Friday, August 10, 2012


If I could come up with a better title for this post, I would.  However, anything better and possibly more refined is escaping me, so I am just calling it like it is.


Since I spent the last month basically in a whirlwind of traveling, my real life has seemed to take a back seat to some of the adventures.  Being back with my kiddos and having a little more time on my own during the day (when they are napping), has meant processing for me.  I have loved the time with people and especially the time with John, but now that the dust is settling a bit as we prepare to head back to the more routine world of fall, I am seeing my life with new eyes.  Eyes that got a break and can see a bit more clearly.

Yesterday's post was borne out of some of this processing and today's will be as well.  One striking reality is headlining some of my processing, and it is this:

Living rightly in freedom is harder than having a set of rules to follow.

Give me a list of rules, and I can follow them (or I may decide not to follow them as that is sometimes my bent, but I will often have a well-thought through justification (read: excuse)).  Tell me that it is up to my own discretion, and things get a lot more sticky.  Why is life so much grayer than I ever thought it would be?  I can see now that I am drawn to the gray in some ways, because I want to do what I want to do, and if I can justify it somehow, even better.

One way this is currently manifesting itself is in my diet and exercise habits, both of which are in rough shape at the moment.  I wrote this post back in February about being a healthier version of myself, and I did it for a while.  I made rules and smoothies and stuck to them.  But when the time came to have a more normal life, I slipped back into some of the old patterns.  It is easier for me to have no Diet Dr. Pepper than to only have one.  Because seriously, once you have had one, you might as well have another.  Same with dessert.

Also, it was easier for me to train for a half marathon than to establish just a regular exercise routine.  Part of the problem was that summer attacked my life with its unbearable heat and unpredictable schedule, a deathly combination to running or walking outside, which are my exercise go-tos.  I am very much looking forward to having a bit more schedule and re-establishing more activity.  My clothes are fitting a little more tightly than I prefer.

So, those are my excuses for my current state of being, which I find icky.  I need to find some kind of balance and a way to set healthy goals and boundaries in my life, so that I know when I am doing a good job instead of floating in an ignorant oblivion hoping for the best.

This idea translates into many areas for me personally, and I think for humans in general.  It is more simple to be able to say "This is the rule" than to look for the heart of the matter and discern what God is saying to you.  And, while I think the Bible is abundantly clear about many issues in our lives, I also believe that Jesus came to abolish the Law and write Love in its place.  He calls us to love him first and cares more about our hearts than about our righteousness, which is really like filthy rags anyway.

It's harder to live like that.  It is harder to see beyond a set of rules and ask for God's discernment, which takes much more time and intentionality.  I pray that he gives me a heart to do this and to live in ways that are pleasing to him, and a heart that can say "no" to that 4th Diet Dr. Pepper of the day.


JennyMac said...

I'm SO right there with you, shouting "Amen!" to my computer screen. I'll pray for you in your quest for balance. Because I'm searching too.
A Fellow Rule-Lover
(but only if it's a rule I deem sensible)

Elizabeth said...

Me too, girl. It's all or nothing!

And I've been thinking lately about just what you said, "it's harder to see beyond a set of rules and ask for God's discernment, which takes much more time and intentionality." Legalism is a trap, but it would be so much simpler!