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I am a structured girl. I keep lists. I make plans. I love routine. I have an order in which I do everything, whether it is washing the dishes (glasses first, silverware always last), or grocery shopping. Most times, it can be comforting.
Sometimes, though, it's hindering. Take my time with God, for example. This is what it looked like for many years:
1- Wake up earlier than the husband, greet the dogs, pour a cup of tea, sit on my comfy chair with my box of Godly goodies.
2- Write a handful of thankful items in my One thousand gifts notebook.
3- Read a Psalm.
4- Write my own psalm.
5- Read a couple of chapters of whatever Bible book I am on.
6- Reflect (for maybe about 30 seconds) on what kind of message that was. Conclude (most days) that it reminded me of someone else, and wouldn't it be nice if they were there with me to see how they are messing it all up.
7- Read whatever Christian book I am currently reading. Honestly, #s 1 through 6 are just a prelude to this, because whatever Christian authors have as a New York Times Bestseller will obviously speak more to me than some of these crazy Bible books (aka Ezekiel and his weirdo visions, that are obviously not meant for me).
8- Listen to Christian songs on my Ipod throughout the day, as background music. At least it's better than listening to whatever is out there on the pop charts.
9- God forbid He may want to tell me something in the middle of the day, as I meet a parent or wipe some boogers of a kid's face. I'm just to busy for that!
The worst part? I was quite proud of it. For me, reading the Bible in a year or waking up at 5 am were proof of what a good little Christian girl I am. And I would gladly look down on anyone who let me know they struggled to have the discipline to do any of these. Whaat?
For the longest time I struggled to figure out why I wasn't thriving in my Spiritual life. Until God showed me: it's all about relationship, not about a checklist. It's about waiting for His nudge. And if that means there are days in which I don't open my Bible in order to hear Him, fine. If that means that I stop mid ironing my clothes to break into song, lovely. If that means I get knocked down with a huge lesson in the busiest time of the day, dandy. And if it means sitting in silence....well, I'm still working on that one. I'll tell you more tomorrow.
' I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine.' (source)