Yikes. It has been two weeks since I last wrote, and since my last post was a bit prickly, some have probably wondered if I have already given up.
I’m here for the long run. We were gone on vacation and then thenoblechildren were gone on vacation, leaving me a quiet house to enjoy. I just sort of vegged out, actually. But it was nice.
So, how is thenoblejourney going? It’s going well. In fact, phase one has been so successful that I am ready to embark on the next milestone. Now that I have a handle on the meal preparation, I’m ready to start tackling the hard stuff. You see, I enjoy cooking. It’s easy to make time for that. Put me in a kitchen with a well-stocked refrigerator and no dirty dishes in the sink, and I can have a great time. So now it’s time to get serious about the next issue.
“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27
Yes, this is the big one for me, because I rather enjoy being idle.
Uh, yeah, that’s me.
Now granted, some idleness is good. I believe the Lord desires us to rest, especially when we rest with Him. But I think you all know what I am talking about here. I’m talking about those times when I can sit on the couch for hours on end watching television, or sit at the computer surfing Pinterest. Or even those times when I wake up early, like I did this morning around 5:30, then drift back to sleep when I could get up and be productive.
I think that I justify my idleness with all kinds of excuses, which are listed below, but not in any order of preference:
1. I struggle with insomnia, so i should take rest when and however I find it.
2. It’s summer and I need to unwind.
3. The dog is resting too, and if it’s good enough for her, then it’s good enough for me.
4. My back/foot/neck/shoulders/ankle/elbow/freckle hurts
This list could be further developed, but I think you get the idea. It feels good to do nothing. It feels good to not be physically or mentally engaged. It allows me to daydream, or be lazy, or indulge in guilty pleasures.
One of the things I am debating for us is getting rid of cable tv. It would certainly help with the finances, although we have already cut our service down to the most basic package available. Last night theyoungernobleson was watching something that appeared to be eliciting a great deal of laughter from deep within his belly. He made the comment that it “wasn’t really that bad of a show”, which was immediately nullified by the next few lines out of the actor’s mouth.
Now, my children are teenagers, so the days of hyper-supervision are gone. The oldest at 22 is well past my intervention, and at 15 the youngest will be entering that territory soon. So as a parent, I don’t feel that simply ordering him to turn the channel is sufficient. I need to pick his brain. I need to engage him in conversation that helps me understand why he doesn’t understand the need to turn the channel without my intervention.
I want my children to think for themselves. It doesn’t hurt any less when they make decisions that I know are not pleasing to the Lord. I have watched all three of them buck the Holy Spirit at one time or another, and that is part of their own personal walk. I want to give the Holy Spirit a chance to convict in His own way and time, and for them to learn to respond to it quickly, or suffer the consequences.
But in this case, the television is in my house.
After the channel was turned, I asked theyoungernobleson why he did not feel bothered enough by what he heard to turn the channel himself. A lot of it, I know, comes down to the younger generations’ definition of humor, and that was probably the reason that came through the strongest in this situation. But even as I used my best rhetoric to make a case against this type of entertainment, the hypocrisies of my own day to day life flashed before my eyes.
I have to set the example in all ways. I have to keep reminding myself that I must exude the excellence that I want my children to reach for in their own lives, to expect from their own spouses and children, and to be able to convey in their future ministries.
There’s a lot of stuff that I watch that I shouldn’t be, also. And it does not have to be blatant cursing, sexually explicit, or extremely violent. When I laugh at a character who is doing something immoral, then it doesn’t really matter if I agree with the action or not. If I find it entertaining, then I am accepting it in some way into my moral boundaries.
So as I embark on the next level of excellence, looking over all of the affairs of my household, it’s not just going to be about being productive with my time. It’s going to be about eliminating those things that zap my productivity. After all, isn’t it usually the case that the things that we fall into while being unproductive are also counterproductive to the Christian walk? Those guilty pleasures threaten to erode the excellence that thenoblejourney is all about.
You may find that some of the things that I have to “struggle” to give up are, well, ridiculous. But that’s okay, because they are my struggles, not yours. They are the things the Holy Spirit has convicted me to change, not you. And since I am married and do not make decisions on my own, you will also understand (and I will try to, also) that my husband may not always be experiencing the same convictions, so there may be some conflict on the way. I need to brace for it.
So, what are the things that I am currently being convicted to change?
1. Internet surfing…I like to read the news on my phone, as well as on the computer at home. This time of year, I check the National Hurricane Center’s website about 7 times a day for any tropical storm development. (I’m not kidding about this). I also read the two local newspaper’s websites, CNN and Foxnews, People magazine, two local television news station’s websites, Craigslist, and Pinterest.
It only takes a few minutes to scan each website for breaking stories, which I do multiple times a day. So I am committing to lessen the amount of time that I spent “reading” online and also eliminating some of the websites. The websites I am now committing to stay away from include about half of those on my list. I am only going to keep the following: Craigslist, Foxnews, two local newspapers, one local news station, and Pinterest.
I am also happy to report that I have successfully given up surfing TMZ and The National Enquirer. I confess, I love keeping up with the celebrities and bizarre news. But there is nothing uplifting in this, and last month I felt convicted to give up the greater of the evils in these two websites. I feel like I need to get back into Celebrate Recovery to deal with this addiction! Is there a class for that???
2. Television…My entire youth was spent being entertained by the television. It has always been my go-to for solace. I know that some of you don’t relate to that at all, but it really is a big thing in my life. I am being convicted not just about what I watch, but how much time I spend watching. And in my desire to project excellence and foster it in my home, I am going to be restricting thenoblechildren and their access, as well. Be in prayer for me on that one, for sure.
I am also working on a list of things to replace the idle time with, which I will update you on in a future post. As I detox from technology, I expect some bumps along the way. But I also expect great rewards.
There is so much that could be addressed with this scripturally:
“And we urge you brothers, warn those who are idle…” I1 Thessalonians 5:14
“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us…We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies.” 2 Thessalonians 3:6 & 11
“…they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.” 1 Timothy 5:13
“Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” Proverbs 10:4
And because physical laziness also leads to spiritual laziness:
“God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” Hebrews 6:10-12
I look forward to my inheritance.