This morning I woke up to a nice little pudge in my belly, which I have unaffectionately begun to refer to as “Christmas 2014”. My people are just too good in the kitchen. My brother is home and so dinners are meat with a side of meat. And everything has its own butter based dipping sauce. And every meal requires that you eat seconds. Because food that good is meant to be devoured until it’s gone. Also my mother-in-law made these delightful things which involved a bacon, cream cheese and generous mounds of brown sugar all nestled in and around a jalapeño pepper and baked just long enough to make you angry that they weren’t already in your mouth. I simply called them “breakfast”, three days running. I coupled my breakfast poppers with pecans which were coated with several layers of cinnamon and refined sugar as well as homemade cheesecake that I would fist fight you for. My sister-in-law also had a creamy buffalo dip that I hid from Michael so I could eat it all by myself. I bought heavy whipping cream for my coffee only because it was Christmas and I felt obligated to use it in place of it’s more slender cousin, half-n-half.
Going back to work today DID NOT EVEN HELP. I brought the leftovers with me, which I enjoyed alongside all the candy that people have given to my children. YES, I ATE THEIR CHOCOLATE.
I actually think that eating fast food might lower my caloric intake.
The obvious goal here would be to get rid of “Christmas 2014”. However, that would require scales and numbers and a thing called a diet. I went on a diet one other time in my life. It wasn’t good for the people around me. So, I’m going to try to just eat less than a football player’s portion and hope things even out before March.
Besides all that, I do not ever make New Year’s Resolutions. I’m not a very good ‘maintainer’, which I have come to accept, so I generally just try to keep right on doing what I was doing in December. My goal is always the same: To love God and love people.
Even though I try to steer clear of resolutions, I feel like God is whispering something to me.
Everything to which I am committed gets a little portion of me, and lately the things that are non-urgent seem to be taking more time than I honestly care to give. I must prioritize my time.
All the clothes and gadgets and toys and shoes have consumed so much of my home, there is scarcely any room left. I must prioritize my space.
The luxuries that are considered ‘must haves’ by the Jones require energy and resources to purchase and to maintain. I must prioritize my finances.
I don’t have a goal or a number or a limit to assign any of these categories. It’s not about a number. I am simply to prioritize them.
When I look at how I spend my time, it is to be a reflection of my purpose. Does my calendar reflect my goal to love God and love others?
When I look at how I use my space, it is to be a reflection of my purpose. Does my home and my office space reflect my goal to love God and love others?
And when I look at how I spend my money, it is to be a reflection of my purpose. Does my checkbook reflect my goal to love God and love others?
I started with my space. It was bogged down with things. I went through the closets in total Tasmanian-style purge mode. I don’t know where it all came from. But I can tell you where to pick it up: GOODWILL INDUSTRIES. I’ll be dropping a load off in the morning.
My space already feels so much freer.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy,and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
I’m tackling time next. Me and the calendar have a longstanding love/hate relationship. But God is clear.
I MUST PRIORITIZE.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.” Joshua 1:8
How can I meditate on the His Word day and night when I fill up my time with so many useless, meaningless things that will not make a Kingdom difference?
And what about my money? C.S. Lewis’ words from Mere Christianity haunt me:
“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.”
He gets his lesson from the widow to which Jesus refers here:
“Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.’” Mark 12:41-44
I am so thankful for having been able to quiet down the past few weeks to hear Him whisper. I am so looking forward to giving Him more time, space, and resources. I can only imagine my obedience in prioritizing for Him will result in a blessing that cannot be purchased or consumed. Or maybe it will be a jalapeño popper.
I’m good either way.