Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tapering Off: Does that have to be the norm?

This summer is all about family. I am consumed with travel itineraries. Dh is attending a family reunion with his mom in Wisconsin this week. Tomorrow, 16-year-old dd is visiting her big sister in Colorado before we all meet up in Illinois. Next week I will leave with the remaining two children, ages 12 and 14, to spend a week with ds and his fiancĂ© before the wedding (!). Ds from Canada will join us for that week, too. The following week I’ll see the eldest ds and his wife, who are expecting my first granddaughter!

With the anticipation of many joy-filled reunions coming up, I’ve been on the Lingo phone and Skype a lot more than usual. Suddenly we can’t wait to see each other, so we are chatting almost daily. After the wedding, I’m sure the visiting will continue at a higher pace than usual, until it gradually tapers off to our norm, which is a couple of weeks between communication. Eventually real life consumes us all.

It’s like going to see the dentist. Before a check-up, I tend to pay a lot of attention to my teeth, trying to get them cleaned up before getting them cleaned. (How dumb is that?) Then after they are professionally cleaned, I am super diligent to brush and floss for the first few months, but when it’s time for my next appointment, I find myself digging out the floss again.

It’s inexcusable how neglectful I get the more time that passes between visits, whether with friends, family, or dentists. I might even argue the same applies to household help. We dash around tidying up the house if a maid is coming to clean, and then we work hard to try to preserve the clean house once she leaves. That never lasts long, though, unless we are expecting company. Clutter eventually reigns (or rains?).

Unfortunately, the same principle also applies to my times with God. The more I hang out with Him, the more I want to. Then if I am not super careful, I can easily fall back into bad habits of rushing through “mandatory” conversations with Him each day, allowing clutter to take over my daily agenda.

This summer I took the 90-day challenge with one of my readers I am blessed to know IRL. (Thanks, Inky’Spot!) We’ve been reading through the whole Bible since June. It takes me over an hour most days, and even longer if I journal, pray, and think over what I have read. It’s been a fabulous experience. The more time I spend with Jesus, the more time I want to spend with Him, just like with my family and friends.

Today is day 57, and I up to Jeremiah. I have no idea how I will carve out time for this luxury once I fly up to be with my family next week, but for now I am hooked.

Keeping up with adult children, cleaning house, flossing teeth, diet, exercise, daily Bible reading, and warfare prayer…. Discipline is such a virtue worth pursuing and maintaining.


  1. Not that it matters, but this was actually last week's post out of sequence, which means I leave TOMORROW for the U.S. The wedding is the 13th. Oh, and that makes today Day 8 of Dengue Fever, and Day 64 of Bible reading. Today I continue in the book of Daniel.

    Not that it matters at all.

  2. I've been enjoying more time with God this summer too, and I'm hoping myself that once home school and real life start in a few weeks, this won't "taper off," as you put it.

    Enjoy your family visit!

  3. Dengue fever??? Oh I had that in my El Salvador days. Grace to you, you probably need it.

  4. I'm eager for September to roll around when our church's Bible studies resume. It seems I need structure. Every time I'm in God's Word, I am richly blessed.

    I'm keeping you in my prayers, Jamie Jo!


  5. Oh, how true!

    I started the 90 day reading plan in December. It's much harder than I imagined! I'm in Ezekiel now. I have learned to multitask a little. I have 45 minutes of boring stretching exercises I have to do twice a day, so that is the perfect time to read or listen to the Bible.

    I hope your trip yields much fruit and that you recover quickly from the Denguification.

  6. Blessings on you in all the ups and downs of your next few weeks... May you find "stolen moments" in His word and in His presence.


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