Click Here For Free Blog Backgrounds!!!
Blogaholic Designs

Sunday, April 11, 2010

What Hinders Me?

This weekend at church, our pastor gave an excellent message on "living with hope in times of crisis." I'm not in crisis mode right now. To be honest, I sometimes wonder why things have been so smooth for us...I keep waiting for that tragedy or major hiccup to occur. Pessimistic, I know. But I often feel guilty when I think about the incredible {funny} husband I have, the healthy children we have, the comfortable home and great yard we have, the quaint town we live in. I don't say that to brag, but to honestly question why we have been blessed this much.

We have often struggled with how to provide our kids with opportunities to help them be "well-rounded" (i.e., sports, music lessons, vacations, etc), while also ensuring they "suffer" enough to help them be empathetic, appreciative, contributing members of society. How do we justify giving our kids private tennis lessons for $120/month when that could feed and clothe four children in another country? How do we rationalize going to Chuck-E-Cheese and spending $30 when that could be food in a hungry child's belly?

I know there's a balance somewhere in our children opportunities and experiences while also showing them compassion for others. But the balance is what's hard to find.

Back to our pastor's sermon. He had a guest preach with him--a man who is on staff at our church who has been to more than 60 countries helping people. He was arrested while smuggling Bibles into China. He has put himself in harm's way on more than one occasion in attempts to spread the Good News. His words truly touched me. And near the end of the sermon, the pastor read a verse. Hebrews 12:1--"Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses {in reference to Hebrews 11, which describes so many who lived out their faith in amazing ways}, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

I don't know how many times I have read that verse. Dozens and dozens at least. But for some reason, it had a whole new meaning this time. Let us throw off everything that hinders.

What hinders me? Oh, so many things...

The computer
The television
My own self-doubt
My yearning to be the "perfect wife" or "perfect parent" {and my failure therein}
Household duties
And so, so much more...

But what really stuck out for me, what I really felt like the Lord was whispering to me as I sat in my seat was this:

"Shanti, get rid of your television. Stop wasting your time on the computer. Engage with your children and seek what it is I long for you to do."

So, that's what I'm going to do. Kind of. I am canceling our cable. And we don't have one of those "government-issued" antennas, so for now, we won't have any t.v. And I'm only using the Internet when our kids are sleeping. I do plan on making exceptions, since I use the Internet as my phone book, map, and encyclopedia for homeschooling. But must wait. must wait. And must wait...until Mondays. Mondays are my new blogging days. I'll keep a running tab of thoughts that pop in my head throughout the week, and Monday will be my day to write them all down online.

I'm giving this a try for a month. I'm doing my best to "throw off everything that hinders" in an attempt to allow the Lord to speak to me. Maybe I won't hear anything. Maybe I'll be completely frustrated and feel cut off from the world. But I have to give it a try. I need to know that I truly am here and available for the Lord to work through me. If I use up all my down time zoning in front of the television or surfing the 'net, I will never hear the Lord speaking to me.

So, friends, I hope you understand. I hope you don't feel as though I am abandoning my post.

But I do pose this question to you: What hinders you? And can you let go of it?


Robin said...

You continue to amaze me.

GB's Mom said...

What a great experiment! Good Luck.

Michelle Pedersen said...

Love, love, love it. I have often thought that I need to do the same. My kids deserve more of me. Being in the same room as them is not the same as being available to them - as engaging them in meaningful activities together.

What hinders me? I could echo most of your list - but I feel that TV & internet are my big #1 & #2. And I think unnecessary criticism toward my kids disguised as sarcasm is a BIG #3. I think your idea of only using the net when the kids are sleeping is a great starting point for me. I may have to give it a try. So much of our day is wasted at this screen.

Amber and The Boys said...

Love it too! My New Year's Resolution was to "say no to the things that don't matter so that I can say yes to the things that do." So same idea. For me, it is saying yes to things that in the grand scheme of things aren't making my life or my kid's lives any better. Needless frills. I am trying to learn to say no and limit have far I stretch myself.

Britts said...

Great idea! You can do it!
(Quick sidenote: we gave up cable almost 4 years ago and only use the tv for videos. It's been great and we rarely miss it. We did reinstate it for 2 months just so we could watch the Olympics, but today is our last day of it. Jim soaked up the Masters yesterday afternoon, and I watched one last Extreme Home Makeover, but both of us said we're really looking forward to the lack of distraction tonight.)
It's amazing how much more we can do with our time without it!

Lisa said...


I know what hinders me and I can't give it up. Not yet anyway. If I did I might explode.

sarahb said...

Thank you for this post! A few months ago I started using the computer only when my kiddos were sleeping and I was amazed at the amount of time in a day and how efficient I was in the hour on-line I had in the evenings. I need to get back to that...thanks for the reminder! And I hope you enjoy the extra hours in the day :)

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails