Friday, December 5, 2008

Still The Same?

I was going through some old notebooks last night, and came across this entry in one of them. At the time, I had been a Christian for three months. Thought I would share with you. (Keep in mind that I worked full time when I wrote this)

August 30/95


Organization of Time/Tasks
· Housework not getting done – laundry, cleaning, cooking
· Not enough quality prayer time/study time
· Not enough exercise time
· Not enough sleep (sometimes)
· Not enough time for people
· Not enough time for “would like to’s”
= Always feeling behind
= Frustration
= Anxiety

Sharing the Gospel

Being a Good Witness

Selfishness, Vanity, Pride, Laziness, Complacency, Doubts, Shyness
= Knowing I have a long way to go


Stop procrastination – do something! Make a list of things that I have to do.


Housework: laundry
Clean bathroom/floor
Bills etc.

Personal: Exercise
People – visit, phone, write
Time with kids/Dan

God: Prayer
Bible Study

One Time Only:

Sewing/knitting organized
Clothes organized
Closets/cupboards organized
Carpets cleaned
Walls etc cleaned
Decorating (?)

August 31/95
Today I really wanted to begin to be organized. If the 4 things on my “to do” list, I completed one, and half completed 2. I guess it is a step in the right direction just to make a list. I will try again tomorrow. Having the desk to read and write at really helps.

Work was unusually hectic………I wanted to be calm and efficient, but as usual I ended up feeling rushed and frazzled. No doubt the result of trying to do things on my own, as usual. Today I got into gossip again, and I should have stayed to help Donna with the faxing, but I wanted to get to the 4:45 class at the gym, which I didn’t enjoy a whole lot. But I need to exercise if I want to lose this extra weight.

I hope that this writing every day helps me. I just feel so rushed at work, that when I get home, I don’t even want to think. Tonight I didn’t do much. Katie is going camping, and I don’t want her to go, of course. But I have asked God to keep her safe. Worrying is a hard habit to break. I know I need to spend more time in prayer, and would like to do it in the morning, but can’t make myself get up. Something else to pray for.

Today, as usual, I tried too much on my own, and didn’t trust enough. Something else to pray for. Will try that idea of using index cards.

Dear God: how could any of us even begin to comprehend Your greatness. You know every thought of every person. You have our lives planned before we are born. You can do all things, made the universe, control everything. Yet you still love us so mercifully and patiently. There is nothing or no one to compare You to. You defy description. I am constantly amazed at what you have done for me. That you care so much, have so much patience, when I am continually failing. The harder I try, the more I fail. I am sorry for trying on my own so much, trying to understand and figure things out. Deep down I know you are in control and have a perfect plan. Why must I be so stubborn? My heart wants to bend, but my feeble human mind still clings to the ridiculous notion that all I have to do is try harder and I will have it conquered. Why can’t I just look back and see what you did, and realize that if You can do that for me, You will of course be faithful to follow through. I am so thankful. Thank you for showing me the way. Help me in all these areas. You know that they are. I want to know You more. I am so grateful to you, Jesus.

Reading this now, and typing it out, I could weep. Because of how pressured I felt back then to “perform”. Because I was my own worst enemy. Because, truth be told, I haven’t changed a whole lot. Because I could write all the same things today. In fact, I could add quite a few items to the list. I’m still not organized. I still beat myself up for it. I still am making lists that are impossibly long. I am still making new resolutions, on a regular basis, to “do better.” I am still aiming for a bar that I set myself. And it makes me sad (no wonder I’m depressed!)

No doubt you smiled at the picture of a new Christian trying to “get it all right.” I was quite naive back then. I don’t know what my excuse is now. Seems I am still trying to get it right. I am still apologizing to God, yet knowing that I should rest in His grace. Old habits die hard.


Bino M. said...

So true. My primary reason for a lot of frustration in my life is my ugly perfectionism. I am struggling with this a lot. I want everything to be perfect all the time, especially things at home. When I see things disorganized I get mad (literally!).

I think the root of perfectionism is that I think of myself so highly - my ego.

Couple posts I wrote:


Are You a Perfectionist?

I wanted to say that I relate to all these you said here...

RJW said...

Grace is teaching me:

God loves me where I am right now. I can't change yesterday and tomorrow isn't here yet. I call it today and live there.

Resolutions are like law; they stir up rebellion in me. :)

The enemy likes to keep me focused on myself. Not just my shortcomings, any area. I am not to regard myself or others after the flesh; I choose not to get caught up in that distraction.

It is the nature of life to change therefore although I make lists for organizational purposes I am learning to laugh in exasperation when my plans are overset. If God allows my plans to be overturned, then I figure God can help me muddle through. And He is no muddler! He performs above what I could ever hope for.

I have completely abandoned myself to the idea that God will accomplish in me what is good and He is faithful to grow me into all that I already am in Christ. I am enjoying the journey. What must I perform? Christ performed it all at the cross. I simply want to continue to have my mind renewed to how much he loves me and what my new identity means.

Finally, Mac, you are really, truly better than you know not because of what you do but because of Who you're in. :)

Love & grace.

Joel B. said...

Haha! I have the same type of journal entries from right around the same time (early to mid 90's)! Lists of stuff I needed to do, rules I needed to follow, things I needed to clean up about myself, etc, and the struggles and discontentment for not having lived up to it all!

I drove myself nuts, and I think I drove other people nuts as well, putting the same expectations on other people that I couldn't even live up to myself!

Lennart said...

We all suffer from the same 'world standards" :)

We are trained from when er are young that, if you are goo you get rewarded and if you are dab you get punished.

God works SO differently. He just loves us all the time....... regardless of our performance or un/tidy rooms :)

Ike said...

"I haven't changed a whole lot".

Not only that....but the Lord didn't change at all! He knew when He saved you that you would write this post! And He saved you anyway!!!!!! "We" all have to be amazed that He saved "us"..... anyway!!

Leonard said...

"Old habits die hard."

Boy Howdy.

ps. seems like I recently had a conversation with a good friend about that...

Have a great day friend.