Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Confession or ...But the Seventh Day is a Sabbath of the LORD

My dear readers,

Originally I was just going to write about how busy I have been lately and how overwhelmed I feel trying to combine motherhood, "wifehood", school and now work. For the last month and a half I haven't relaxed with a good book, haven't watched a movie and haven't slept for more than 5 hours straight.

To be honest I didn't mind being busy and productive. I love what I do and I enjoy going to sleep knowing that I accomplished a lot. However, today I realized that rest was not the only thing I've been missing.

This morning at church our pastor was talking about fear of the Lord. When he started, my husband smiled and looked at me, because fear of the Lord is one of few things we don't quite agree on. The Russian Orthodox church influenced my beliefs quite a bit and I always thought that in order to be obedient we should be afraid of God; afraid to sin and mess up. It worked for me in the past and I have a hard time adjusting to a new concept that God will forgive me no matter how bad I screw up. I know He will, but I personally need to fear God. Otherwise, I relax and don't listen to Him as much as I should.

Actually, during today's service I realized that I haven't been listening to Him at all for the last 6 weeks. Why? I was too busy. I did pray every night before going to bed, but it was more of a monologue of how thankful I am for the day and how desperate I am for God to protect my family. I didn't ask Him for directions or for plans He had for me. And I didn't listen to Him.

Today when our pastor was talking about the fear of the Lord and disobedience, God spoke to me. This was not the first time He tried doing this, but previously I didn't want to listen. Actually, I didn't want to listen this time, because what He was asking me to do was very inconvenient. He asked me to devote the 7th day to Him. Imagine that!

But God, - I tried arguing. - I have 3 major projects at school and 30+ articles to write for my blogs and websites and I have only a month to accomplish all of these. And remember, I have a house, a husband and two wild little children to take care of.

God didn't reply to me directly, but while I was still trying to prove my point to Him, our pastor started giving us vivid examples of how people find excuses to disobey God and ignore God's voice. It was so timely, that it gave me chills.

I got really afraid, so I said:

-OK, I promise that I will take a Sunday off. I made a mental note that I'll just work harder during the week But I will start next Sunday, because I already planned to write a beat-report for my Journalism class today and write 3 articles for the Ezine article directory.

At this very moment the pastor gave an example on how he got stuck in traffic, because he didn't listen to God's voice.

"Even in small things we need to listen to Him," - he said.

And then it finally hit me. I realized how awful my attitude was and how prideful I became. I was arguing with God?!!!?!!!!!????????? I don't know if it was due to the lack of sleep lately, but somehow I started thinking that I knew better than Him. I somehow forgot that only He, my loving Father, knows what is the best for me. I was not fearing Him lately, I was not listening to Him. This revelation shocked me so much that I wanted to slap myself in the face.

Dear Father, please forgive me my pride, my cockiness and my disobedience. Help me not to get deceived again and help me listen when You speak to me. I know I shouldn't worry, because you said so. I know You will guide me and You will provide. All I need to do is listen. And obey.

PS. It is 9.15 pm here, Sunday. I didn't work, I didn't study(It was hard and I realized that I was very addicted to being busy). Today I just went to church, I made a nice dinner for my family, spent time with them and I wrote this post.

I realize that I shouldn't devote only Sundays to God. I should devote every day of my life to Him and try to glorify Him in everything I do.

How do you, my Christian brothers and sisters do it? What are your tips on how not to get distracted by the world and focus on the Lord? I need some advice.

Orthodox churches in Vologda, RussiaImage via Wikipedia


Kim said...

Must confess this is an area I struggle with also! Being a pastor's wife (and now missionaries) Sunday is NOT typically a day of rest for our family, but one of our busiest.

What's a pastor or missionary to do? We make a conscious effort to take another day to "rest". Are we consistent at doing that? No. Life happens and sometimes things come up that snatch away the much anticipated time of rest. Ministry is not a 9-5 kind of job.

Looking forward to seeing what others have to say! Always looking for thoughts on how to do this better :-)

The Inept Aspirant said...

I think you're off to a great start! That's why I had to put the blog was just one more distraction from what's truly important. Busyness is a keeps us from having to look inside which can be frightening. Stillness needs to be practiced because it is only when we are still that we can hear the small voice of God. I have a hard time with it myself.

Debbie said...

I don't have any answers for you but I would like to thank you for this honest post. It has really gotten me thinking. Thanks.

Angela said...

Good post! For me resting on Sundays means time enjoying outside or spent meditating on Scripture. I tend to always have something going that distracts me from just "being" whether it is computer, television, or books..I am single so I do have free time it just is a matter of devoting the day to rest in Him!

Sharon said...

Hi, I'm Kim (Just a Southern girl) and Rita's (Meemaw Moments) sister-in-law. I really enjoy your stories about life as an immigrant. I'm hoping that when this semester is over you will write some more. Most of my friends are immigrants and they struggle very much. It's good to read your humorous take on things.

Anonymous said...

have just discovered your blog and have enjoyed reading it as I have a good friend who is a new Russian bride in our country.I am going to tell her about your blog

May I ask a question please as I am confused.Are you actually studying full time at a University or are you a stay at home mum and studying by corespondence int the evenings , or something?

I would find it impossible to study full time and have two pre schoolers!!

I would love to hear more about your family on your blog....

God Bless

Happy Mama said...

Thank you all for all the comments.
I have only 1 week of semester left, so I am sure I'll breathe easier.

To answer the last question - I am actually a day student right now, which can be quite challenging at times. Kids crawl all over me all the time (especially my 1 year-old), so I had to learn how to type papers with one hand and how to stay awake until 2 am.:-)

When I am at school, my mother-in-law or my dear neighbor are watching them.

I am not complaining, by the way, just stating the facts. I love motherhood more than anything and I enjoy college. I just wish there was more time in the day (like 48 hours, for example).

Peace to all,
I will be back:-)