Monday, April 14, 2008

Routine or Purpose

Papa is bringing things to my mind again.  I feel a stirring of winds in my soul...something is on the horizon, what I'm not exactly sure.  But I know this, things are unsettled inside me in such a way that it is causing me to look at life and consider.  What is it I really want?  How do I really want my life to be lived out?  What do I want for my kids?

I had a dream last night.  Papa often speaks to me through my dreams.  Sometimes they are a picture,with a meaning behind them.  Not all dreams are like that but I know when one has meaning because it doesn't leave me.  There is something about it that is just a bit too familiar.

As I woke from this dream and went to Papa with it I began to see things that have been lost in my day to day living, while living the routine.  This calling of parenting is a one that you live and learn along the way.  We don't get an instruction manual that gives us 100 steps to raising successful children.  We live and learn, often by mistakes made.

I am seeing some mistakes made.  In my dream I was in an auto shop place waiting on my husband to call.  My kids were there with me, as well as some other kids.  I walked out the door and noticed a fire across the highway.  It ignited and in seconds was sweeping throughout the land.  It was a consuming fire, that in seconds ignited everything around it.  Was it coming towards us?  I told the children to stay put while I went to check it out.  On my way back to my children I got lost and couldn't find my way. The more I tried to find my way the more I was turned around and confused.  Frantic I was going from place to place asking directions to get back to my kids.  Finally I came upon one place that knew where I had left them and the woman gave me directions.  Then, I woke up from my dream.

With journal in hand I went to sit with Jesus.  I woke up with this feeling of abandoning my children, leaving them alone, and I realized that somewhere it was a reality, not physically, but emotionally.  For years my children needed me.  Every hour of the day from wake-up to bedtime was their's, except for naptime.  I was always on call.  Life demanded much with 5 kids in 10 years.  Would I ever get to the place where they didn't need me?  And then they started growing up and not needing so much.

Fast forward 10 years and you find me where I am today.  My oldest is 21 and overseas.  My youngest turns 11 this year.  Somewhere in the process of them moving into more independence
I have lost my way, not abandoning them physically but somewhat emotionally.  I haven't checked out, just gotten distracted in my own world.

As Papa has been pruning and restructuring me and my home I see that somewhere I got lost and distracted.  Life is so full of routines that I can find myself in robot mode, just going through the motions of the day.  In allowing my children to not need me I moved too far off the course.

It's never too late to go back.  A wrong turn is only a wrong turn when we don't go back and make the right turn.  So this dream has taken me back.   I want to be there present, involved and interested in the things that interest my children.  How easily the distractions have come.  How easy it is to get caught up in the things of this world that call out to me.

Today I heard Jesus ask me  if I was living in routine or with purpose.  I knew the answer.  Routine.  It's what life dishes out.  He told me something I'd never heard before.  "Routine is the "world's way", "Purpose is the Spirit's way".  The world lives in routine, while the Spirit lives in purpose. I asked Him how to find the way to living in purpose and He told me,  "It's quite simple." "Just do like I did." "Ask Papa each day what He has for you and go do that."

 As the woman knew the directions to get me back to where my children were in my dream, Papa knows the way to get me back in my reality.  My heart cries out to Him, take me back to that place, Papa. Turn my gaze into living a life of purpose, not routine.

I want to borrow a quote from Lori's blog, which is really a quote from Max Lucado's book, "Just Like Jesus".  "Thank you for the night's rest.  I belong to you today."

It really is as simple, as Jesus told me.  Waking up each day with the thoughts of belonging to Him, asking Him what He has for my day isn't difficult.  It's just making the choice and choosing the focus, fighting the distractions, that can be difficult.  

So what about you.  Jesus is asking.  "Are you living in routine or purpose?"

"Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."  Ephesians 5:15-17

©copyrighted 2008 by Julie L. Todd


Gretchen said... Reply to comment

Julie, you really spoke to my heart today. I'm having a hard time not resenting interruptions and feeling illprepared for the day-to-day struggles of living with a typically and not typically developing child. Some days are so wearing and I'd like to go away, so I think I do emotionally distance myself at times. I'm trying to find my way back, too. I'm reading Sally Clarkson's The Mission of Motherhood and doing the Bible study portions of it as a daily devotional. Praying that we both get on the track God wants us on and drink from our daily cups with joy in our hearts. xxxooogretchen

Laura said... Reply to comment

My friend, I can surly relate to this post! My oldest is 11 and he is going through that difficult pre-teen time of pushing me away but testing me to see if I go too far. I am struggling. Meanwhile, my poor little nine year old stands by, waiting to be noticed! And you have five of 'em! Bless you, my dear! I have to tell you that when I read your dream, a scripture popped into my mind immediately from my morning reading. Heb. 12:28-29 says, "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire." The last part is a quote from Deut. 4:24. Isn't that awesome? Maybe as our children grow away from needing us so much, the Lord is reassuring us that He surrounds them, He is all consuming.
Letting go, even a little, is proving to be difficult for me. You are a wonderful example, dear one! Warm yourself by the Fire.

Bretta said... Reply to comment

Thanks for sharing, Julie. That is so much what I have been feeling lately too. The distractions have pulled me "off-course" of where I've always wanted to be with my children. So glad He is there to point me in the right direction again. Love you, girlfriend!

lori said... Reply to comment

You know we are on the same page...I too have been contemplating what He will have of me...Our daily lives can get us sooo distracted that we wake up and see weeks and months have gone by....I don't want that kind of life. I want purpose..His purpose for me and my family....
You have an amazing way with words...

Oh, and if you go to Heart of the Matter....scroll down and look for the post on the devotional that we are going to start...jump in. The book by Todd Wilson is an easy read, but it's about the LIES that we believe. check it out...I'd love to have your wisdom in on this. I'm not going to make it TOO demanding, we DO homeschool, but an online devo is something that we bounced around and felt like women who homeschool often miss out on this type of study. So we put it out there and as of now we have 33 participating. Hoping to start sometime in the beginning of May.

I've got to tell you....this is one of my new favorite places to uplift...and encourage and edify....always a blessing!!

How funny is it that you were in Kennesaw...small world!!
have a great night!!

darnelle said... Reply to comment

I love it when you listen to God. It always ministers to me. The words He spoke to you are truth for every one of us Moms. Hard to hear but so, so, so needed.
Hugs to you Friend,

Amy said... Reply to comment


This is such a confirmation of what the Lord has been saying to me. Your words have inspired me to start each day with the simple prayer: Lord, what is Your agenda for me today? Thank you for sharing from your heart.

Love you!

Tiffany Stuart said... Reply to comment

"Routine is the "world's way", "Purpose is the Spirit's way".

Love this. I so love how the Lord speaks to you. I relate to your heartfelt post. I too want to live in Him with purpose. Thanks for sitting still to hear the voice of our Papa.

Thank you for your prayer on my blog. I felt the wind of his love.

Laura said... Reply to comment

Thank you, my friend, once again for your sweet words of encouragement. I so enjoy listening to you "talk"! You are a precious blessing and your Papa is proud of you. It has been a difficult few days in the life of our church. The conflict resolution process we are going through seems to be making it more difficult. I know that things must be dealt with before we can be healed, but it can be very disheartening. I needed to hear your encouragement this week.
Thank you, friend!

HIS daughter said... Reply to comment

Dear Julie,

I was so moved and blessed by your post and prayer for my sister at my website!

Bless your obedient heart. Your Papa knows your name, dear one. Your blog is a place I will come back to.

I am so blessed that you call HIM "Papa". Out of the blue, one day when I was "talking" to HIM, I said that and I thought if anyone knew they would worry :-)

But, you understand, Julie. So close and always there - that's IS our Papa!

Blessings Sweet Lady!

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Just wanted to let you know that I got my Photo link working. So go back and look all you want! I'm still organizing within the link but all the photos are there!

Lelia Chealey said... Reply to comment

Oh, why is that all the blogs I'm reading today are speaking volumes of truth to my heart??? OH, this is one that will stay with me. I'll probably have to come back & re-read it tonight when all is quiet in my home.
Thanks too for the sweet comments about my little Amiyah that has entered our world. She is just too precious for me. :)
Love ya,

Paulette Harris said... Reply to comment

Great post Julie. Thank you for coming to mine. I appreciate your caring for me. I am learning how to intermingle and cross between everyone's and my web.

God was so strong today as I did bible study with Jim and read your blog.

We pray for all the children and our nation today. It is not easy for them. I understand why older folks don't want to go back as they see the progression of our busy society and what progression can bring if not under the reins of Jesus.

Keep on writing and blogging King's Kid!

Paulette Harris

kmom3 said... Reply to comment

This is so very good, Julie! I know I slip so easily into my routine life....did this, check, did that, check.....not really seeking Him on what he is wanting me to do for each day.
Routine or purpose.
Good stuff to take with me and ponder!
K :)

annie's eyes said... Reply to comment

When life becomes routine and ordinary, and it will, we will remember our purpose. A poignant post and critical reminder! You spoke to my soul today. I look back and so much was just getting through the day, without my Joy. Without my God. Interestingly, with the kids grown and gone, I now crave routine again. It just is easier, but it is not like God to make anything ordinary.