Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Striving Laundry

It's not Manna Monday, but I have a great guest post by writer Alisa Hope Wagner for which I couldn't wait. Enjoy.


I have been anxiously striving to finish edits on my first book. My mind has been consumed with writing, and I’m constantly telling myself to get to work. I feel the pressure of a deadline, and I told God one afternoon, “I can’t wait until I’m done.”

I could sense God smile and say, “Then you’ll start your second book.”

I stopped in my tracks. I realized that I will never be finished. When I’m done climbing this mountain, God will have another one for me in the distance. While I’m alive on this earth, God will always place promises for my life in the horizon.

God places promises beyond each of us; and as we move closer to them, God is able to mold us into the likeness of His son. Promises are in the core of Jesus; they pull us toward Him like gravity and slowly perfect us into our original design.

At that moment, I had a reality check. Obviously my perspective was wrong because God would not want me to be anxious about anything (Philippians 4.6).

How do we strive towards God’s promises without becoming overwhelmed? How do we find balance and joy in a life that will always be pulled toward higher goals and greater accomplishments?

I would like to answer this profound question with one simple word: Laundry.

Laundry is never done. Whenever I go from room to room with arms filled with dirty clothes, I like to sing the theme song to the 1984 movie The NeverEnding Story. If that story were written by a woman, I am sure it would have been about laundry.

I’ve learned to do a little bit of laundry every day. I don’t even think about it anymore. When I wake up, I’ll notice that the hamper is getting full, so I’ll grab the clothes and start a load. That afternoon after I put the kids down for a nap, I’ll put the clothes into the dryer and forget about them. While the kids are playing before bed, I’ll take the load out, fold it and put it away. Never once was I anxious.

I used to let the laundry build up, but I noticed that I always became anxious. The lack of clean clothes would begin to affect my life, and my mind would send me distracting signals to “get to work.” Laundry would become a big deal, when, in reality, it is such a small part of my life. If I would simply give laundry a fraction of my attention every day, it would be manageable.

This concept is the same for God’s promises. God doesn’t want His promises to become anxiety builders in our lives. His promises are supposed to draw us closer in relationship with Him. The imbalance comes when we stop daily focusing on God, and we let our relationship with Him build up, unused in the hamper.

If we hungrily seek God everyday and align our lives in His will, He would ensure that we have just enough time every day to work on His promises. As we seek God, He will groom our lives of everything unnecessary, and we will have perfect amount of time to complete His will. Also, when we focus on God, He will fill us with joy and peace that will filter through every aspect of our lives, dispersing our anxiety, worry and procrastination.

The purpose of life is to glorify God. If we are not doing that in our daily life, we probably need to ask God for a healthy dose of perspective. I decided to give up on striving; instead, I’m keeping my eyes on God and allowing His grace to move me toward His best for me.

"Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46.10 NASB).

Alisa Hope Wagner

Faith Imagined

20 comments:

  1. Love this perspective!

    I struggle with the same thing. I think anxiety, perfectionism and procrastination are all linked in a deadly embrace :/

    I'm hoping I get it right someday :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great inspiration! Love the laundry analogy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This was my favorite line: "The imbalance comes when we stop daily focusing on God, and we let our relationship with Him build up, unused in the hamper."

    I certainly do not want my relationship with God to lay in any hamper in my house!!! Especially here in New Orleans (below sea level!)

    Great word Alisa!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very good lesson here...and one I needed to hear!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes, us moms know a bit about laundry don't we?!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for this post. My to-do list is always full like a laundry basket. Thanks for separating my "want baskets" from my "need baskets".

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Alisa. I love the analogy :) The part that touched me most powerfully was "I decided to give up on striving; instead, I’m keeping my eyes on God and allowing His grace to move me toward His best for me.

    "Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46.10 NASB).

    Wow. I need to hear that - to live that. I can't even tell you.

    Thank you. Praise God for the many ways he can communicate His loving message =)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Alisa -

    Great analogy! I have an extra long to-do list right now. I'm learning to assign a certain amount of time to each task, and then move on.

    When I'm consistent with my devotional time, everything falls into place.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Alisa,
    Your words always speak to me!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Perfect analogy! Love the reminder about GOD's promises not being anxiety builders...also love that verse in Psalms.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great post and it's very appropriate for this time in my life. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great post Alisa! I left you a comment about your post on your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Awesome! And, I definitely needed it today.

    ReplyDelete
  14. and sometimes we need to remember that doing nothing at all is enough.

    Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God..."

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ah, the wisdom we can learn from every day examples! 'The imbalance comes when we stop daily focusing on God, and we let our relationship with Him build up, unused in the hamper' So true!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Good post!
    Thanks and blessings,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  17. Just reread this. Alisa is a great writer. I look forward to her finishing her book so I can read it.

    I like this statement: “Then you’ll start your second book.” I stopped in my tracks. I realized that I will never be finished."

    No, we never will, not until that final redemption. I'm feeling that now, Alisa, with my next book. I've been stalled for a couple of months, essentially not working on it all. But I know I need to get going again.

    wb

    ReplyDelete