I never thought I'd want to be more like my mother in law. Don't get me wrong, I love her dearly. But we have some major differences. Once, my husband went to a leadership summit and took a personality profile. He thought it was so cool that when he came home he had both me and his mother take it. We both discovered our personality types and chuckled at how accurate the results were. They described both of us to a t! The next part of the test discussed the how the pairing of different personality types resulted in different strengths or challenges. I skipped down and looked at my personality paired with my husband (and was not surprised by what I read. It was quite accurate). Then I skimmed down to find my personality paired with my Mother-in-law's. I was shocked. I didn't memorize it, but it went something like this....
"This is the hardest personality pair. Their weaknesses are magnified in each other. The free spirit of the first person is critically interpreted as laziness or irresponsibility in the second. The sense of concern in the second person is incorrectly percieved as criticism or judgment. For this personality pair to work together successfully they must both be consistently selfless, and desire for the relationship to work."
My mother in law is a very sweet, kind-hearted, hard working, cautious, super-organized woman, and I love her dearly. And indeed we do show each other a lot of grace to maintain a positive relationship with each other. I've always prided myself, however, in being a bit of a free spirit - no need to keep a tight schedule. I've never had to keep a calendar or a day timer. I've always amazed myself at how much I could get done with out having a formal plan. But recently, that philosophy hasn't been working for me. I feel like I'm always running around catching my tail. I hate that I can't do the things that I want to do because there are other things that must urgently be done. I've been feeling the same discontent and restlessness in my spiritual walk too. I don't know if you've ever heard this song, but it fits the way I feel. It's called Cry in My Heart by Starfield.
There's a cry in my heart for Your glory to fall,
For Your Presence to fill up my senses.
There's a yearning again,
A thirst for discipline,
And a hunger for things that are deeper.
Can You take me beyond? Can you carry me through?
If I opened my heart, could I go there with You?
For what do I have if I don't have you Jesus?
What in this life could mean any more?
You are my rock. You are my glory.
You are the lifter of my head, lifter of this head.
I've loved this song for a long time. I think most Christians can relate to the desire to draw close to God, but the phrase that's really caught my attention recently is "a thirst for discipline." Discipline. Most of the time my nose turns up and my lip curls when I say that word. I've not lived an overly disciplined life. No one would call me un-disciplined by any stretch of the imagination. But I know there are things in my life that I would say are important if you asked me that I rarely do because there are other "more pressing matters." And I'm tired of living like that. Let me give you an example. If you asked me if I thought prayer was important, I would surely say yes. But I could not tell you how much uninterrupted, thoughtful prayer time I've had in the past month (or probably year for that matter). If God didn't know better, I'm sure He thinks I have ADHD! It amazes me that in the song, the lyricist equates discipline with a deeper walk with Christ. My mother in law has a very disciplined habits in her spiritual life. By 6:30 am she's completely dressed for the day and has had her devotions and prayer time. Then she often has an extended time of Bible study after that. If you asked her, she could probably give you details down to the minute of what she does. She's told me before, but I'm not so good with details like that....don't fault me, it's just my personality shining through.
So guess what I've decided to do. I made a daily schedule. I've never had anything like this before. It tells me what to do and when to do it every 30 minutes of the day. Here's what it looks like.
It's a work in progress.....Never mind that the date on the top. I had to go all the way to February next year before I found a week on the calendar on the computer that didn't have any dates filled in so that I could print it out and write in my schedule plan. I've included Bible study, exercise, work and church times, picking up the kids from school, house cleaning tasks, and a time set aside to be crafty and creative. I don't know if you can tell, but it's all in pencil, and I've already changed a few things. I've set it up to start when the school starts, so that gives me a few weeks to ease into it and try the schedule out before I just jump into this more disciplined, organized way of life with two feet. I'm not sure how this is going to all work out, but hopefully it will result in a fuller, more satisfying life and a closer walk with God.
By the way, I'm scared to death to hit the "publish post" button, because once I do, everyone who reads this will know that I'm trying to be disciplined and with that comes accountablitity...another word that makes me want to turn up my nose a little. I just don't like having people tell me what to do. It's another quirk of my personality.....