Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Wake up!

We have been busy and I'm tired today.  I've had to go home to New Castle 3 times in the last 4 days for various reasons and by this afternoon I was totally worn out and tired of missing Caleb for a little bit each day.  Tonight I put Caleb to bed and he really didn't want me to leave... and it wasn't one of those manipulative, 2-year-old things where he grins when I give in and read another book; he genuinely didn't want me to leave his room and cried for me to stay.  It broke my heart.  I absolutely hated the fact that I had to do what I do every night and get in a car and drive away from where my son is going to sleep.  Almost every night is totally fine; Caleb goes to bed very easily and then we leave to go back to the Ronald McDonald House to get Jonah to bed and eventually go to sleep ourselves.  (This is what is best for our whole family and what the hospital staff wholeheartedly encourage us to do.)  But for some reason tonight, probably because I've been away a lot the last few days, Caleb did not want me to leave.  He settled down fairly quickly once the nurse came in with some meds, but it has bothered me the rest of the night. 

I got back to the RMH where Daniel had just gotten Jonah to bed (this is our daily routine; we each take one kid for the last hour before bedtime) and I just wanted to read my Harry Potter book and forget about how miserable it makes me to think about my family not sleeping under the same roof for the last 8 months.  I proceeded to piddle around on the computer for the next 2 hours until I was really sleepy, realized I actually never got around to reading my book, and got ready to get up and go to bed.  Then as I was getting ready to shut down the computer, I noticed this link that Daniel had left open and I read it. It was a blog post that the blogger wrote as a letter to the Church of North America, urging Christians to give a rip about the world and not just themselves.  (When you finish reading this blog post, if you want to read it [and feel incredibly convicted], click here.)

Here's the effect this person's blog had on me; it shook me awake a little bit.  It made me remember that there's a lot going on in the world besides my own problems.  It made me think about how much I try to distract myself and just get through another day lately, instead of spending time talking to and listening to God.  I realized how focused I've been on myself and my own life and how every chance I get, I turn to a book or the computer or the tv or some other thing that will entertain and distract me for a little while.  I thought about all the time I waste on stuff that's absolutely meaningless and how much I wish I had the discipline to put those things in their proper place and give more attention to the things God wants to say and do.

This woman's blog was about her recent trip to Africa, and Daniel and I used to live in Africa, in Zambia, for a year before our kids were born, when we were considering a long-term move overseas.  We ultimately settled back in New Castle (that's a story for another blog post).  Strangely, I have found myself thinking about Zambia a lot lately and kind of longing for that time in my life, and I know at least partly why that is; in Africa, there were very few distractions.  I didn't have a cell phone.  I didn't have tv or a computer or my own car.  I didn't have access to facebook.  I didn't have all the crap that I use now to waste my time and it was very easy to have a healthy, consistent relationship with God because it was just so freaking quiet.  And simple.  And I miss that.  I miss feeling like I could hear God speaking to me on a daily basis because there just wasn't much to compete with Him.  I wasn't busy and I wasn't distracted.  

I get so frustrated at myself when I fall into a slump of spiritual laziness and distraction, and that's how my last couple months have been.  I get so frustrated at the things I choose to do with my time, regardless of how little of it I have nowadays.  I get so frustrated at how incredibly dull life gets when I give my attention to things of this world.  I'm so sick of facebook right now!  Reading that blog post was like having someone snap their fingers in front of my face and say, "Hey! You! Don't forget that God has things in mind for you, so go talk to Him and listen to Him.  Stop letting so much of your time be wasted on things that DO NOT MATTER."  If this is turning into a rant, it's only a rant about myself, because this is the story of my life.  My relationship with God is one I easily neglect and then I have a moment of clarity where I'm like, "What did I just do with my evening? Why did I flip channels when I could have read my Bible, or prayed with Daniel, or talked to God about my day?"  Of course there is nothing evil with flipping channels or vegging out once in a while, but for me, I'm just over it right now.  I want something fresh from God, I want to be used by Him, I want to hear from Him and be faithful and vibrant and on the move!

Anybody else every feel this way?  Oh please tell me I'm not the only one.  I want to be different, I want to be spiritually alert, don't you?  Please tell me someone else out there wants to just shut off their phones, shut off facebook, shut off the tv and see how different life is when distractions are eliminated, or at least scaled WAY back.  Anybody?  How different would we be if we did?   


  1. You speak the feelings of my heart. Today I had to watch my sisters 2 kids while she worked. They played Wii and was on the computer. I just feel like it was a wasted day. I didn't get to do what I wanted to do. But maybe I wasn't supposed to do what I wanted & just let God guide me. I feel very down right now.

  2. You're not the only one. I drifted away from my close relationship with God a few years ago (yes, years, unfortunately) when my mother was dying. It's so easy to do and so hard to get back to studying the Bible regularly and meditating on his Word, not to mention spending time talking with Him. I know He's my King and He's more important than anyone or anything else, but I still let life pull me away.

    My closest time with Him was during the months I was on chemo. I wouldn't choose to go through that again, but I sometimes wonder if that or something similar is what it will take to bring me back. When I don't HAVE to lean on him, I start to lean on myself. I'd guess you can understand that, though what you're going through is much worse because it's your child who's sick.

    You inspire me, even though I don't know you personally. You make me think and examine my life as you examine yours. I'm awed by your strength. I pray that God will soon decide that your family has had enough "Job" time and provide a heart for Caleb. God bless you all.

  3. Oh Katie, you are not the only one! I put things off..., OH that can wait till tomorrow...but tomorrow may never come...things like housework and laundry. But I long for the day when I will TAKE the time for everything I NEED to do like just MAKE time for ME and as you said turn off cell phones/facebook and LISTEN! I feel for you and I pray for you & Dan & the boys daily...hang in there kiddo...God has a plan for you all! I'm just sure of it! <3

  4. You are not the only one. You have no idea how far away those snapping fingers can be heard :)

  5. I just read this blog that you have written about because sweet little Emily Raines shared it with her Momma, Debby~and she shared it with her FB friends...boy it hit me right between my eyes! I so understand that feeling you are having Katie. I remember praying a few years ago that God would keep that fire burning in me and not let the world creep in... This blog just about did me in~I just ache. I need to turn "things" off and get to the Throne Room.
    I love you my precious friend! You always end up encouraging me! Kisses for my Kinnaird boys and a pat on your tummy for lil' sis. Praying, Miss Pam

  6. I too am convicted by the enormous amount of time I waste. I know in my heart that at times it is an escape. I justify it by telling myself that it's the only way I can keep up with my loved ones and friends. In part that is true. It is not all bad, for how else can you reach out in times of great need and instantly have 10 to 100 people praying for you. Balance is what we all need. Lifting you all up in prayer. Thanking God that he uses every means to bring us hope, encouragement and fellowship with the saints.

  7. Nope, you're not alone. Thanks for writing this.

  8. Katie' You are not alone. We fall and go into our lazy days too often. But doesn't it feel awesome to get back on the right page with our Lord and Saviour at the times when we need His love the most? Rekindling with God is like a glass of fresh ice water on a hot sticky day. So if we miss Himm for a week, a month or even longer, just remember that glass of ice water...how refreshing!!!!!! Praying for you and your family and little Caleb.

  9. Katie, you are such a sweet precious blessing from God, you and your whole family. I am so thirsty and hungry for God yet I distract myself with the computer. Your blog inspires me, keep shining, Katie, God knows your heart, strengths and weaknesses and He will always love you more than we can ever imagine.

  10. Had a little bit of no TV, no computer or phone for the past 2 1/2 weeks on vacation. How nice to be quiet and have time to read and study God's word and those who write about Him and his word. Back home now, aiming to keep things more like on vacation. Only 222 on email!

  11. Yes I feel the same, I took myself off facebook 2 years ago because I wasted so much time on it and I didnt like how it made me feel. I also recently took my emails off my phone as I was constantly checking my phone for mails etc.

    I long to have intimate time with my King and I also get so distracted and waste my time on meaningless activities, I know that when I do take time to spend with the Lord I am filled with so much joy.

    May God strengthen you daily as you are not walking the easiest road....

    PS I live in Africa and have all the same distractions,