I found my life filled with many different voices — the voices of friends, of authors, of bloggers, of ministers — my ears and heart were abuzz with positive voices, but my spirit was restless. In His mercy, God cut through all of those voices and reminded me that there is only one voice that matters: His. Not the various bible studies I was involved in through church, not the well-meaning input from my various mommy friends, and not the preaching and teaching of esteemed pastors.
In my efforts to fill my life with good things, I spread myself too thin. Rarely did I find my heart at rest or my mind still. I was mentally exhausted, and I couldn’t blame all of that on my children.
Life can be filled with good things — things that make me smile, make me feel happy — but unless my heart is consumed by the best thing, everything else is meaningless. It becomes just a life filled with things…not a life full of the God of All Things. There is a huge difference. (Although, I’ve learned that the majority of Western Christian Culture doesn’t delineate between the two.)
There are many things I could be doing, but what must I be doing? I must be about my Father’s business. Intimacy with my Abba should be my priority. How can I say I truly love Him if I am not consumed with prayer? With reading scripture? Weekly bible studies, praying a few times a week, and attending church on Sundays simply doesn’t cut it…and I’ve allowed myself to rest on the laurels of “busy motherhood” for far too long. I allowed a season of life to become an excuse.
I’ve been diligently working to cut away the “good things” that aren’t the best things. My vines and branches have been greatly trimmed to allow my roots to grow deeper. The fruit I bear and the character I display in my words and actions far outweigh any ideas of giftedness, good works, or good efforts.
I’m relying on Mark 12:30-31 to cut through the noise. I reordered my world to focus on loving the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength…and loving my neighbor as myself. I am far from perfect, but my efforts are sincere. When my alarm goes off for morning prayer, it takes everything in my body not to hit snooze. Some days, I still do. Every day is a work in progress. Aside from turning off my alarm, my goal is not to use my phone until I’ve read the Word. Are there days I fail? You bet. But every day I’m getting better. My heart has become a place of peace. My mind is calm. My God is faithful.
As a Christian, my actions demonstrate whether I know and love Him, or whether I know and love myself. Are my daily efforts leading me deeper into an intimate relationship with the Lord? If not, then my daily efforts are a waste of time. I don’t say these things to pat myself on the back — I’ll be the first to tell you I fail daily. Multiple times a day. I say these things in case your heart is troubled, or your faith is weak. Be wrecked. Be corrected. Be corralled. Freedom is only found under Christ’s yoke — the only voice that matters is His.