I told you my summer was packed, but I guess I didn’t tell myself.
Saturday I was talking to my husband about my schedule and about feeling overwhelmed. He said, “Which of those things are actually the work the Lord has given you?”
Now don’t go thinking that Ezra is right all the time. The very next day, he was very wrong about a place that he claimed was a good place to get ice cream. And I was right.
But ANYWAY, he was right about this thing. In fact, a few weeks ago I noticed an event on my google calendar that wasn’t an event. It was a note from me to me. Sometime in the past, at least a year ago, I felt inspired to put this on my calendar for July 1st.
DID YOU INQUIRE OF THE LORD
I had been studying in the Old Testament, and I noticed how many times the heroes of God “inquired of the Lord” before they did something. Joshua, David, the prophets. It was over and over again, “They inquired of the Lord.”
And sometimes the Lord gave them the go ahead, and sometimes he said no.
But when I read it, I knew- I should be doing that, too! And I wanted to remember to do it in the future! So I put it on my calendar for a long time in the future, and then I promptly forgot about it.
When I saw it a few weeks ago, honestly… I didn’t know what do with it. I just thought, “Well, I am always in communication with the Lord! I think I’m good.”
I was wrong.
After Ezra said that to me, I decided to make a list of all of the commitments and obligations I have, to try to decide which things were from the Lord. I divided it into essential and non essential.
Essential: Housekeeping, meal making, personal devotions, time with my husband and kids. Lawn care and animal chores. Paying bills, exercise. Maintaining a relationship with my family and some close friends. Planning our homeschool year before Labor Day.
Non-Essential: Youth group leading. Youth special events, including two camps I am running at the end of August. Small group. Making the church bulletin and overheads. Planning the church music and rehearsing it. Blogging. Working on my book. My podcast. The church lunch ministry/VBS. My kids’ music lessons. Face painting engagements. Delivering a puppy that we sold. Cleaning the church once a month. Music practice for myself. Custom art work I do. Theater volunteer work I am scheduled for. Redecorating and repainting our school room, which is half done. Two separate visits from far-away family.
It’s a lot. Okay, It is too much. Maybe I am a crazy person, but I didn’t realize how much it all was until I tried to make a list. And when I made the list, it was no easier to make decisions!
The problem is that so many of the things I do are good things that should be done! And if I don’t do the things I love and believe in because I could be home putting away a few more loads of laundry, I feel like my whole life is going to go by and I will regret it.
But… Did I inquire of the Lord?
The short answer is no. I made plans and gave my word to do all kinds of things, because I could see a need, and I didn’t have “plans” that day or that week. But the reality is, my soul is overrun and I am already tired. I woke up yesterday with a raw throat and I can’t stop sneezing. I’m just… tired. And I can never, ever, ever seem to get ahead of the laundry.
The thing about “inquiring of the Lord” or not in the Old testament, is that when people didn’t, things did not go well for them. I’m not saying that we can’t have creative dreams and plans that the Lord blesses. But when we just take off without checking in, we can miss the really awesome things God actually has prepared for us.
Like writing our book.
How much better would it be on this hot summer day to spend the morning working on my fun novel, and then have the whole rest of the day to go swimming? Like I already said I wanted to do.
Instead we are packed full, and I haven’t had a chance to work on it for about 5 days, and I haven’t been swimming in two WEEKS.
Apparently this is the same blog post as last week. Only I still haven’t learned my lesson!!
For the shepherds are stupid
and do not inquire of the Lord;
therefore they have not prospered,
and all their flock is scattered.
I think this verse kinda applies to me. I am kinda stupid. I mean, how obvious is it even that I left myself a note IN MY CALENDAR?
I guess the only solution for me is this: I’m going to go inquire of the Lord.
Hopefully next week I won’t still be learning the same lesson.