Thursday, June 07, 2007

June 7, 2007

My husband and I have been married now for almost 2.5 years. Before that, I was single for many years (I'm now 44 years old). For some reason, it seems to me I was better at working on my relationship with God when I was single than while I have been married. I don't know why this is but I am really struggling with this and I have struggled with it now for over 2 years.

When I was single, I was very involved in my church and in serving. I certainly had times when I was not praying or reading the Bible as much as I should have but, overall, I certainly did much much better than I have done since being married.

I have been in two different Bible studies, since we moved to Oklahoma a little over a year ago. I really like our church here but we have not really made any close friends yet. Last Sunday, our pastor preached about the need for community and close friends to keep you accountable and my husband and I discussed how we really need to make an effort to make 2 or 3 close Christian friends here in our city (none of our closest friends live nearby).

I have tried to get into a routine of praying and studying the Bible. I came to the revelation a number of weeks ago that, when I am praying more, I tend to want to read the Bible more. Yet, it seems that inevitably, I end up only praying and Bible reading for 3 or 4 days in a row, or maybe a week, before something changes my routine and I end up forgetting about it again. When I realize that has happened again, I feel guilty and I have a really hard time starting up again.

I am very much a person of routine. I like to have routine in my life. I am OK with changing things up a bit a couple of days a week and I enjoy taking the kids out and trying different things, but I normally feel somewhat relieved and a bit more relaxed when we have at least ton the days of the week where we can follow a normal routine. Being out of routine seems to drain me more. I really don't care for this quality of mine and would rather be someone who could just go with the flow and enjoy the spontaneity of life.

Keeping a routine these days has presented a bit of a challenge. The boys are at a point where they tend to have different sleep requirements, Nick needing more and Ben needing a bit less. Some days, they seem to still need two naps and on other days, they sleep so long during their first nap that there is no way we could fit in a second nap...but then they usually have to go to bed early that night because they are so cranky. I think they must also be trying to cut some teeth because they are really really whiny and cranky these days and seem to need a bit more sleep than they did just a couple of weeks ago. So, these days, it seems that each day is a bit different and I just don't know what the day will bring until it's brought:), if you know what I mean.

It seems that when the routine in my life changes, I get busy or distracted and forget all about my prayer life and Bible reading. I know I need this in order to have a close relationship with God. I know I need it in order to raise our sons the way God wants them to be raised. I want it and yet I am not doing it. I want my children to see God in my life. I want to be a good Christian role model for them. And yet I am not doing it. I know I am a better person when I have a closer relationship with God. I know I feel better about myself and the fruit of the spirit shine through much much more when I have a closer walk with God....and yet I am not doing it. It makes me so mad at myself and I feel so guilty. Why do I do this? Is this simply a lack of self discipline? I am so frustrated by this and I really want to find a way to conquer it once and for all. I don't want to be the kind of person that just turns to God and gets closer to God when something bad is happening in my life. I want to have a consistent close relationship with the One who created me.

Has anyone else ever struggled with this? I am open to feedback and/or suggestions and would appreciate any prayers you send up on my behalf.


Debbie said...

Have I ever experienced that? YES! Exactly the same thing you said (minus the kids). I'm finally now after 3 years of being at a new church making friends with good Christian people. That is making a huge difference for me.
I think for me having the Christian interaction pushes me to try harder to be consistant with my studies. That would be the one thing I would suggest is to make some good Christian friends that you can interact with.

I'm starting a Bible study next week on marriage actually and am really looking forward to it for myself and for Dave and I's relationship.

I also am trying to take it one step at a time when it comes to my personal Bible study. I recently purchased a very good devotional and read that most days but not all. If I miss a day or 2 I feel guilty but I just pick it back up the next day and keep going. This one has the days layed out so I just pick back up on today's date.
With that I have gained a better prayer life already.
And I hope to shortly bring in daily Bible reading as well. But I'm kind of trying to let it come naturally. If I make myself read I won't get anything out of my time in the Bible. I hope that all made sense.
It's a daily challange. You do need dicipline but I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that family and relationship w/God are the 2 of the most important things for you and those are the 2 things that the devil is going to attack.
I will be praying for you.

Tonya said...

Lea, I don't have any advice to give you other than don't beat yourself up. There are days when I don't even know where my Bible is. When I had all babies in the house and was new at mothering, I din't know if I read my Bible for a year or two, but I did talk to God all the time. "God, what should I do now? I want my children to know you and love you... How should I handle this situation... Thank you for promising to give me wisdom if I asked for it... Lord, I just screwed up big time, please forgive me and help me to be a good wife and mother..." And that kind of thing. I found myself closer to God than ever because I was just there and so was He. Your life has just changed drastically. Your relationship with God is going to grow and change and look different. You are learning through experience about truly sacrificing yourself for others. He will teach you about His love for you through your relationship with your sons. Relax and take a deep breath and smile at God. Spend a lot of time thanking Him for everything. Sing made up songs to Him. Your kids won't care and they'll probably do it too when they get a little bigger. I sing about what would seem to be ridiculous things to adults, like how cute Lyra's toes are and I thank Him for that. Your life, although time is in short supply, can be richer than ever. Do try to make some good, godly friends, but remember that your mission field is in the home right now and that God is so very, very close to you. He smiles when He looks at you, I'm sure of it. Don't get so distracted trying to have a relationship with Him in the way you've always done it before that you miss the one you've got now. And keep your Bible in a place where you can find it so that when you DO have a minute to yourself, you can read it. Or keep it on your kitchen counter and read a verse here and there and meditate on it for however many seconds you have before you have to stop someone from pounding the french door with a hammer (and all that) HUGS!

Anonymous said...

You have two adopted toddlers at home. THAT is a monumental task in itself.

How mauch time do you have for your husband?

The boys - so worth it - take a whole new dimension of devotion.

I am sure that God knows and understands that you are doing his work.