“What is a weekend?”
When Downton Abbey’s Dowager Countess asked the question, it sent shockwaves through the hearts of viewers worldwide. What?! How can she not know what a weekend is?
A good friend and mentor recently reminded me that I’ve been living in the margins.
Do you ever feel like that? Like you’re sleepwalking through your calendar just to get to the weekends? (Busy Moms – back me up on this?) Some days, I’m just trying to make sure my boys leave the house with clean clothes and milk money in their pocket – anything above that is considered icing on the proverbial cake. I’ve got to run to the grocery store, shuttle kiddos to soccer and find some concoction to drop into the crock-pot while I attack the mountain of laundry that’s slowly taking over our home. Insert job responsibilities and any “free time” in your week is toast. There just aren’t enough hours in the day! So when I thought about it — really sat down to take a hard, long look in the mirror — I found the reflection of marginal interest in living, in really focusing on my relationship with God, staring me back in the face.
Here’s a tough question:
Does He get the “first” of me -or- Does He get only what I offer in the margins of my life?
I blog about life: What is see is often what I write. So when I put something out here, I’m asking all of you to hold me accountable, to lift me up in prayer (as I do you), and to offer best practices for how your walk with Christ has been strengthened along the way. I have to be real about the fact that I don’t have it all figured out. I laughed at the Downton clip because there’s truth in it! And because living in the margins is going to be a habit I want to break, I’ve got to take steps to get there:
I attended a Corporate Athlete workshop some months back and one thing stuck out to me: We make time for the things we care about. I use an excuse that I don’t have time to work out. Or have daily devotions. Or even share a sit-down meal with my family. If I’m saying ‘No’ to something, it’s because I’m saying ‘Yes’ to something else. I’ve missed time with God more often than not because the busyness of “life” got in the way. I decided then that I needed to be intentional about my time. I’ve not been perfect about it every morning, but I’ve set the alarm on my phone so I’ll wake up early and keep my appointment with Him. The more I put God front-and-center on the page means that the less important things get shoved to the margins (where they should be).
ASK: Keep me accountable to start my days with prayer.
I lose sight of this too often. I’m trying to sloooow down and live — smile, make memories, not sweat the small stuff — right there, in the moment. If I’m late for something, then so be it; I choose to smile at my kids in the rear view mirror even when traffic is clogged for miles in front of me. Despite circumstances, stress, loss, bills, uncertainty and yes, traffic… praising Him moves the little, unimportant things out to the margins of our lives. I’d rather have the memory-making-moments in the center of the page.
ASK: Remind me that true joy comes from praise — no matter where I am.
I once heard it said that you never see a person leave a baptismal with a frown.
How true that is! We celebrated spur-of-the-moment baptisms at church this week. We watched as people walked forward to accept Christ and without advance notice, decided to get baptized right there on the spot. (Our pastor climbed into the baptismal in his clothes!) It was POWERFUL to witness! These brothers and sisters stepped up. They moved Christ to the center of their lives and decided that everything else – the things without Kingdom importance – would be pushed to the margins. Their eyes were focused fully on HIM.
I want to live like that.
I want to pray and seek and walk an aisle to push everything else that doesn’t matter out to the margins.
ASK: Help me see with new eyes.
I’m asking you to help me today. If you’re here and reading, you can hold me accountable. I won’t be perfect – this I know. But HIS LOVE IS. We can laugh at the Dowager Countess all we want, but when life gets really sticky, we’re going to have the security of a full page.
The center of our lives will be focused exactly where it needs to be — with head bowed, knees bent and hands folded, face down in the dirt if we have to, sheltered by the shadow of a cross…
How are we filling our pages today? If we can pray for each other, leave a comment. We’re pushing against the margins together.
*Note: The author claims no ownership of linked YouTube media content. Refer to YouTube media source for citation.