I recently finished a devotional by Bill Johnson, "The Way of Life." If y'all haven't checked that one out on You Version (the Bible App), it is excellent and I love that it has a self-reflection and application portion to each day. One of the days in the devotional, I read something that stopped me in my tracks. In light of all that is happening in the world - entire countries shutting down, jobs on hiatus, schools closed, people holed up in their homes - this has been even more magnified in my life...
"If there's a part of my life that cannot be an expression of my love for God, it shouldn't be in my life."
WOAH. I read that and immediately felt conviction from Holy Spirit. Read that again. Conviction, not condemnation, not guilt, not shame, but a nudge from Holy Spirit that He wants to next-level my life and shift my thinking toward a more heavenly perspective. Immediately I began looking at my own life with Holy Spirit taking me on a journey of self-examination and the atmosphere of my thinking. He began showing me lots of small things I would have never considered in my own evaluation of my daily life; things like how I treat my home, how I use my free time, how I wind down in the evenings, how I allow myself to get very easily frustrated with my kids when I'm stressed, and how I view serving my husband when I'm exhausted.
I hate doing dishes. I mean, it disgusts me. Dirty plates and glasses people have had their mouths and germs all over makes me want to gag (if you haven't thought about it before, you're thinking about it now and are probably as grossed out as I am - or you just think I'm a weirdo).
I hate cleaning the bathtub.
I hate putting laundry away.
I have been quick to anger with my family more often then I care to admit.
After putting the kids to bed, I try to numb my brain with mindless television or scrolling through Facebook and Instagram (or both).
I easily become trapped in the comparison game with my husband - who is doing more around the house and with the kids?
Y'all, Holy Spirit showed me all the ugly that He was ready to make beautiful. I don't think I would have seen some of those things as not loving God and it seems silly that I missed that once I finally opened my eyes, but wow! I felt immediately inspired to go do my dishes as if Jesus needed a clean plate. To keep my cool with the kids because I get to be the picture of God's limitless kindness and patience with us. Inspired to fold that laundry and put it away (honestly, I have a couch ready to put laundry away that I need to take care of in the morning - thank you for the gentle reminder Holy Spirit). I was inspired to use my free time before bed to connect with the Lord much more intentionally and obey Him in ways that I had been putting off and dismissing. I had immediately started changing my attitude toward my husband - serving Him became a way to serve the Lord and I didn't need to expect anything in return. It is an honor and privilege to love him extravagantly.
With everything coming to a halt in our world right now, I see all these jokes about jumping into homeschooling (teachers deserve a billion dollar raise!), being trapped inside the house with kids going crazy, etc., which - honestly are hilarious; we need to keep laughing about all of this happening or we'll live in fear - so keep posting those funny memes please. However, in the real world, my everyday life dealing with the homeschooling, isolation, and crazy kiddos, Holy Spirit is shifting my perspective on those things. Is yours being changed right now? Are you shifting to a more heavenly perspective? Are you taking on the mind of Christ?
I just want to encourage you right now: when you begin to view the mundane as a way to express your love for the Lord, I promise, your life is going to become so filled with JOY and PEACE and LOVE. I'm tearing up as I write this with so much gratitude that Holy Spirit opened my eyes and showed me that He was ready to take me to a deeper place with God. To grow and love the process. To show my children, not just on Sunday, how good God is and give them a picture through my everyday life of what the Father looks like. What an absolute HONOR that God would entrust these tiny people to me and hand me the opportunity to show them the face of God.
I'd love to hear what Holy Spirit is showing you right now! How can you shift the parts of your life that are not an expression of your love for God right now into something that is an expression of your love for Him?
With all of us holed up until this pandemic ends, we have a unique opportunity and gift to slow things down, love our family a little better, time to take care of the things we've been avoiding, and spend time reflecting on our spiritual life. All I keep thinking is, "For such a time as this". I'm praying for you tonight - your spiritual life is about to level up and accelerate!