Walls. We erect them. They keep things in. They keep things out. Sometimes they’re good for us and sometimes we need to tear them down.
Reading about Jericho in the book of Joshua got me thinking about walls. I’m significantly behind in my Bible in 90 Days reading, but over the last week, particularly the last few days I’ve been catching up significantly. I’m now in Judges (I think I’m supposed to be in Nehemiah.) I’ll get there, I’ll catch up, but in the meantime, one of the things I kept thinking about while reading the book of Joshua is how the Israelites succeed EVERY SINGLE TIME they follow God’s directions and He goes with them. And how every single time they try to go on their own or follow their own directions… they fail big time. BIG TIME. Not that much unlike myself, making a go of B90Days and 3in30 in my own strength. A change in heart and a shift in thinking and I feel ever so much more like “If God is for us then who can be against us?!” Knock those Jericho walls down!
Speaking of 3 in 30…this month started off just like last month, and I nearly let it get me down. The first few days were great, then freezing cold weather moved in and our pipes were freezing and we were just trying to make it through the day without freezing to death. That’s how my house got behind in January and I spent the rest of the month, in a funk, recovering from it. I was afraid that was going to happen again. This was a DOOZY of a cold front; we’re talking record breaking. Four solid days of below freezing weather, nearly zero after the wind chill. It was crazy! But I didn’t let it get me. Not this time! We brought an extra space heater into my master bed/bath and we kept warm and cozy, huddled up as a family watching tv, reading, coloring. Four walls creating a sanctuary from the winter storm. But this time, I handed it over to God. This time I didn’t stress. And this time I kept washing a load of laundry and a load of dishes each day no matter how cold it was in the kitchen! (And they weren’t even my 3 in 30 goals!) But I knew it would get me down if I didn’t.
I did alter my 3 in 30 goals a little, while we were all huddled up together. I didn’t make my kids get up quite so early. So we didn’t have breakfast quite so early. And we only did minimal school. Overall I’ve been doing really well with my goals. Since the freeze I returned to my 7am wake time and I haven’t found it nearly as difficult as before, as last month. I’ve been reading my bible in the mornings, and then again later throughout the day to keep up with B90Days and I’ve been having breakfast on time. Several mornings I prepared something the night ahead and put it in to bake when I got up at 7. I’m LOVING that. I’m going to have to do more of THAT. I just keeping knocking those “I can’t” walls down and boy does it feel good.
As for school, like I said it didn’t look like “normal” school last week. Monday we did math & some language arts before my Mother-in-law picked up to take us shopping. The kids had several Christmas gift cards burning holes in their pockets. I didn’t realize how bad the winter storm was going to be so I figured we could take off half a school day for some practical application while the children tried to wisely choose what to spend their money on and added up their items to see how much they could purchase. But then the rest of the week hit us like a ton of ice bricks! We did math on Tuesday, and maybe Wednesday. Other than that we did a LOT of reading. Princess finished reading Book 5 of the Camp Club Girls and read books 6 and 7! They also played a few educational games on the laptop, colored, sketched in their sketch pads and we all made Valentine cards. Crafts, art and reading often fight for attention between math, language arts, science and history so I really didn’t mind getting a little extra of those things in last week. That said, the week before was really great, I could see definite improvements as we work on the structure of our day and good sleeping/waking habits. I’m looking forward to seeing that continue to improve!
Speaking of structure.. Routines, like walls, fence in the pieces of our day. We’ve been buckling down on structure and routine — all of it. Wake times, meal times, school times, chore times, sleep times. It’s like the instructions on the back of the shampoo bottle: Lather, rinse, repeat. We had a hiccup with the icy weather of course, but Saturday we started building those walls back up again. The structure brings a sense of security and I think we all can feel it. We’ve needed this for a very long time. It’s not a magic schedule, though. It’s the building of the habits. It’s the handing the day over to God and relying on him. It’s the choosing of the things things most important. It’s all of them. Carefully chosen bricks in the walls of our day.
I have many, many bad habits yet to knock down and many good ones to replace them with, but right now I feel a sense of hope as I see and feel the progress and changes being made. I feel like the wise woman building her house, and no longer the foolish one tearing it down. Which leads me to want to say, again, just for good measure…God is so good, isn’t he?