Sunday, December 8, 2013

The pursuit of….diligence?

This week a friend asked me if I were to be summed up in one word by another person, what word would that person choose? I found that to be a very thought provoking question. I know what I would like to be said, but her response (and she knows me quite well) was very different from what I would've said. However, the conversation took me back to a word, falling under a different category:
  Back in the beginning of 2013, by the prompting of a fellow blogger, I chose a word for which I wanted to define the year.  While many came to mind, diligent was what stuck out, so that became my choice.
 I have been thinking about that recently and with the year growing closer to the end, I was evaluating a little bit.  The reality of my diligence results left me realizing a few new things about myself.
  I wanted to become more diligent in :
    my role at home: being a wife and a mom
       my life dreams
          my prayer life and walk with God
              mom's scholarship

In my reflections the last few days, I have come to realize that as I became more diligent in one area, sometimes another area lacked. Usually, the area that lacked should have been the larger priority. It's a work in progress for me.

  Through the last months, I have learned the beauty of diligence in prayer. I have seen answers to thing I know only God could have done. I have developed new friendships for which I prayed about for a very long time. I have felt new peace in areas only He could do that. I also have felt redirection at times when I didn't really want to feel it, but nonetheless, deepening that time with Him helped me see circumstance and events in all new light.  Time praying….and listening….has become some of the most powerful moments of my year thus far.

  Diligence in the 5K, mom's scholarship,  showed great results, in our nearly doubling the scholarship fund this year. Through that process of diligence, I did come to learn the hard way that my diligence in my home lacked during that time. It's not always (ok, rarely) good to sacrifice one area of life for another. My family was amazing through the process of planning the event, though. Diligence is a great aspect to have in light of life dreams, but at times needs to be checked as well.

  Diligence in my role at home needs some work. I'd like to say that this role took my priority slot this year. Some days it did; other days, not so much. I struggle very much as a working mom/wife, to balance this aspect. Diligence in my role at home doesn't always mean a spotless home, either. Diligence at home often times should mean leaving the floor a bit dirty and reading to Elizabeth; or folding clothes later so I can jump on the trampoline with Joseph. Those moments matter far more than a moment of a clean floor in light of eternity.

 Life dreams....this aspect of diligence is one which shifted greatly this year. I started out 2013 with every intention of being back in school this year. I was determined this was the year. However, in my diligence in prayer time, I felt God redirect my steps significantly and tell me "No" to school. My first inclination was to fight that. I was sure that I was supposed to go to school. After all, I'd been saying it since I was 18. However, the more I pursued it, the more evident I was not supposed to take that path. I fought God many times on it, telling Him (Haha- as if I should be telling God what I should do!) that I was not supposed to be "Just" a barista the rest of my life; I was supposed to be in school! But He patiently redirected my heart over this. He opened my eyes to new aspects of my job and brought new excitement and joy to it. He showed me powerful pieces to what I do. And through the process of redirecting this piece of diligence, I believe one of the most important aspects I took away from it was that I am not "just" a barista; He has made me to be so much more. And through it, I developed a new love of my job. More importantly, I have developed a new sense of who He created me to be. He redirected my life dreams so I can more diligently focus on my family. and He planted new life dreams in my heart. (Stay tuned for future posts on that....)
  All this to say, I am not sure diligent would be a word that adequately described the year as I had anticipated. (Just as my friend's word to describe me was not a word I would have chosen). But as often times is the case, God's view of what the year should be is often different than what I say it should be. And His plans are always better than mine.
   Jeremiah 29:11 -12 , Message version
  "I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out-plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen."
   His plans for my future are far better than mine.

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