Monday, June 30, 2014

A Hatbox, Yesterday's Shoes, & Elizabeth II

I have ADD. Clinically unproven, but constantly displayed. Let’s just say that my 6-year-old Sunday School students and I have the same attention span, as a recent example proves.

I was looking through my brother and sister-in-law’s junk for my garage sale, and I found a set of earrings and a matching necklace. They looked old and kind of cool. In other words, one moment I was dutifully sorting a garbage bag into shirts, shoes, and electronics; an hour later, I’m ogling an online database for 1960s Sarah Coventry costume jewelry.

Sparkly, fluffy unicorns.

Sorry. You see my point. And my room reflects my personality. A few months ago, you could find those three random items—my hatbox, my Toms, and Queen Elizabeth II’s biography—sitting on my floor. (One of these days, I'll decoupage that hatbox, if I ever get inspired.)

Well, one day, when I was analyzing the randomness of my floor, a thought occurred to me. It’s odd, I know, but here goes:
When Jesus “cleans my heart,” does He get distracted by the “cool stuff” He finds?
You know, those little things in my life that seem insignificant, but will eventually trip me up spiritually--if left laying around long enough. 
“How about the way you absolutely cannot stand this certain person?” 
“Now, Lord, you know I have good reason to be utterly irritated with that person.”
“Or look at how much time you spend online, and yet you can barely drag yourself out of bed for morning devotions?” 
“Well, you know, my day does start pretty early. And have you seen the new concept art for Avengers: Age of Ultron?? A lot to be studied there."
“What about your near-obsession with having a relationship?” 
“I’m not obsessed. I’m just…lonely. It’s so hard sometimes, having to watch all the couples around you.”
Things like that. Not doctrinal heresies that might send me to hell, but little things that can affect my relationship with God if I don’t control them.

No, a hatbox is not going to kill me if it continues to sit on my floor. But I got tired of doing expert yoga poses to reach my bookcase, so I finally put the hatbox back in the closet. Neither is the Internet "wicked," but if it steals so much of my day that I neglect my time with God, then I have to learn to close Pinterest and open Proverbs.

These things I mentioned are 3 big things that God has convicted me of the past year. Yes, a year. Some things take a while to get through my thick head.

That “person”? Well, if you knew him/her, you would get annoyed, too. For me, I think it’s a matter of seeing too much of myself. Didn’t a wise person say once that we are quickest to judge other people for sins that we ourselves commit the most? No? Well, then I just said it. The fact that we attend the same church increases my annoyance, so I have to pray much about this one. At this point, I can honestly say my attitude towards this person is improving, which is good, because he/she is not going away any time soon…

And the whole time-management thingy? *sigh* Do we have to discuss that which is literally the bane of my existence?! Honestly—I have struggled with this for years. I get lost in a book quicker than you can say “Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon.” (EXCELLENT series, by the way. Finished it in a week.) And, well, I have problems with Pinterest. God knows this, and He doesn’t let me forget. So I started by restructuring my devotional time, and am diligently attempting to have it first thing every morning. Helps set a positive attitude for the overall day, you know? The rest of my day…well, dropping my tablet on a concrete floor certainly decreased that temptation.

The last one—wanting a guy—well, that issue is more deep-seated than the other two. It could be a while before God and I completely work it out. I wrote a whole post on my struggle with this longing. It isn’t so much wanting a guy: I want the companionship. But I am working on this. And praying. I’m learning to look to God when I am lonely and focus my thoughts on my goals.

So, to answer my inner thought/question…no. I don’t think Jesus gets distracted by the “cool stuff” He finds in my heart. Rather, He points it out. And He keeps pointing it out until I get His message: when it distracts me from my relationship with God, or affects my attitude in general, then it is time to get rid of that not-so-“cool stuff”.

Lay the shoes in the shoebox. Set the hatbox on the closet shelf. File the biography on the bookshelf.

Move on.

Linking up today with these bloggers:


  1. Excellent post! I've been trying to move my Bible-reading time to before breakfast, but I have so far forgotten more often than I've remembered. But I use the phrase "First things first" a lot, and I figure if God is first in my life, shouldn't I spend time with his word first every day? Or at least, before I check my email and respond to blog comments, etc.

    1. Yep; exactly. It took me a while to get used to having a quiet time in the morning, but once it became a habit, I noticed a bigger change in my attitude. It helped me remember that even when my day went to pot (which is happening quite frequently right now), there's a bigger picture, and I still know He has it under control. :-)