Playdates at our house are often the same. My daughters give their guest a grand tour of the playroom and their bedroom…
Three girls’ worth of Barbies, baby dolls, princesses, Polly Pockets, ponies, Strawberry Shortcake, puzzles, games, art supplies, doll house furniture, Play Doh, and dress up….
And pretty soon we’re spinning from one activity to the next. By the time my girls set up the Barbie house, their guest is ready to play with puzzles. Halfway through the first puzzle, their guest is ready to play a game. A few turns into the game, their guest is ready to play princess. After a few minutes of assigning princess names and creating back story, their guest is pulling out the Play Doh.
Is it any wonder? With so many choices and so little time, we happily jump from activity to activity and, after all, who can complain about how well everyone sleeps that night? We all have fun and it’s all a joy.
But it can be a little like me, especially at the start of a new year when I’m spinning from good thing to good thing and I really just want to do it all.
We do it with fitness programs, spiritual disciplines, diets and savings plans. Given a million wonderful choices, we can try to do a million amazing things…and end up failing at all of them.
This year, I’ve been given or discovered four prayer books, three Bible reading programs, four Scripture memory plans, five devotionals, and three Bible studies to begin the year.
The thing about me is that I’d press through every day and finish all of them, maybe exhausted, stressed, hyperventilating and skimming through pages just so I can mark it off on my to-do list, but I’d do it.
There wouldn’t be any joy, though. I wouldn’t really breathe in and out the beauty of God’s Word. I’d set my love relationship with my Savior firmly on business-only terms, focusing on tasks and accomplishing and not relaxing and being.
The truth is that doing a million things doesn’t always get us very far, but paring it all down and asking God to focus our hearts on one thing (or at least less than a million) can bring us joy and growth in the new year.
I started last night with Scripture memory, choosing from all the plans and programs and suggestions. Sitting at my computer, I read through four Scripture memory plans and prayed. Then I chose just one way of meditating on God’s Word, soaking in it, breathing it in, chewing on the thoughts and making this Holy Scripture part of the core of me.
This year I’ll be using my verses for the week on the blog to participate in Beth Moore’s Siesta Scripture Memory Team (SSMT). Her plan is simple. You choose the verse you want to memorize, whatever God has placed on your heart, and you learn one verse about every two weeks. By the end of 2013, we’ll have committed 24 verses to memory.
A dear friend brought me back Ruth Graham’s Scripture Treasures from her visit to Billy Graham’s library. I was reading them through last night, pulling out beautiful verse after beautiful verse and many of my Scriptures for the year will come from these cards.
To begin, I’m reminding myself to keep it simple, keep the joy, give myself room to breathe and not suffocate myself with systems and plans that suck the air and the pleasure right out of this walk with God.
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple (Psalm 27:4 NIV).
What about you?
How are you keeping it simple in the new year? Did you choose one word to help focus your spiritual walk? Did you find one Scripture memory plan or one Bible reading program to focus on?
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2013 Heather King