Today I want to ask you something:
Have you been waiting for the elusive “zap?”
What I mean by that is:
Are you waiting for something to happen TO you in one of these areas:
- Is your child throwing tantrums and out of control?
- Are you in a marriage slump?
- Is your house a wreck?
- Are you out of control in your anger?
- Is your budget pushed to its max each month?
- Are you burned out, feeling pushed beyond your limit?
- Are your children lazy schleps that leave you to do all the housework yourself?
- Is your attitude toward your husband growing more bitter by the day?
- Are you losing touch with friends and facing overwhelming loneliness?
…but you’re subconsciously waiting for things to change?
Let me say something to you that we all need to hear from time to time:
There is no magic “zap” that’s going to happen TO you.
If you are coasting along through life, hoping that each day will somehow be different from yesterday, you are — essentially — trusting in magic.
And magic isn’t going to:
- change your heart
- produce a meal plan that helps you stay on track with your budget
- teach your children to respect you
- figure out a way to keep your house clean (within your current life constraints)
- give your children a godly understanding of sex & marriage
- help you pray for and encourage your husband rather than inwardly churn and grow bitter
- produce connected, fulfilling friendships that feed your soul
Friend, the magic “zap” (that you have been waiting to jolt you) doesn’t exist.
And even if you are a follower of Jesus Christ (and I hope you are), the Holy Spirit inside of you STILL is not going to instantaneously, magically change you into a new person with new attitudes and new habits.
A RECENT EXAMPLE
A couple weeks ago, it occurred to me: though I’d done really WELL with reading aloud to my oldest son, and even my second oldest from time to time, I’ve been slack lately in reading aloud with my younger children. Furthermore, I hadn’t been doing much Godward reading with them at all (by that, I mean literature designed to disciple and instruct them in biblical, Christ-honoring ways).
It hit me like a slap in the face.
I was being a lazy hypocrite, claiming to value this activity of reading aloud, but doing NOTHING in my everyday life. Like a vehicle expecting to keep going, I was coasting off of the “fumes” of past faithfulness, expecting it to continue producing fruit in my younger children’s hearts, even though the tank was near empty.
I had to be honest with myself: Facebook, cleaning, crochet, and busyness had all crowded out something that I value and want to do with my children.
So I went to our bookshelves and selected two books: Heaven for Kids, and Dangerous Journey (an abridged, beautifully-illustrated version of Pilgrim’s Progress). Like with a new exercise regimen, the tendency is to want to overdo it, but I knew that I’d quickly burnout if I chose too many. So I chose two meaty, enjoyable books that would appeal to everyone from the 4 year old to the 12 year old. (Sorry, 21-month-old Theo, it’s Duplos time for you.)
And for the last two weeks, I’ve regularly called the children to sit around my desk, and read them these wonderful books. Not only are they growing in their vocabulary (“Silas, what’s the difference between narrow and wide?”), but Randy Alcorn’s wonderful book has prodded us to pull out our Bibles to study what God says about Heaven. We’ve also enjoyed some wonderful conversations, both during the time that we read, and later, at dinnertime with Daddy when they share with him what they’re learning.
HERE’S THE TRUTH ABOUT GROWTH:
Growth doesn’t just happen to us.
There is no magic “zap.”
- Nothing is going to instantly happen to you to change your marriage.
- Nothing is going to magically turn your children into obedient helpers.
- Nothing is going to change your attitude from a self-focused grump-monster into a Christ-centered joyful woman.
Growth, in any form, happens with intentionality and with purposeful steps taken in a different direction.
So what is it that you need to DO?
- Is there a “zap” in your life that you (now) realize you’ve been waiting for?
- What is it that you need to CHOOSE TO DO differently today?
- What ONE THING could you stand up (yes, right now) and choose to do, to change your life or home?