50:33 bad habits
Goodness gracious, this could become a very lengthy list.
But I guess making lists could also be put on the list, at least when I use them as an avoidance tool.
For I find it is possible with a list to bury the really bad ones in among an overwhelming number of trivial ones, thus manage to temper their obvious rudeness.
So how about a picture from the garden today while I tell you how much I am looking forward to the artichokes, rather than speaking of my bad habit of not listening.
For if I were pressed, the thing I would most like to work on in my life is listening. How even more delicious than a fresh picked artichoke, would be a life filled with listening to others, really listening, not just, sometimes patiently, waiting for my turn to speak.
I also think it would be incredible to daily, hourly, constantly, keep my senses attuned to the whispers of God, and how this simple act of listening would be such a comfort and a joy. But instead I get busy and forget. I say, this simple act of listening, but of course it is not simple at all. It needs constant vigilance and intentionality.
I am getting better, I at least I hope I am, but it is so easy to fool yourself. I am as distractable as they come.
Today my daughter and I went outside and worked in the yard. There were knee high weeds in the parkways, well actually everywhere, that we eliminated. Still, all in all things are coming along nicely. God is good and is taking care of His creation just fine without much input needed by me this spring.
For instance last summer I prepared this parkway to be planted. I was thinking yarrow, because I wanted to basically ignore it, and with an abundance throughout the yard there is plenty to transplant. Well life has not gone as planned this winter and spring and I couldn’t be more pleased to come out of hibernation and find this glorious bloom of nasturtiums, poppies and alyssum instead of weeds.
Which leads me to the very bad habit of anxiety. My lack of trust or faith that all will work out in the end, and my stressing about it and trying to plan. To always need a fallback position is often a pointless exercise that produces no lasting benefit.
The Lord has shown me again and again that He always has my best built into His plans, and He doesn’t need a fall back position, because His plans are always perfect from the get go. So remembering this would be a good habit I would like to develop.
So maybe one of the problems I have had while thinking about this question is that is not in my nature to focus on what is bad about my life. I prefer to focus on what I can do to improve myself, for my own sake and for the sake of those I love, and most importantly how can I best glorify God with my actions, so if I turn this around to being a positive venture, and ask what good habits would I like to develop, I can see the point in the exercise.
I would like to learn how to really listen. I would love to become someone others seek out to talk to because I listen. In the same way I want to be constant with my seeking out of God, because He is the best listener that was, and is, and will ever be, and His guidance in return will always be selfless and rich in lovingkindness, if I quiet myself to listen.
The aloe is blooming, and hummingbirds love it. I am not out here enjoying them as I have been in the past because I am working.
Too much actually, but disappearing into solving accounting puzzles is a good thing to keep my mind off of the virus crisis.
It is a difficult thing to come to terms with the notion that as so many are struggling financially, the financial situation of my household is improving. We have been through a long difficult year and the timing of finding a job was not to be expected. I am overflowing with praise and thanksgiving that we do not have to worry about homelessness at this time.
Still my entire outlook regarding security has changed. I will never be the same, or go back to complacency regarding either my health insurance or continued employment. Each and every day I have either one is to be looked upon as a gift of God.
So even if paths are temporarily blocked by circumstance, they are still there, like the one under these poppies, eventually a way forward will clear. So I am trying to keep myself open and positive about what the future will look like. I might need to create new habits, and be willing to let go of expectations of what should or might have been.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
So hold on to an unchanging God while the world, for better or worse, shifts, quivers, and quakes. For Jesus is dependable.