Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Next Time I'll Just Skip the Poll

Wow.

You guys had a lot to say on the matter of my last post.

I wanted to address some of your comments and clarify a few things if I may.

Normally, I would try to work all of my thoughts together into something that flows using those clever little things called paragraphs, but I'm just not sure I have enough brain power to accomplish that this evening so bear with me as I address you in list form.

1) I appreciate what Abigail had to say about there being no condemnation in Christ. I hope that none of you felt that I was condemning myself or anyone else for not having an intentional "quiet time" each day. Especially those of you with itty bitty ones...a daily quiet time was not even on my radar a couple of years ago. Making to my next birthday with everyone alive? Yes. Daily quiet time? No. My youngest is almost four and I feel like I am just now coming out of the fog enough to attempt this. This has been a personal decision for me and I believe it is born out of conviction, not condemnation as I am desiring to draw closer to Him.

2) I tend toward perfectionism and will often do all or nothing. If I wasn't able to find the time to read ALL of the reading, EVERY day then I wouldn't do it at all. A big part of this victory for me has been a shift in my perspective. That is shifting from checking "time with God" off of a to-do list to spending time with God because I want to know Him better. That is what this is all about! Amen?

3) Thank you all so much for sharing your heart and your experiences in this matter. I loved having this "discussion" with all of you. I think that we are stronger as a body of believers when we can be honest and transparent with each other.

4) For those of you who asked for prayer in this area. I will pray for you!

5) And lastly, it appears I made a few of you feel guilt in regards to my poll. So sorry. Please know there is also no condemnation on Alana's blog for not participating in a poll.

17 comments:

Jenny said...

Alana- I, too, just like y'all, struggle in the area of consistant bible reading.

Pretty much everything you said resonated with me. I am a minute-by-minute popcorn pray-er. I do a lot of praying.

I am reminded that Prayer itself is not a two-way street - There is no place in the Bible that uses the word prayer to describe God communicating with us. The way he communicates with us, for the most part, is through his Word. So that is SO important, so that I am just not talking at God without taking the time to listen to Him.

Thanks for the opportunity to meditate on all of this. What an encouragement!

Abigail Munday said...

I didn't feel any condemnation from you, just felt for you because I thought you were being so hard on yourself. Been there, done that (still am!). Hubby jokes sometimes and asks if I want a whip to flagellate myself. I'm my own toughest critic, but I have been learning lots about grace and forgiveness towards myself lately. A lot of that comes from a very special book I read last year called The Shack, by William P. Young. I highly recommend it for anyone!

Jamie said...

Alana,
You are so sweet. No wonder you have so many faithful readers.
Jamie

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

Since I was one of the first commenters to the last post, I went back & read other comments. Like His Girl, I write my prayers down in a journal (I fall asleep otherwise). I'm reading slowly, too. I've been in the Gospel of John since January, I believe. I'm only on Chapter 14...but He's been speaking volumes to me. I heard Priscilla Shirer say it took her 2 years to read John.

I'd rather read one verse a day & really dialogue with God about it, than feel I have to get a certain amount of reading done. But that's just my own perspective, and I know different things work for different people.

As for the perfection part...I am an "all or nothing" kind of gal myself. I really had to learn (in lots of areas) that this attitude was killing me.

Blessings, dear friend.

His Girl said...

And lastly, it appears I made a few of you feel guilt in regards to my poll. So sorry. Please know there is also no condemnation on Alana's blog for not participating in a poll.

that was very, very clever...totally made me smile.

I didn't get that you were being condemning in any way (in fact, I get quite the opposite feel from your blog... encouragement!) and I love that you brought up this topic 'cause I think satan loves to make us feel like we are not doing enough or praying enough or reading right, so we should just give up and do nothing. when you expose this stuff to the light (by encouraging discussion) you are really helping thwart our enemy's plans.
mwah! alana- you are such a dear. I totally want to run over and knock on the door and share these homemade cookies with you-and have a giggle. OH the agony of distance!

Rochelle said...

Okay... I was so lost. I had to go back and read your last post and the comments first, then come back to this one. :)

I never feel condemnation after reading your posts! I may feel challenged, and I usually get a good laugh, but never condemnation.

It is your honesty that I love to read most!

Shelley said...

Thank you for easing my guilt over not participating in the poll :)

Shelley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teresa said...

You are loved, girl!! :)

Jennifer said...

I, too, started a read through the Bible program this year - but I have to laugh when I tell you - it's called "Read Through the Bible Program for Shirkers and Slackers." That's me!! :) There are no dates, just DAYS... this is what you read on Mondays, this on Tuesdays, etc... with little boxes to check off until you're done! And it moves back and forth from NT to Old. I've read it cover to cover before, years ago, so I'm good with that. And it does kinda help you get the big picture.

I don't want my quiet time to become a dutiful obligation to check off my to-do list like the chores, like you mentioned. Relationships are more organic than that, anyway.

Still, sometimes I think to myself, "well, this is just ridiculous." :) And when there are times that I find myself asking God for wisdom, puzzled over what to do, I think to myself, "maybe if I only did what I DO know to do more regularly, I would actually HAVE some wisdom!!" :)

And so I struggle, too, but it's good to know that we are still accepted in the Beloved.

Kathy said...

I hate feeling like I need to defend something I've said or written. I think you write what you feel beautifully...if people have issues with that it may just be their own guilty feelings they're dealing with.

Jen said...

I was just passing through.

Man, I'm shocked that 91% study their Bible most days. Really shocked. That's a huge number. I mean, I recognize that only 11 people voted but...maybe it was skewed because the only people that voted were those that actually did a quiet time.

Sorry, I don't mean to be so negative. It's more...shock, really. Hmm. I need to think about this some more.

Sing4joy said...

Just from reading your blog for the short time I have known about it, I have never gotten the feeling of being judged or condemned. You share your thoughts openly and you should be allowed to as it is YOUR blog.

BethAnne said...

I didnt feel guilty by your poll at all. It is good for us to keep each other accountable - it is also good for us to check our own lives to see where we are falling short. Nothing to feel guilty about, just great opportunity to change.

Bev Brandon said...

You are so precious Alana and communicate such acceptance and kindness and joy. I'm lost --- not sure what --- I went back and read --- oh well... I just think Jesus is so pleased when we come to HIM to read and talk and pray and listen. That's it. And then He can't walk by us without filling us up. That's it. That's all.

Celeste said...

And lastly, it appears I made a few of you feel guilt in regards to my poll. So sorry. Please know there is also no condemnation on Alana's blog for not participating in a poll.

I didn't vote or comment so I am glad to read this!! :)

I struggle with praying, I think all of us mothers hold on to any "me" time we can get, and when I get it I just want to think about what I want to think about, and usually prayer isn't involved. I just want it to be all about ME after it being all about KIDS or WORK or SCHOOL or HUSBAND or MOPS, so it's real struggle for me to take time for who life is REALLY about.

mark&beth said...

Alana,
I love your heart! I just wanted to take a moment to let you know much your humility and honesty are appreciated. And, the biggest thing...God uses you to minister to so many people! Even though your post was written as a result of your own frustration, look at how we've all been encouraged to examine our own hearts in this matter. That, my friend is an example of your life, full of grace, living out God's purpose for you. :) Love you!