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  • Writer's pictureAndrea O Smith

God Met Me in our Transition Time

We made it through the holidays! The hullabloo, the hooplah, and the holy cow of it all has passed. Some of us are ready to get back to our regularly scheduled programming and some of us are feeling a little blue after packing away the lights, ornaments and nativity sets. I, for one, am going to miss the days where I contemplate getting ready for bed only to look down and realize I never even changed out of my pajamas! My kids, though...they need a little more structure.

We played all of the games we were gifted, we read new books, we tinkered with our new toys. We ate great food and copious amount of junk food too. We went to sleep when we wanted and woke up when our internal clocks told us it was time. It was glorious. However, that type of schedule started to lose its luster after a week and a half. The kids started bickering and picking on each other. They became experts at finding each other's last nerve and pushing that button with gusto! I did my best to distract and redirect, but experienced little success. There was whining, wailing and gnashing of teeth. I did my best to offer practical solutions. "Mom! She's copying me!! Mom! She's following me," they would holler. I would answer with the most sage advice, "Well, sweetie if you be quiet and sit down, she can't do either of those things." Did those sweet little angels listen? Of course not! Despite the fact that these children had just been lavished with gifts and treats, they were not satisfied. They were restless. That's when it hit me. God wants to give us wonderful things and lavish His love on us, but if we're not intentional about how we're spending our time, especially with Him, then we start acting like spoiled little brats. Or... maybe that's just me.

If we don't spend disciplined time to read God's word and to pray with admiration and thanksgiving, we will slip into the habit of running to God only when we need a genie to grant us a wish or get us out of a jam. We'll end up acting like petulant children always wanting our way and not focusing on God's will. Lest you think I am only addressing my readers, this is for me too. I am writing this without having spent my time with Him this morning. I like to joke that the last fruit of the spirit listed is "self-control" because it is the most difficult to attain. Just like my children thrive when they have a schedule, I would perform much better as a wife, mother, and friend if I spent daily time with my Father in the arms of His words and in the conversation of prayer. I wish, deeply, that I could say it was a disciplined habit, but it is not. Why not?? Why don't I run to the refreshing, soul-quenching living waters first thing in the morning? Why wouldn't I want to start my day with the information that will help guide me to literally live my best life? I don't know. It's the same reason I still eat fast food and spend time watching Netflix instead of exercising. The answer is held within the verse in Mark 14:38, "Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

So, how do we win this battle against our flesh? How do we stomp our our laziness, our gluttony for entertainment over productivity or whatever we may be wrestling to overcome? We make a plan. We have to actively schedule it. My kids were losing their minds because they didn't have a schedule. We schedule all of their sports, extra curricular activities and make sure they get their homework finished. Why don't we do the same for ourselves? When can we prioritize the one thing we know will be helpful to all areas of our life? Is it in the morning? Is it just before bed? Are you able to dig into the word while your kids are at practice or rehearsals? Maybe we can even spend a lunch date with Jesus by reading His word or listening to a Bible App read it to us while we munch on our salad (or McDonald's, I'm not judging).

It's a new year and many (including myself) have set forth resolutions to lose weight or exercise more frequently. While those are nice goals, let's be honest, a trim waist and bulging biceps are not what is going to get us through the pearly gates of Heaven. They are unlikely to help spread the gospel unless someone is using fitness as an intentional ministry. Let's, instead, make a resolution to spend time each day in communion with our Creator. You don't have to read the Bible in a year, unless you want to. Just make one portion of your day sacred. God deserves to have your attention, one-on-one.

I know that there are many people who are extremely disciplined and perfectly scheduled. You rockstars are the people who floss everyday and I admire that about you. The rest of us struggle for consistency. For you readers who are a little less likely to succeed in accomplishing all your daily goals, please let me know what works best for you to make spending time in the Word a priority. Do you have a certain time, a special place, a useful app? Please share your tips and tricks so the rest of us can join in the ranks of worship with you.

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