Well, pals, it’s Wednesday and here at “Mommy on Fire” on Wednesday’s I’ll be featuring some of my bloggy friends. I began a series on friendship last week and I thought this would be the perfect time for you all to get to know some fantastic writers and women of faith I’m proud to call my friends.
You all met Jen last week – isn’t she a gem? Her post on idolatry made me feel so convicted I wanted to run out the front-door Forrest Gump style. I refrained but the thought did enter my mind.
Today, I would love for you to meet my sweet, precious, authentic, real, adorable, and God-lovin’ friend, Erin from “It’s Grace”. Erin and I met in the blogosphere and she encouraged me to attend the Relevant Conference this past fall. We decided to share a room and as soon as I heard her voice on the phone, I knew we would be forever friends. Her heart is absolutely beautiful and I instantly felt like I could talk to her about anything. And I can.
Erin has a 13 year old daughter and a seven year old boy. She has started a group called “The Whatever Girlz” for teen girls and their mothers and I’m so excited to see what God is doing through her. I think you will find she’s DEAD-ON with much of her thinking on teenage culture.
Erin also hosts “Mama’s Heart” each Thursday in which you can link-up a post regarding something you are experiencing in motherhood.
And it doesn’t hurt that she likes cheese fries and good wine, too. We were fast friends and I know you will love her as much as I.
I’d like to thank you, Natalie, for the warm invitation to be a guest writer today on your blog. I’m going to be sharing with you and your readers what I’ve recently learned about the danger of taking spiritual shortcuts.
I’ve gotten into the habit of deep cleaning our main bathroom every Monday. By the time I finish, the tiles in the shower sparkle, the bathtub is white as snow, the toilet shows no evidence of ever being used by a seven year old boy, toothpaste splatters are scrubbed off the mirror, the sink and countertops are spotless and the floor is swept and mopped. Throughout the week I do little touch-ups to keep things looking clean and fresh and to make the next deep clean job go quicker – like spray the shower tiles down after each shower with spray that promises to prevent soap scum and Clorox wipe-down all surfaces.
Being the imperfect housekeeper that I am, I’ve been known to let my routine get derailed and skip deep cleaning the bathroom and rely more and more on the little touchup’s to keep up appearances. Pretty soon even those daily touchup’s turn into every other day and sometimes every two days. I pay for it the next time I go to deep clean. It’s amazing how quickly my sparkling tiles develop a coating of soap scum that requires more cleaning agent and elbow grease to restore them to their previous sparkly state.
The last time I was scrubbing those dull shower tiles I thought of how dull my spiritual life had become.
For awhile I had been intensely and diligently reading God’s Word each morning. Then I got in the habit of reading a quick devotion before taking the kids to school and then promising myself to read my Bible after I got home. When I got home there was always an excuse; a dishwasher to empty or clothes to wash. Then I was lucky to get that devotion in and was making up for it by listening to sermons and Christian talk shows in the car and while cleaning the house.
Soon I began experiencing the symptoms of spiritual malnourishment. I felt dreary, disconnected to God, worn out, impatient and short with my kids and husband and, well, everyone (especially in grocery store parking lots), unguarded and negative. Those little shortcuts I had been relying on as a replacement for the real deal had left me vulnerable, distracted, burdened, weary and incapable. In short: deceived and attacked.
When left to my own devices and priorities, I fail. Miserably.
A soldier wouldn’t dream of going to war unprepared. No, soldiers are laden down with weapons, shields, protective gear, helmets and many other things designed to keep them in contact with their unit and commander and safe. It’s no different for us as soldiers of God’s army. Every day is a battle against an enemy whose objective is to steal, kill and destroy. If I fail to meet with my “commanding officer” every.single.day. I’ve left myself exposed, vulnerable and lost.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105