"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

my to do list is Meaningless

I made this art journal after the outpouring of grace I received from this post.  This post was also featured at Exceptionalist from Into the Word Wednesday, which was pretty humbling.  I have felt so loved by all the kind words that post received, which has really made me think.  Mainly about the importance of being real.

My blog is read often by people I know in real life.  There are a handful of people in the blog world who read it.  But really, there are probably 50-70 people average who read each post I do.  My post on abortion has been read over 700 times this week.  Which is crazy.  But I think it's a great reminder that people are not drawn to perfect.  They are drawn to raw, real, humans.  So often we let pride dictate what we will and will not say.  That has held me back, really in just fear, from sharing my story for so many years.  Yet all things relating to pride are just "chasing after the wind" (Ecc 1:17)  Me at my weakest and most ashamed drew others to most.  My ugliest allows his glory to shine through.  So crazy to think about.  God of the chiasm.

I spent last week reading through Ecclesiastes as part of my read through the Bible plan.  I think it was one of my favorites so far.  Maybe it's because I struggle with anxiety, but it just really felt like it was what my heart needed.

What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun?  All his days work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest.  This too is meaningless.
~ Ecclesiastes 2: 22-23

This is my life.  I worry and stress about work and my kids reading levels and am I teaching this right and what about my dyslexia referrals and what interventions do I need in place in order to get this kid on level and how do I get this kids parents to come meet with me about progress.  Worry, worry, worry.  I worry about home and the pile of dishes and the piles of laundry and the play dough that is e-v-e-r-ywhere.  I worry that I don't spend enough time with Jude.  I worry that Jude will learn all my bad habits.  I worry about getting dinner ready.  I worry about having time to myself.  I worry about scheduling time with friends.  I worry about spending time with my bf over Jude or not spending time with my bf.  I worry about Bible study going over too late and being too tired.

I allow my days to be pain and grief.  My mind never stops, never rests.  

This is meaningless.

Perfection doesn't matter.  It's meaningless.  It's pride.  It's lack of trust.  It's carrying a load I have been told to surrender.  It's sin.  It's meaningless.  Meaningless.  There.  Is.  No.  Point..... Wasted time

A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work.  This is from the hand of God. ~ Ecclesiastes 2:24

Those 1000 gifts?  They aren't found in the thinking about what I need to do.  They are done in thanking God for what He has done.  Not me.  Him.  Not my list.  His.  I love how I am supposed to eat, drink, and enjoy life.... then find satisfaction in my work.  My problem is priorities.  Enjoy my time in my classroom.  Enjoy my time with my students.  Enjoy my time with Jude.  And allow the work to happen.  Be satisfied with the amount I do at school.  Be satisfied for what I manage to get done at my house.  But make the crux of it all enjoying the moments with them.  That's where they will see Christ's love.  My to do lists don't really showcase the love of Christ.  But enjoying and loving on my kids (students + Jude) sure does.  

I found this really convicting.  Those things I listed really do have to get done eventually.  Those lists really do exist.  But I have to find a way to make it ok to not finish.  And not exhaust myself all day trying to finish it only to throw the towel in at 11:00.  I have to find a way to enjoy the day while checking off things as I am able to.  I don't exactly know how to do that.  But I am praying that I will gain a realistic view of priorities that are God driven and those that are 'meaningless'.

How do you eat, drink, and find satisfaction in your work?

Linking up with Upward Not Inward and Into the Word Wednesday


Falen @ Upward Not Inward said...

Lysa Turkerst in Unglued talks about "imperfect progress." Really when I start feeling like I'm not measuring up, doing enough, doing it right (life), I have to say I know im not where I should be, but I KNOW I'm making progress. We all are, right? The worry and pride... worthless. That's a great verse!!

Love your posts girlie!

Rubi Ruiz said...

You're absolutely right Ashley! People are drawn to raw, real, human because that's who we are. We all have our stories of hurt and pain. I would love to feature your story in my new series Untold Stories Being Told. You can visit my blog to find out more about it if you're interested! Seriously, I think your story is a testament to God's grace and His amazing LOVE and ability to heal and restore us. Would LOVE to have you over.



ThistleAshD said...

I think imperfect progress is definitely the perfect description. I really loved your post too where you mentioned that God knows all all all about you and yet loves you. That kind of love blows me away all the time.