Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Diligence versus Laziness

Where I live, the cold and snowy days seem endless.  And the result is that our household is a bit weary of being cooped up inside.  Our weariness has birthed an attitude of restless boredom which is currently the main culprit for troublesome attitudes and behaviors in our house.

For me, all creativity as a mom has been depleted.  I'm weary of the same indoor activities, the same mundane tasks.  And so restless boredom has set in.  Unfortunately instead of motivating me to come up with creative fun indoor activities with my kids, this restless boredom seems to have stifled my creativity completely.  It has depleted so much of my motivation and left me lazy.  And for me, laziness leads to trouble.  It is the perfect excuse in my mind to revert back to old sinful habits, ones that occupy my time (and mind).  Instead of striving to please the Lord in my parenting, my laziness leads to a consuming self-centered spirit aimed at pleasing me, and me alone.

For the kids, they are also weary of the same indoor activities and mundane tasks.  Their mother's sluggishness and lack of creativity, as well as their own, has led to a restless boredom resulting in a heightened amount of whining & complaining, sibling bickering, and foolish behavior. 

As much as the kids and I have tried to snap out of this troubling state, the boredom often overpowers and consumes our thinking and actions.  I keep thinking that if only we could get a few days of dry, warmer weather where we were able to play outside or go to a park without freezing our limbs off, then perhaps we could refuel and reset our thinking & behaviors.  But with mother nature there are no guarantees and so I simply cannot keep waiting for what I'm not certain will happen for at least another month. 

In the meantime, as winter presses on, what can we do to strengthen our weary, bored, and troublesome selves?

After a day FULL of trouble, yesterday I asked God this exact question.  As I sought His Word for answers I kept coming back to the following verse:

Proverbs 13:4
"The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied."  NIV

The Message version translates it this way,

"Indolence wants it all and gets nothing, the energetic have something to show for their lives."
(Indolence is simply another word for laziness)

As I meditated on this verse, I felt the Lord giving me a locker room pep talk.

"Quit grumbling Renee.  Quit moping about lazily.  Quit filling your time with foolish behaviors.  Get up and be diligent in playing with your kids, even if its with the same matchbox cars or train set.  If you crave something new and exciting, then diligently pursue it.  If you want less trouble throughout the day, then be energetic about each day and creatively plan.  This last wintry month is no excuse for lazy and sluggish parenting.  I promise that if you pursue diligent desires, I will satisfy them fully."

Alright coach, I hear ya!

I plan to confess to my children today and ask for forgiveness for my recent sluggish behavior in parenting.  I also plan to talk with them about their own restless boredom that has led to lazy, troublesome behaviors of their own.

Then together we will PRAY and ask the Lord for wisdom concerning what plan we can set in place to get through the rest of the winter indoors.  With the Lord's wisdom, I hope to make a list of creative activities we can do so as to avoid foolish and troublesome attitudes and behaviors. I also hope to make a list of all the mundane tasks we need to accomplish daily and weekly together, set realistic goals, and discuss how we can work together as a team to accomplish them. 

I imagine that some of you reading can relate to what I've written about today.  You know what it's like to be stuck in a sluggish parenting rut.   You understand the frustration with wanting to work unto the Lord in whatever job the Lord has for you today, but feelings of restless boredom cripple your efforts.  And many of you see it in your own children as well.  Their sluggish behaviors are getting them into trouble. 

Would you join me in prayer and let's ask the Lord to give our children, as well as ourselves, the strength to be diligent in parenting no matter how bored or mundane life gets.  And let's ask Him to protect us from restless boredom that always leads to a grumbling attitude and troublesome behaviors.

Lord God,
Thanks for the pep talk.  I do pray today Lord for my kids and for myself, would You help us to resist sluggish and troublesome attitudes and behaviors during the remaining winter months.  Would You help us to be diligent no matter how weary we are of the mundane play and tasks day after day.  I pray for creativity in our play.  I ask for wisdom in planning activities and in setting team goals for accomplishing mundane family tasks.  I pray Lord You would satisfy our diligent desires and I pray You would bless our efforts to be energetic and creative.

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