My children were gone for an entire week at camp. It was pretty awesome for them and for me and Chris. One of the greatest things about them being gone?
A clean house!
I would wake up every morning to a clean living room, dining room, and kitchen. The bathroom didn't have left over clothes from showers or baths. Toothbrushes and toothpaste were put away where they belong. Baggies were zipped up nice and tight. Cupboards were shut like they were supposed to be. Don't get me wrong: Chris and I do our very best to get them to pick up after themselves. We tell them on a daily basis to take care of their stuff.
And yet, we find ourselves in a continual battle.
Until last week. A clean house. Loved it. All week long. Did you get that? ALL WEEK LONG!!! Loved it. While I missed my boys, I thoroughly enjoyed my house's cleanliness.
And then.....the boys came home.
I walked out this morning to scattered clothing, dirty dishes piled in the sink, toys and books all about the living room. My clean house no longer existed. And the battle began.
Which got me thinking.....
I do that a lot with the Lord. I "clean my house" for about a week or so. "Lord," I say, "I'm going to be more patient." And for a while, I am. But then....something happens, and I'm back in my old habits again. "Jesus, I'm going to spend more time in prayer, in Your Word." A week goes by and I don't miss a day. But then.....I sleep in, my kids get up before I have a chance to dig in, or the internet is too important to put off before I spend time with God.
So begins a vicious cycle. And the battle begins.
What do I need to do to change this cycle and fight the battle?
Take one day at a time. Don't worry about tomorrow. It has enough troubles of its own. That's not it, though.
I need to discipline myself. And not give in to laziness.
When my feet touch the floor, what are my priorities?
That's my priority. Sit and bask in His presence, listen to His still small voice. My bad habits will come and go. But Jesus is the One who can take control of them. As long as I give them to Him. Yes, I will mess up. Just like my kids. I will fall into old ways and lose my patience or sleep in a little too long and not have time to spend with Him.
But His grace abounds.
When I go to bed, I will do an inventory of what needs to be "cleaned" and begin the next day anew.
I will often remind my kids to change their bad habits and pick up after themselves.
Jesus does the same with me.
I don't love my kids any less because of their sloppiness. And neither does God. He loves me too much to let me stay that way, though.
So, what about you?
What are some bad habits you've gotten into that you're changing, with God's help?
For me, it's my eating (because gluttony is a sin), spending more time at Jesus' feet. I pray my bad habits will soon disappear!