Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Habits

Cultivating a habit of writing, I am finding, is one that thrives on regularity. If forming habits could be compared with regular bowel function, I would say that I am chronically constipated in the habit-forming arena. Ah, the poop joke...so soon into a post 12 days after the deadline of a "project" for which she fell so dismally short? Yes, my friends, yes. I need a dose of writer's Metamucil.

I've had spurts of deep and creative thoughts and even typed furiously with my thumbs into my phone to capture them on-the-go, promising myself a chunk of time later in the evening to flesh out the thoughts only to log in and discover incomplete drafts with half-thought-out musings and schemes. I think we can all follow the poop metaphor for this problem without my saying it...

I can plan one heck of a calendar for myself, complete with time slots for each important task and activity but it's in the execution that I flail about like a cat on a leash. I'm not complaining so much here as I'm trying to make my peace with the truth of the matter that I will write sporadically, sometimes following a prescribed routine and sometimes trailing off like an overgrown, sad little path into a dark wood...

I can't seem to shake the feeling, lately, that I am screwing it all up. This sense of you're-never-going-to-get-it-right seems to pervade the endeavors that I pursue...all the way from scrubbing the toilet to going, therefore, and making disciples. I can't keep up with the laundry; can barely keep up with the dishes; there's piles everywhere: piles of documents needing filed, piles of clothes needing put away, piles of stuff everywhere...and that dumb little quip, "A place for everything and everything in its place" floats irritatingly around my brain. And all that inanimate stuff aside, my grace and patience offerings are generally pretty trim right about now.

I never thought of myself as a perfectionist but I sure do chase perfect like my life depended on it. Why oh why do I feel like I have to live in a museum with pristine corners and every painting hung arrow-straight? Why do I feel like I have to get it all right? That the fruit I'm supposed to be bearing is up to me to make, like I could just bake it and hang it on the tree of my life the way we do ornaments on a Christmas tree?


Wait, whose fruit? Oh, the fruit of the SPIRIT. The Holy Spirit. Part of the triune God. Yes, God. God's fruit. God's fruit in my life cannot be manufactured BY me but only by the work of God IN me and THROUGH me.

I must continue to follow Him; let my roots go down into Him & my life be built on Him. THEN faith will grow strong. And dare I say, so will the other fruit. Follow; grow roots; build my life. None of those things have one scrap to do with living perfect, be it a housekeeper or a Christ-follower. In fact, as far as following Christ is concerned, I am far from perfect. But I follow. I am learning to root deep into the soil of His Word and presence. I choose to build my life on Him.

And my laundry doesn't have to be completed or even caught up. My bloggy endeavors don't have to follow any prescribed method.  Daily goals are good but not when we become a slave to them.

Funny, I've read so much about letting go of perfection; slowing down; experiencing grace...and yet, only in the past few weeks has it become personal. Remembering to offer eucharisteo can STILL happen--SHOULD still happen--even if I don't shout it from the digital rooftop of my blog.

So I'm bad with routine and habit.

I have grace for that and new mercies every morning.

Sometimes I lose my patience; sometimes I hold onto anger for too long; sometimes I am rigid and unforgiving instead of grace-giving.

I have grace for that too. And He massages my heart soft so that I can offer grace and forgiveness as freely and abundant as I'm given them.

Glory be. I will never be perfect. But Jesus is always perfect. And I have Him; He has me. And that is enough.