they're supposed to be making their beds.  ALL THREE OF THEM.  I mean, REALLY???  So, I call them down (thus interrupting my not-so-Quiet Time), calmly ask them what they were doing, to which they all timidly reply, "Talking." I ask them, "What is the First Rule of Chore Time?" and they hang their heads and say, "No talking."  I say, "Go to my bathroom and wait for me."  I finish my chapter rather hurriedly and head in there. 
     After the Deed is done, I sit with them on my bed, arms around them and say, "Boys, WHY do you not listen to me and obey???  We've done this SO MANY TIMES!  I am your mother, and I LOVE you - I want what is best for you - PLEASE LISTEN TO ME AND OBEY!"  So, they go off to (very quietly) finish their chores, and I go back to my not-so-Quiet Time. 
     Almost the very first verse I read is Zechariah 12:1, "Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him:," and I think, "Wow, that really lends some credence to the words, doesn't it?  You'd better listen and obey what a God like that says; what a powerful verse! I think I'll share it on FB."  Then it hits me.  Why didn't I listen to Him and obey this morning when He prodded me to get up early so I could have a REAL Quiet Time with Him?  Why do I so many mornings listen to my own mind instead of His Voice?  Why would I do that over and over and over and over???  And I hear God saying to me, "WHY do you not listen to Me and obey???  I am your Father, and I LOVE you, and want what is best for you - PLEASE LISTEN TO ME AND OBEY!!"   And I hang MY head, and see that I have just been so frustrated at my boys for doing the exact same thing I myself have done to my Father this, and many other mornings.  I tell my children all the time, "Disobedience is NEVER worth the cost - it's ALWAYS better to obey. That momentary pleasure of disobedience is never as good as the Punishment is bad."  Why do I not heed my own words?  Why do I think it's worth it to sleep another hour than to spend that hour in real communion with God?  I know from past experience that the hour of sleep is NEVER as beneficial to my heart OR my body even than the hour spent with Christ, but I still stupidly choose it. 
     Well, if you're still reading at this point, you're really beginning to understand the "Ramblings" part of my blog title, but as this is to be an honest sharing of my life, and a helpful way for me to focus my thoughts and heart, here it is.  May my sweet and kind Father forgive me this day for my stupid disobedience, and continue His work in my heart, prodding me, convicting me, turning me, disciplining me, LOVING me, and may my heart ever grow softer toward Him, and more quick in its response to Him is my prayer. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Welcome To My Brain...Read At Your Own Risk

     You may be wondering at the title of this  blog...or you may not be.  Regardless, I feel I must explain it, and if you've chosen to read my blog, you've given yourself over (for these few minutes) to my chaotic thoughts, they are.  The "Mama" part is pretty self-explanatory - I've got 4 little (and not-so-little) gifts from God who constantly tug at me, yell for me, cry to me, disobey me, delight me, overwhelm me, grieve me, and love me.  They are Lee (10 years), Ben (9 years), Will (6 years) and Darby (5 years).  I will, from time to time, refer to them by other names, such as the Baby Goats, Herd of Cats, Insanity Producers, Big Ones and Little Reds,...but now you know who they are, and I'm trusting you'll be able to figure it out from here.  The "Sheep" part of the title is simply this: I am a much-loved, yet often stupid and wayward beast, who is constantly being herded, fed, cared for by my Good Shepherd, who leaves me never in need for any good thing and has ALWAYS shown Himself faithful to me.  The "Ramblings" part you'll understand soon enough if you continue to read this. 
     I've been pondering on starting a blog for some months now, and quite frankly have been stumped on a name for it. I knew I wanted something about being Shepherded, but also something about my family/motherhood.  Because that's my life, really.  I'm a Child of God - a daughter of the King - first and foremost, but the nuts and bolts of my daily life is that I'm a mother of four little souls.  And the purpose of this online diary, so to speak, is two-fold. First, it is to share thoughts and blessings that come from my Shepherd with you, because I want to speak of His marvelous works in my life, and because my mind is frail and my soul is often weak and writing helps me to focus those thoughts, and keep them present in my too-easily-distracted mind.  Second, I'd like a record of my family - their comings and goings, funny sayings, thoughtful questions, and I hope some of it might be helpful to you (whoever you are) even if it's just to know there's someone out there who's crazier than you! 
     So there you have it.  This is to be an honest account of my joys, struggles, triumphs and, yes, failures as a wife/mother and a sheep in God's fold.  There's certainly more to tell - I haven't even touched on my fantastic, hunky husband (I call him my Mary Poppins Husband, cause he's "Practically Perfect in Every Way"), and what a help and joy he is to me, but that's enough for now because the Natives are getting restless here and I must attend to them.