Sunday, November 6, 2011

And Just Like That ...

... it's over.

What's over, you ask?

My good intentions.

Last night it occurred to me that I haven't gone to that website that prompts me to pray about every country in the whole world, in a long time. How long? How long has it been? I can't even remember. Same with reading through the Bible in one year. Where'd my book go? How did I just totally forget?

I did it every day in September. So. 30 days. For thirty days I did this. And did a photo challenge. And I planned to do the same through October. And I know I did it, at least at the start of the month. So what happened? When did I stop?

You'd think, that after doing something for, say 40 fricken days in a row, it would become a HABIT. Something that you Just Do without even thinking about it. But I did! And I didn't even notice. Or even miss it, until last night.

And then I did a quick survey, checking to see how many Saturday nights I've been in church lately. And when was the last time I picked up my prayer journal. (Heck, do I even remember where I put it?)


Working hard, that's what.
And it's been a lopsided, unbalanced existence, reminiscent of my Billie's days when I was preparing for a new season of craft classes.

Thank goodness this busy-ness is only for a season. (Second of three galas was tonight. Last one is next Saturday. Then, maybe, some breathing room.)

But holee. It doesn't take much to slip out of a "Christian" life style. And if you're not part of a community of believers, no one notices. I live with a son who is rarely home. He wouldn't know or notice if I pray, or don't. He didn't observe me reading my Bible when I did, so he sure didn't notice when I stopped. It doesn't matter to him, either way. He's 17.

Other than my dad and mom who save a seat for me most Saturday nights, no one knows if I go to church or not.

No accountability. (At least to anyone on earth.)

Oh the freedom. (I can do whatever I want. No one knows or cares how I live out my faith.)

It feels weird.

And to be honest, a little bit sad.

I went to Northview's website this afternoon, and saw that they had a SECRET CHURCH simulcast service (with David Platt) on Friday night. AND IF I HAD KNOWN - I totally would've gone.

I read Radical this summer. And it was THIS book that prompted me to shake things up a bit in my life.

The whole Secret Church thing comes from this book.
The whole 'read through your Bible every year' comes from this book.
The whole 'pray for the entire world, one day at a time, for the whole year' is a challenge from this book.

I so had wanted to accept the challenge.
I started strong.

And then I forgot.
And I didn't go to church for a month, and I missed the announcement about an event that I would have loved to have attended. Probably that I SHOULD have attended. And I haven't listened to any of the sermons online. Nor listened to the podcasts.

And my life has been the poorer for it.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. I went to church tonight.
2. Had a last minute, long and rich visit with a friend afterwards. She told me about the bible study she was doing. And the books she was reading. And the prayers she is praying. And I need more of this.
3. People who stay married for longer than 72 days. Cover story of People mag this week: Kim Kardashian has filed for divorce after a few months of marriage because it wasn't what she expected. "She's a hopeless romantic, and he was disappointing and immature."

Thanks, Mom, (and everyone) who has stayed married 'even though it isn't what you expected' (during whatever stage, phase or crisis you are enduring). Martin Luther calls marriage a school for character building and boy howdie - he was right. A person's character is not built when they live in conflict-free isolation; they are free to remain as self-centered as a baby when there's no one around to challenge, annoy, encourage, or create sparks with.

4. New book. We've started a new series at church tonight... called Biographies. Which I LOVE because those are becoming my favorite genre of literature. I love reading about real people's lives. And they suggested an inspiring book:

And also suggested we read a chapter a day, and then talk about these pillars of faith with our families at dinner each night. Which is a fabulous idea.

And that made me wish I still had 8, 12 and 16 year old sons at my table for supper.

5. Am SO very thankful for the brilliant day we had today - blue skies and sunshine and trees all decked out in their autumn finery.


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