Y’all, last night, we had one of our favorite families over for dinner. Our kids are around the same age, we have common interests, and they are just fun people! The kind of friends that are easy and laid back and comfortable inviting into your own crazy, ya’ know what I mean? Well, as my friend and I were chatting it up in the kitchen, she stopped, turned her attention to my refrigerator, and said something to the effect of, “Oh look at you being such a great mom…I want to hear all about this!”
It took a minute for me see what she was referring to, but once I did, I immediately responded, “Oh we don’t actually do that!” with a little laugh. I explained that it was a chore-chart-rotation-thingy that I attempted to copy from a more put-together mom the summer before, that only lasted for a few weeks on and off. I kept it up in hopes that we would get it together at some point and stick to it. But that hadn’t happened so far…
She laughed, and I couldn’t help but feel there was a little sigh of relief too. Because she was realizing I didn’t have it all together either. And it occurred to me that things in my home could give off the illusion of an organized life if people didn’t know any better.
Little do they know that the dry erase calendar posted in my den has only been updated this month after staying on November for quite some time. That the “What’s Cooking?” meals and days of the week written on my kitchen chalkboard are from four weeks ago. That the end table in the playroom is covering a nasty, sticky, gunky something that my children spilled and left there to magically disappear on it’s own, and we haven’t gotten to it yet. That the Christmas card pile on our breakfast table has only had two cards pulled to pray over in the last two months. Y’all, everything isn’t always what it seems.
I am here to tell you that I get a number of things right…but I get more wrong. And let me clarify.
The things I am working to get right are not so much keeping the chalkboard up-to-date or staying on schedule with the chore chart. Those are admirable goals. But I’m talking about the things that matter most.
Paul said, “I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.” Philippians 1:9-10
We can get so bogged down with keeping up appearances and running to activities and checking off our to-do lists, that we forget what matters most, y’all. Or at least I do many days.
So, as I try to keep my focus on the three things that really matter, I thought I’d post them here for you too. This isn’t anything new, y’all. Just a refresher for those of us who tend to major on the minors sometimes.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38
Sounds easy enough, right? Well, yes and no. It’s easy to say, “I love you God.” But do we show it? Do we live out that love like other relationships?
I recently heard Shelia Walsh speak, and one of the things that resonated most with me was a story about how the Lord feels when we come to see Him. She said that He squeals with delight, “She came!” because He loves spending time with us so much.
Psalm 27:8 says, “My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” But y’all, there are many days I feel that calling…and I never make it. I choose other events or responsibilities over my time with Him. And when I am not as connected to Him, I am not as loving or peaceful or joyful or kind…because time with Him affects time with everyone else.
We have to nurture our relationship with Him the way we do others. He matters most, y’all.
2. Love people.
And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:39
This could be a long one.:) So simple, and yet so complex. But at the heart of it, I think it really comes down to this:
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Philippians 2:3-5
To love others well, we have to be attentive to their needs…and not our own. We have to realistically look at our faults and recognize our own depravity and humbly say, “Lord, I don’t know why you love me, but help me serve others in your name. Help me to love others with a real love. Help me to see people as you see them and listen and respond to their needs not for what I will get, but because I serve you.”
3. Tell everyone what He’s done.
Once we are striving to love God and love people well, the only thing left to do is spread the amazing “reason for the hope that we have” (1 Peter 3:15) with others.
“Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done.” Psalm 105:1
Your “whole world” may be your husband and kids. It may be your co-workers and friends. It may be more widespread through social media or a blog. But y’all, people need to know that the Lord is real. That He is continually working and loving and providing and protecting and teaching and saving us over and over again.
If the Lord has moved in your life, don’t allow fear or worry over what people will think hinder you from sharing. Tell someone, even if it’s one person. He can and will use you, no matter how small or insignificant you think your story might be, sweet friends.
Love God. Love people. And share what He is doing in your life, y’all. And if you come to my house anytime soon, the chore chart will probably still be on hold. Remember that I get some things right, and I get a lot wrong, but my heart is to love you well and show you Jesus. I’m working on majoring on the majors, and I pray you will too.