Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Efficiency, Productivity and Other False gods I worship.

I don't know if you get caught in the same traps that I do.

I find myself quickly getting upset, annoyed and agitated when my efficiency is thrown off.

If I'm not going the most direct route to get somewhere. If I'm wasting time or money or expending any additional energy than what it takes to do something. If I lose my potential to gain something... dang, that coupon expired. If I had paid the bill early I could have saved 10 bucks. God forbid I run my errands in a way that takes longer.

I tend to base my day, and my feeling and emotions about myself on how productive I've been.



I got X amount of laundry, dishes, cleaning, organizing, meal-making, etc. done.
I caught up on bills, administrative tasks and medical appointments.
I finished all those things that have been threatening me and looming over my head.
So therefore, I'm high as a kite.

I base my wellness on what I've accomplished, gotten done, finished, etc.

Now, efficiency and productivity are well and good. They definitely have their places. They are not evil in and of themselves. But I'm asking myself this question... Would I be equally happy/joyful if I didn't do a thing but cared for my sick child all day? Would I be okay if I laid down my desires for the day to help someone in need? Would God still love me if I accomplished "nothing" that day?

I realize that a lot of my low feelings are coming from the fact that most of what I do in a day becomes undone just as quickly and often faster than I complete a task. I clean something and it gets dirty. I feed my kids. They get hungry again. I wash all the dishes in the sink only to turn around and find another sink full of dirty dishes. I vacuum and it needs to be repeated. I wash clothes... and keep on washing clothes.

And this is super depressing if you base your worth on how productive you've been. You never come out on top. In fact you only maintain a base level of 0 most days on your best days. Neither negative. Neither positive. But if what if we're not to look at our lives this way?

What if we were to in turn say that our value comes from who we are... even better whom we belong to?

What if we were to place our identity in Christ's accomplishments/works? What He did for us. The truth is if we are in Christ then our whole identity and value and worth has changed. It's not about what we've done but about what He's done!

Searching online for  who we are in Christ I found a great list from Joyce Meyer who we are in Christ.

Knowing that we are God's child needs to be our first thought for our day. Not whether or not we've done our to-do list. not whether or not we even feel "good" about ourselves. We have to choose to believe that Christ's work is enough. That ultimately His work is sufficient. And we can rest in that.

I hate to rest. I hate to sit still and not be productive. In fact I can drive my kids crazy because my idea of watching a movie together =time for me to fold laundry. It takes trust to rest. It takes peace in my spirit to be able to acknowledge that God has done what I could not and that I can trust Him... and that I can let go...

My busyness is often driven by my anxiety to please.
 I am desperately trying to earn what has already been freely given to me.

Ouch. that hurts. That sobering reality. I don't need to add to Christ's work on the cross. When he said, "It is finished." He meant it. He didn't mean, "It's finished if Jennifer does good works all the rest of her days..."

And not only do I try to please others but I also find myself comparing my ability or inability to others. I base whether or not I'm a good Mom on what someone else is or isn't doing with their children.

My peace should come from whether I'm obeying God and doing as He has instructed me to do with my children. 

Not trying to be the "perfect Mom"... whatever the heck that means.

Each child has their own set of unique needs. And each family has their own unique set of circumstances, personalities, situations, etc. So why am I trying to do what I see someone else doing?

Nor trying to be the "perfect wife" or "ideal woman". I need to be the wife my husband Mike needs me to be. And the woman God has called me to be. Not some imaginary idea of perfection that I have in my head.

All this being said, I'm not saying it's wrong to get suggestions, ideas, and to try things that might work for your child or for your spouse. I'm not saying, don't be productive and efficient. I'm just asking myself specifically, "What's in my heart?" Is it enough for me to believe Christ and to be God's child. Is it enough to believe that Christ's work has accomplished me for an eternal salvation and that His Spirit is at work changing and redeeming me and my life?

Why do I long for earthly/momentary/temporary/petty accomplishments? Why is my work often driven by my own personal need for glory instead of from the joy of belonging to an amazing God who loves me and adores me and calls me His own, whom gives me strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow?

I'm wrestling with these questions. I'm preaching to myself. Do you ever have these struggles? Can you relate to what I'm saying?

So I'm once again hanging up my super woman cape and asking God,

Jesus. Please make me the woman, the wife, the mom that you want me to be. Please allow me to bring glory to you God. You alone are worthy of my life, my work, my productivity and efficiency. Shape me and mold me how you will. Thank you that you are prying the false gods away from my grasping fingers. Help me to worship you the true living God with all of my heart, soul, mind, strength, spirit. I love you Lord. I want to let go of my failings and instead hold onto your perfections, your truths, your perfect ability. You alone are worthy of my praise. Not my false attempts of perfection and trying to "have it together". I repent of not trusting in your work. Not believing that you and your work are enough. Forgive me Jesus of my arrogance to add to your perfect work. Thank you that your forgive me and love and are upholding me by your mighty right hand. Help me to work in my day... in all that I do... dishes, laundry, caring for my kids, loving my husband, for you! And when I go to bed tonight let me be at peace and rest that you are sufficient and more than enough for me. I rest in your goodness and truth. In your perfection I find peace. In all these things i pray, in the might name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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